Wayland Hall Cinema

Middle Street,
Watton, IP25 6AG

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Functions: Museum

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Wayland Hall Cinema

In Watton, Norfolk, situated between Dereham and Thetford, the first talking pictures were screened at the Wayland Hall Cinema on 18th December 1933. This had been built as a Town Hall in 1835 and had a large room on the upper floor. A raked floor was installed, together with tip-up seats. The first film offering was “The Midshipmaid”, starring Jessie Matthews.

According to the 1935 Kinematograph Year Book, a Morrison sound system had been installed, and the proprietor at that time was Frank E. Yeates. There was one show nightly, with two shows on Saturdays.

By 1940 the Wayland Hall Cinema was owned by Mrs G. Yeates, presumably a relative.

The 1946 Kinematograph Year Book lists the Wayland Hall Cinema as being closed.

It is not known what use the building (or the upper floor) was put to over the years but, in November 2016, the Hall became home to the Museum 4 Watton.

Contributed by David Simpson
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