Your cinema memories wanted for Magic Hour project

The Palace Cinema in Broadstairs

Residents are being called on to share their memories about cinemas and places to see a film in Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate, past and present.

The Palace Cinema Broadstairs is inviting local film fans and cinema staff, from the ‘40s to today to contribute their memories to its film heritage project, Magic Hours.

The project is supported by the National Lottery through the BFI Film Audience Network to explore the history of cinemas, film and cinema experiences in Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate. Throughout February-April, The Palace Cinema is combining historical research with collecting cinema memories, and will present screenings, special events and walking tours with an online record of all the cinemas and DIY film spaces of the three towns.

Parade Cinema Margate (1913), now Old Kent Market

The Palace is hoping to gather the memories of audiences and cinema workers across generations. There are four ways to take part:

  1. Online questionnaire (click here to link to it);
  2. Paper questionnaire download from the Palace website (click here to link to it) or available from the cinema;
  3. Email/call the Palace (details below);
  4. Drop in for a chat at one of the six Magic Hours audio recording days – you just chat and they’ll record you.

Drop ins:

Olby’s Café, King Street, Margate (with tea and biscuits) – Wednesday 22 February, 11am-1pm

Home Front Tea Room, King Street, Ramsgate (with tea and biscuits) – Thursday 23 February, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Broadstairs Library – Friday 24 February, 11am-1pm

Ramsgate Library – Saturday 25 February, 10am-12pm

Margate Library – Saturday 25 February, 1pm-3pm

Palace Cinema Broadstairs (with tea and biscuits) – Sunday 26 February, 1pm-3pm

Odeon Cinema Ramsgate (1936), now Iceland

All venues are fully accessible. All memories, whether on paper or audio recorded, will be archived anonymously unless you would like to leave your name. Magic Hours will only include your memories in the history of cinemas with your written permission. Please email/call the Palace (details below) with any questions in advance.

Palace owners Corinna and Simon

Magic Hours is managed by Palace Cinema co-owner Corinna Downing in collaboration with local venues, a team of volunteers and Creative Media students from Broadstairs College.

Corinna said:  “Magic Hours is a local film heritage project that we have hoped to do for a long time. Over the years we have heard some great stories from Palace customers and read some brilliant anecdotes on local Facebook groups of people who went to and worked in cinemas which have long since been demolished or converted.

“Now, with only the Palace operating in Broadstairs, cafes and the towns’ film festivals in Margate and Ramsgate have stepped in to offer the collective film-watching experience. We want to include those, too; it’s similar to how audiences saw the very first films locally in the 1890s and we’ve come full circle. We hope that local film fans and cinema staff will join in to share their memories, and maybe bring along a photo or an old ticket, too.”

The listed Dreamland Cinema Image courtesy of The John Hutchinson Collection, Campbell Reith Collection, RIBA archive

Look out for the full programme of screenings, special events and walking tours taking place in Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate 25 March – 8 April.

The Palace Cinema
Harbour Street
Broadstairs CT10 1ET
01843 865726

[email protected]


  1. Off piste I know, but when I was a kid we used to go to a great little cinema in Chislehurst. It’s now a church.

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