Record Details

NHER Number:12028
Type of record:Building
Name:Windmill Theatre, Marine Parade


Constructed in 1908, this was one of the earliest purpose built cinemas in Britain. It was known at the time as 'The Palace of Light', being illuminated by a thousand electric bulbs. A good example of Edwardian exuberance, the brick building has an elaborate neo Baroque faience clad façade, with twin towers topped by domes covered by fish scale tiles and lantern finials. Still in use today, the barrel vaulted auditorium is on the first floor, and has egg and dart plaster decoration. Before World War Two the cinema was known as The Gem.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 5305 0698
Map Sheet:TG50NW

Full description

Built in 1908 by A. S. Hewitt as one of the first purpose built cinemas in Britain, and known as the Palace of Light because it was illuminated by a thousand electric bulbs. Constructed of faience in typical Edwardian style, with twin towers, Ionic pilasters and fish scale tiles. Before World War Two the cinema was known as The Gem.

Information from (S1). See revised (S1) of 1998 for more details. Extracts from both in file. (S2) also in file.

Monument Types

  • CINEMA (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • THEATRE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1999. TG 5206R, U; TG 5306ABC - ABD.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 527; Pl 108.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF929.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England.
<S2>Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.

Related records - none

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