Over many years, items have been saved or donated from various cinemas and theatres around the UK. The Archive now has space to exhibit many of these artefacts contained in its collections for the first time. By no means a museum, these items nether the less provide an interesting collection that can be viewed by visitors.

An area has been set aside for seasonal exhibitions. It is hoped that this area can be used to showcase the paper collections within the Archive, with displays on different subjects changing every six to twelve months. We would welcome anyone who would like to curate an exhibition at the Archive; we can help you locate the very best material from the Archive for the display and other material, perhaps from private collections can also be displayed. If you already have material that formed an exhibition elsewhere and would like to repeat it at the Archive, we would love to hear from you. If you are interested in curating an exhibition, please contact us at: archive@cta-uk.org

For many years, long-time Southend resident Roy Dilley, author of the essential reference book Southend’s Palaces of the Silver Screen, has been collecting memorabilia from local cinemas as they closed down. In many cases this has meant dashing off at the last minute to catch workmen ‘in the act’, at which times the price of a drink or two allowed Roy to rummage through the ‘rubbish’ skips! It was just as well he did, as he has saved some absolutely unique items for posterity. We are delighted that many of these are now on display at the archive. Taking up one whole wall, this eye-catching exhibition includes posters, signage and many other items, telling the fascinating story of the glory years of many of Southend’s ‘palaces of the silver screen’.

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