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Diss to remember its picture house with events to commemorate 50 years since it closed

A series of events in commemoration of 50 years since the closure of Diss Picture House will run over the next fortnight.

The first, on Friday will see Diss Museum manager, Basil Abbott, give a talk at Diss and District Bowls Club, in Lower Denmark Street, called 'Remembering Diss Picture House' at 2pm.

On March 3, 1973, the lights of Diss Picture House in Victoria Road, went out for the last time and Mr Abbott's talk will go over some of the wonderful memories people had about the cinema.

Diss Museum manager Basil Abbott. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Diss Museum manager Basil Abbott. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Then Diss Museum will open on Saturday, March 11, with a film parade, starting from near the old cinema at 10.30am, before making its way to the Market Place.

Entertainment outside the museum will include film songs by local singer Mandy Chambers, who is related to the early picture house owners.

Guest of honour will be 97-year-old Denis Clarke, who remembers the silent films in the original cinema.

A nostalgic exhibition in the museum features the box office glass, loaned by the Grange Musical Collection at Palgrave.

On the evening of March 11, the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band will perform in St Mary’s Church at 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale at Sanda’s, opposite the museum.

As it is also the 80th anniversary of Casablanca, the Corn Hall will show the film on Wednesday, March 15, at 10.30am and 7.30pm, with a free glass of wine to anyone in Casablanca costume.

Embracing the theme, Amandines Restaurant, in Norfolk Yard, will serve Moroccan food on the day the museum opens and the following week, Wednesday to Saturday.

Hughes Electrical, which now occupies the old building, will have a Picture House display in its window.

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