Electric Palace Local Arthouse Cinema

Local arthouse cinema: Electric Palace

Small independent cinemas are something of a rarity these days, but the Electric Palace in Hastings, 30 minutes drive from Rye, is a rather brilliant exception. Since it opened in 2003 the Electric Palace Cinema has become an arthouse fixture in the area, providing a captivating alternative form of entertainment. In the process Hastings has become an unexpected fixture on the arthouse film circuit, and known for its film festivals, several of which now happen each year at this and other venues.

The cinema was founded by a pair of local film makers, Rebecca Marshall and Rachel Pearson, with the aim to create a place to show a wide range of films for the local community to enjoy. According to Rebecca Marshall the pair set up the cinema because of their lifelong love of Hastings and of film itself.

As Rebecca Marshall explained in an article on Hastings News Online last autumn: 

“Starting with an empty white room we initially set up with a pot of red paint, some basic equipment and rather uncomfortable chairs. Since then we've gradually improved the facilities and interior, with the addition of a licensed bar and a new Film Council funded projector, and of course our classic 1930s golden seats.”

An earlier age of cinema

With the new seats and bar, the cinema really provides a fantastic evening out, evocative of an earlier age of cinema. The new seats are complete with dedication plaques, each designed by a local artist. The cinema receives a vast majority of five star reviews online by those who visit, with visitors describing it as “wonderful”, “quirky and brilliant”, “quaint” and “about the whole experience”. As Marshall herself puts it:

“My favourite thing about running the cinema is sitting at the back and witnessing a mixed group of people all held spellbound by a story on the screen. It’s quite a peculiar thing really, all these strangers sharing this experience; it’s like a primitive thing in a way.”

The programme of the cinema is constantly being updated, with an aim to show a diverse range of arthouse and world cinema films, and is informed by visitors too.

Check out the venue’s website  to see what’s on offer when you’re staying with us at Flackley Ash, and consider making the trip to Hastings to experience this unique cinematic gem.