Soodle Street

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A selection of the beautiful lost buildings of Norwich’s ‘golden-era’ cinemas. Prints available in the Soodle Street Shop


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'The Carlton, Norwich c. 1935'

The Carlton opened in 1932 and ran as a 'talkie' cinema until 1973, being renamed as The Gaumont in 1960. During the Blitz an unexploded bomb buried itself in the theatre but the shows still went on! The Carlton was situated on All Saint's Green, opposite John Lewis.

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'The Hippodrome, Norwich. c.1903'

The Grand Opera House opened in 1903 on St. Giles Street, a year later it was renamed The Hippodrome. The building had a direct hit from a bomb in 1943, killing the theatre manager and his wife and a sea lion trainer. It reopened as a playhouse, then a cinema, but was finally closed in 1960. It was destroyed in 1964 to make way for the St Giles multi-story car park.

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'The Electric, Norwich c. 1915'


The Electric opened its doors on Prince of Wales Road in 1912, showing variety shows and films. It reopened as The Norvic in 1949. It's closed in 1959 after it's last show 'Wild in the Country' and was eventually demolished in 1961 to make way for office space.

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'The ABC, Norwich c.1962'

The ABC, on Prince of Wales Road, was Norwich's longest running cinema. Opened in 1923 as the Regent, it was the last Norwich cinema to be built in the Silent era. It became ABC in 1961 then became a Cannon cinema in 1986. It ceased its function as a cinema in the 1990's and was re-opened as Mercy nightclub in 2003.


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'The Odeon (Botolph St.), Norwich c.1960'


The Odeon opened in 1938, becoming the largest cinema in Norwich and East Anglia with 2000 seats. It was demolished in 1971 to make way for the new Anglia Square complex. It's currently still active as the much smaller Hollywood cinema.