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Palace Cinema and Flanking Shops

A Grade II Listed Building in Bridport, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7321 / 50°43'55"N

Longitude: -2.7576 / 2°45'27"W

OS Eastings: 346625

OS Northings: 92771

OS Grid: SY466927

Mapcode National: GBR PP.0C6G

Mapcode Global: FRA 5734.PH2

Plus Code: 9C2VP6JR+RW

Entry Name: Palace Cinema and Flanking Shops

Listing Date: 29 April 1999

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1386804

English Heritage Legacy ID: 474203

Location: Bridport, Dorset, DT6

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Bridport

Built-Up Area: Bridport

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Bridport St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Tagged with: Theatre Cinema

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(East side), Bridport

1/10006 Number 35,
Palace Cinema and flanking shops

Cinema, formerly the Electric Palace, and opera house, with pair of shops to front. 1926 for the Palmer brewing family. Steel frame clad in brick on land-locked site, roof not seen. Cinema entered down passage between shops in two-storey front range, which opens to form forecourt under glazed canopy. Cinema with stage, single small balcony and small staircase foyer. EXTERIOR. Six bay front, the central two bays projecting slightly under slightly raised parapet over passage entrance, and with continuous cornice band. Casement windows to first floor. Shops have angled fronts to street and passage, retaining original leaded upper glazing, and corner columns on deep plinth. Passage with segmental arch, terrazzo flooring incorporating the words 'PASSAGE ENTRANCE' and arrow, with queueing rails and gates at rear. Cinema has four pairs of doors set between square columns under dentil moulded cornice, and external paybox, an unusual feature in Britain. Rest of facade obscured by glazed roof linking it to shops. INTERIOR. Foyer, now with internal kiosk, has terrazzo floor and staircase with lincrusta balustrade and timber handrail leading to first floor balcony. The foyer is remarkable for its collection of 1930s murals, by George Byles, a pub sign painter for Palmers, and now a unique example of a semi-vernacular form of decoration once common in semi-public buildings of this period. Hanging lights also an original feature. Auditorium with barrel-vaulted roof and giant pilaster order on side walls. Urn moulding in tympanum over stage end. Balcony with two rear boxes, and moulded swag decoration on balcony front. Projection facilities, unusually, in box under balcony. Full stage facilities with dressing rooms, curtains and clock. The front areas of seating are little altered. Included as a rare and remarkably little altered example of a 1920s'cinema, with a unique collection of contemporary murals in the foyer. There was originally mural decoration also in the auditorium, but these have been covered over with paint. The building was originally erected for dual use as a cinema and opera house for the Palmer brewing family, who wanted to bring opera to Dorset.

Listing NGR: SY4660692779

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