1935 Margate welcomed a cutting edge Art-Deco style cinema to its seafront.
Cutting edge at the time and still looking modern today,
Give someone a pencil, ask them to draw a Margate building and the chances are that they will come up with an interpretation of the wonderful Art Deco-style cinema on the sea front. Cutting edge at the time and still looking modern today, the 80-foot fin atop the 2200-seater cinema was part architectural statement and part advert for the amusement park to which it was linked . The neon signage lit up the night sky, bringing much-needed glamour to the era of the Great Depression, which also happened to be cinema’s boom years.
The Dreamland cinema was opened in 1935 and replaced a smaller cinema on the site. The building is considered to be a modernist masterpiece. The ‘super-cinema’, designed by architects Julian Leathart and WF Granger, was a tourist attraction in itself, with fans of modernist architecture willing to travel to just stop and stare at the exterior. The cinema’s design would be hugely influential on the development of modern cinema chains across the UK.
The interior was as grand as the exterior (signified by the building later being afforded Grade II* listing), with the cinema boasting lounges and bars, as well as air conditioning, which was vital in those times when 75% of the audience would have smoked their way through the main feature.
The cinema, whose Compton cinema organ is still intact, is very much a part of the Dreamland project. Restoration will create a 3000-seater venue for performance and conferences, as well as providing a centre for celebrating popular culture.
SUPPORT THE FUTURE
OF DREAMLANDS HISTORY & HERITAGE
As a registered charity, the Trust are always grateful for support and rely on your generosity and donations to ensure that we can continue to conserve and promote Dreamland’s rich heritage.
If you would like to support The Dreamland Heritage Trust you can make a one off donation via a cheque or bank transfer or you can set up a direct debit if you would like to make a regular contribution.Banks Details - Bank: CAF Bank, Sort Code: 40 52 40, Account: 00030605, Charity Commission Number 1160517