Aldeburgh Cinema has been screening films continuously since 1919 when the auditorium was built onto the back of a 19th century High Street store. Never a ‘posh picture palace’ the cinema has a glorious atmosphere - it breathes history. The auditorium retains a number of original features, including a number of beautiful art deco lights.
For many years the cinema was privately run until in the mid-1960s there was the threat of closure. A group of local people, led by Lettie Gifford (whose contribution is recognised by plaques in the Foyer and the delightful walled garden at the rear of the building) and including composer Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears, banded together to purchase the cinema and run it on behalf of the local community. Since then the cinema has effectively been a community enterprise with no economic interests and in 2013 this was reflected by its status as a Registered Charity.
Over the years National Lottery grants have enabled significant refurbishment and upgrade work to the foyer and auditorium seating. The cinema’s film and special events programme consists of the very best of world cinema at the heart of the community, and aims to be inspirational, meaningful and fun.