Arts and Entertainment

We hand-pick only the best self-catering holiday cottages, so we know how hard it will be to drag yourselves away… but Suffolk has a wealth of venues just waiting to give you a good night out.

There’s always something happening at Southwold Arts Centre, the town’s entertainment hub that has a year-round programme of events. A useful Visitor Information Point, St Edmund’s Hall hosts Southwold Arts Festival in June, the ever-popular Summer Theatre from July to September, the Ways With Words literary festival in November and seasonal productions by a local panto group… plus it’s a meeting place for a Jazz Appreciation Society, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Southwold Decorative and Fine Arts Society.

Just a short stroll from here, The Electric Picture Palace is one of the most stylish independent cinemas in the county. Seating just 70, it evokes the heyday of cinema-going – you’ll be greeted by a commissionaire, usherettes and a front-of-house manager, a ‘Tiny Wurlitzer’ organ rises during the interval and the National Anthem is played at the end of each screening.The title of Suffolk’s oldest independent cinema belongs to Leiston Film Theatre, which opened in 1914 and has traded continuously ever since. But just slightly further south, Aldeburgh Cinema has been screening films since 1919 – threatened with closure in the 1960s, a group of locals including Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears banded together to purchase and run it for the benefit of the community. 

On the subject of Britten, don’t miss the chance to visit Snape Maltings, home of the Aldeburgh Festival, a world-famous classical music event founded by Benjamin Britten in 1948. Seaside theatres are found at both ends of the Suffolk coastline. The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft started life in the 1870s as a roller-skating rink – after the owners erected a makeshift stage it was renamed it The Rink Theatre and today it offers an eclectic programme with everything children’s productions to shows streamed live from the National Theatre in London. And to the south, Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion – originally opened as The New Floral Hall in 1909 – has survived Second World War bombing damage and dereliction and now hosts a range of stage and music events. 


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