John Peel Centre for Creative Arts

Church Walk,
Stowmarket, IP14 1ET

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John Peel Centre for Creative Arts (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Community Arts Center

Previous Names: Corn Exchange, Bankside Movie Theatre, Movieland Film Centre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 440144.977.4678

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John Peel Centre for Creative Arts

The Corn Hall Stowmarket dates form 1835 when it incorporated an assembly room in as part of the corn and farm-trading centre.

This was used for public meetings, concerts, travelling theatricals, dinners and trade exhibitions. It closed in 1966 and went through a variety of uses before becoming the Movieland Film Centre in 1986. This was short lived and the building became a pool hall until 2002, when it was converted into a storage room for the council.

The original frontage and foyer of the building in the centre of Market Place was converted in to a bank (now Nat West) many years ago and the main entrance is now in Church Walk at the rear of the building.

By 2013, it had been converted into a community arts centre.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 5, 2005 at 7:21 am

It was re-named Bankside Movie Theatre in the middle of 1991, but this was short lived and it closed on 31st October 1991 with Harrison Ford in “Regarding Henry”.

Stowman on November 27, 2013 at 7:41 am

After the cinema closed it was used as a council store. The building was re-opened as The John Peel Centre For Creative Arts in 2013.

RichardGibson on July 26, 2021 at 6:32 am

A photo from circa 1988 here:

Neal_Sutton on October 27, 2022 at 8:06 am

Prior to 1986 it was a snooker club called Stowmarket Snooker Exchange. When they left for a larger venue I took the lease on The Corn Exchange and opened Movieland Cinema on 6th December 1986 with Labyrinth, starring Jennifer Grey and David Bowie. At this time Stowmarket had been without a cinema for over a year as the council turned The Regal into more of a live venue, preferring not to show films. Movieland was very successful, filling the cinematic gap left by the rebranding of the Regal.
Two years later I sold Movieland to another operator and when he went out of business a year or two later, sadly he took Movieland with him. After a couple of people had a go with it and failed, it was permanently closed. Stowmarket Town Council took the lease on the building as they had by that time, returned The Regal to its previous role as a cinema with occasional stage shows.

Neal_Sutton on October 27, 2022 at 8:29 am

Richard Gibson. Your photo is indeed from 1988. Thanks for sharing. I loved creating and owning this little cinema! Great times.

RichardGibson on November 14, 2022 at 6:54 pm

@Neal, I think I remember you - were you the previous Manager of The Regal before setting up Movieland? Was strange to have two cinemas in a relatively small town.

I do recognise your face/profile picture and enjoyed many films shown at Movieland. You kindly organised a screening of ‘American Graffiti’ for our school only during a school day, four our school only (March 9th, 1989 - according to my records).

Thank you for the reminder, I had forgotten that it was a snooker club before. Did the snooker club then move to Stowupland Street before the bypass cut that road in half? That building backed on to the River, if I recall correctly. Also, I think you may mean Jennifer Connelly rather than Grey for Labyrinth.

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