Poole's Picture Palace

11 Tower Street,
Ipswich, IP1 3BE

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Poole's Theatres Ltd.

Functions: Bar

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Poole's Picture Palace

Located in Ipswich, Suffolk. The Lecture Hall of the Ipswich Institute had hosted Poole’s Dioramas and Myrioramas from before 1900. Bioscope shows were included from around 1903. ‘Bioscope’ magazine, in its issue dated 11th March 1909, reported that Poole’s were taking a long lease at the Institute, and were renaming it Poole’s Picture Palace.

It opened on 9th March 1909 as the town’s first cinema. In 1914 Messrs C. W. and J. R. Poole were running it from their head office in Gloucester.

By 1922 the programme was being changed every Monday and Thursday. The seats were approximately split between stalls (250) and a small balcony (150). ‘Picturetone’ sound was introduced when the talkies arrived.

The cinema ran on for another ten years, closing on 20th January 1940. In October 1947 the building was re-opened as a live venue, Ipswich Arts Theatre. Later it was leased as a Pentecostal church.

By 1993 it was being used as the rehearsal rooms of the Wolsey Theatre. More recently (by 2003) it has become a public house, The Rep.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Ian on December 15, 2015 at 9:34 am

Auditorium of the Rep in use as a pub from 2006:–


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