This is my blog about my interests in photography and film-making, also my travels as well as other items that I feel may be of interest. I also run the Photography equipment website, Filmcam....................................... IF YOU WANT TO ENLARGE ANY IMAGE BELOW SIMPLY CLICK ON IT !

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saving the Palace in photographs

Many of us in Bridport have fond memories of the Electric Palace Cinema which has been here since the 1920s.... with decor typical of that era.
Gone are the days when queues would form along the street. During the past 20 years, various folk have tried hard to keep it going against the odds. One 60-something chap I remember appeared to run the cinema single-handedly, manning the ticket kiosk, selling sweets, running the projector, and when the curtain motor broke down we (audience of 6) watched him jerkily winding it back by hand! That deserved a clap. The building was always icy cold in winter, which didn't quite help if you were watching say 'Lawrence of Arabia'. Sadly, the Palace was forced to close some years ago due to structural problems. I think the last film I saw there was 'Independence Day'(!)

After the closure things looked really bleak for Bridport cinema-goers. Once the town even had a second cinema called the Lyric that ceased many years ago, before my time. However, fairly recently someone had another go with the Palace, and it eventually reopened. It's now as lively as ever. New films most weeks including the odd World Premiere believe it or not.... 'The Young Victoria' no less. It took alot of hard work by dedicated people to get our cinema going again.

Local photographer Sammy Izri made a record of the restoration. You can see a few of his Rolleiflex photos at
They show telling details of this cinema waiting to be saved. However, to absorb the atmosphere you really need to see his prints, which are currently on display at Bridport Community Hospital. The hospital is to the north of Allington Hill (stunning views from the top). Enter the A&E door and then along the corridor. Not the most inviting venue perhaps, unless you've just sprained an ankle up Allington Hill, but I promise you won't be disappointed.

More up-to-date info on the Palace at