Heritage Open Days: Palace Cinema
20th September - 22nd September 2019
A rare chance to see inside Broadstairs’ lovely old listed cinema without buying a ticket for a film!
Drop in just to have a quick look around (we’re small – it won’t take long!) or stay a bit longer to find out about local cinema history.
The Palace Cinema is a small independent cinema with 111 seats over stalls and balcony. It was originally a 3-storey commercial building, bought by a historian who in 1911 had the middle floors taken out and re-designed it as ‘York Gate Hall’ to house his collection of armour. Three years later it was sold to the Town Council which for 50 years used it to store beach equipment and leased it out for puppet and film shows.
In 1965 the windows were boarded up and the 155-seat ‘Windsor Cinema’ was born! It has changed hands 3 times since then: the owners in 2006 installed digital projection, surround sound and large screen, and re-named it the ‘Palace’. Its current owners (since 2016) are restoring the building, researching its history and open 7 days a week welcoming visitors and locals to a wide variety of films from the latest releases to silent classics with live piano, from family shows in school holidays to special events for the local community.
The Palace's Heritage Open Days offer free access to the foyer and auditorium. They include short talks on the history of the Palace and other former cinemas in Broadstairs (at 11:15am, 12:15pm, 13:15pm) and free ‘mini history trail’ fact-finding and colouring sheets for children.