Pam Griffin kept these programmes for The Exchange Cinema in Dereham from 1960-1961. She adored going there and still loves the cinema today, as do her children.
The Exchange cinema was developed in East Dereham’s Corn Exchange (built in 1857) It opened as a silent cinema in 1926. Pam’s programs are from the early 1960s, just before the stalls area was transformed into a dance hall. The dance hall enable the cinema to survive dwindling audiences from the 50s.
Taking you back to The Exchange Cinema in 1960, films such as The Lost World, Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure, Lets get Married, Operation Bullshine, The Angry Silence and many more were all screened between Monday to Saturday. Then into 1961, films such as The Entertainer, The Glenn Miller Story and The Time Machine. The programme shows underneath the film’s title whether or not the film was screened in CinemaScope or Technicolor or sometimes even both. The left hand column provides the date of the screening, with ‘Three Days’ written underneath which we assume to be the length of time it would be shown within the cinema and the right hand column shows the main actors in the film.
The bottom half of the programme displays programmes specifically for a Sunday audience. These films mainly followed the Western and Action Adventure genre with films such as The Lone Ranger, Arrowhead, Count 3 and Pray, One Desire and more. They were one off screenings changing every Sunday of the month, the dates are shown in the left hand column in the programme.
On all the films listed underneath are the names of a supporting film shown before the actual film that was planned to be screened and also the certificate of the film with the majority classed as ‘U’ (Universal) apart from The Entertainer and a few others that were in fact ‘X’ rated and unsuitable for persons under the age of 16.
On the back of the programme there is also a list of the performance times as well as promoting their Children’s Club which was held every Saturday afternoon at 1.45pm.
The back of the program also reveals that films were shown as continuous programs from 5pm. From the end of 1960 and into 1961 the cinema only screened one performance for half the week from 7.15, perhaps indicate a fall in attendances.