Photos: Dreamland Cinema sign reinstated

The Dreamland sign is back Photo Frank Leppard

Dreamland Cinema has now had its sign restored following the departure of the Empire of Light film crews.

The cinema was ‘renamed’ Empire during filming of the Sam Mendes movies from the end of February through to the latter part of May.

Photo Frank Leppard

The filming was estimated to have brought £4million into the Thanet economy. This includes accommodation from November – when crews started to arrive- to June in venues including Sands Hotel, crew subsistence allowances spent in the area, location fees, permits, parking, venue hire, local crew, security, council services, street lighting and office space rental for many of the production departments.

Photo Frank Leppard

Many residents responded to the call for movie extras and 1300 people of all ages were cast as background artists throughout the shoot.  The locations team liaised with the local film offices and many residents keen to further their careers in the film industry became part of the crew as location trainees and marshals. Costume, hair and make-up, assistant directors and the set decorating department engaged locals to work as part of their teams.

Photo Roberto Fabiani

The cast included Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Micheal Ward, Toby Jones, Tom Brooke, Hannah Onslow, Tanya Moodie and Crystal Clarke.

Locations used included Margate’s main seafront road, the beach, the Old Town, Cliftonville, and Darcy’s Café.

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Dreamland’s neon sign on the fin of the Grade II* listed cinema was replaced with Empire Cinema signs and the 20,000ft set at ‘Godden’s Gap’ contained a replica of Dreamland’s old cinema, including the staircase and chandeliers, with a ticket booth outside.

Photo John Horton

The replica has now been stripped down and the neon Dreamland sign reinstated.

The film will be released by Searchlight Pictures.

Empire of Light filming in Margate