HARWICH'S iconic Electric Palace has been awarded thousands of pounds to employee a dedicated archivist.

The cinema's trust has been awarded a £249,893 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to preserve its archive.

The project will see the appointment of a professional archivist, supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and will take place over three years, focusing on preserving, expanding and opening up the archive to the wider community.

Michael Offord, operations manager at the Electric Palace, said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players.

“This is an essential project as the archive is currently at risk and in urgent need of professional support and advice. As well as saving the archive, funding will help us to bring the story of the Electric Palace alive through various community focused activities.”

The archivist will undertake conservation work on unique items within the collection, including the cinemas original architects’ drawings as well as work with staff, volunteers, and the wider community.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Grand - The interior of the Electric Palace theatreGrand - The interior of the Electric Palace theatre (Image: Wikimedia/Maria)

The archivist will also specifically develop memory and school resource boxes to be shared in care homes and schools respectively and there will be a volunteer-led research programme recording the cinema’s entire historic film programme ending in a series of talks and screenings.

The Electric Palace will also draw on the work and findings of the archivist to commission a new documentary film about the story of the cinema which was built in 1911, only two years after the Cinematograph Act. 

It makes it one of the world’s oldest and least-altered purpose-built cinemas.

The Electric Palace is currently issuing a call out for volunteers to assist them with the project and for more information please contact the Electric Palace at info@electricpalace.com or visit www.electricpalace.com.