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The Final Reel (2016)

From the early days of silent cinema, through the golden age of the picture palace to the modern multiplexes and beyond, The Final Reel takes an affectionate and entertaining look at our nations' obsession with cinema.


Jonathan Blagrove


John Hurt




Credited cast:
John Hurt ... Narrator (voice)


This feature length documentary tells the fascinating story of how cinemas and cinema-going have developed and flourished over the years - even in some of the most rural parts of England. Along the way we will meet some of the colourful characters that are a key part of this narrative and hear the tales of how they kept the audience coming back. For many people their local cinema is their favourite place in the world, their second home, and their last community space. The Final Reel is a film that celebrates local cinemas - past and present - and our timeless obsession with the buildings, films, film stars and the people that spend their lives in-thrall of them. The Final Reel features a mix of actuality, interviews and archive material and offers an entertaining overview of the history of cinema-going in Norfolk and a snapshot of cinema-going in England today. It also asks the question; Is this the Final Reel in the story of cinema or just another chapter in its continuing ... Written by Coda Films

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obsession | See All (1) »


The story of our love affair with cinemas




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References Young and Willing (1962) See more »

User Reviews

The Final Reel - a smashing documentary celebrating Norfolk's love for cinema!
10 September 2016 | by ZeeCobraSee all my reviews

Cinema and film in the United Kingdom, and more specifically addressed towards Norfolk, is rich in history and significantly influential to the film industry as a whole. Despite this, it's contribution to the industry and the fascinating bygone days have been largely forgotten to the majority of people, covered through a thick cloud. However, justice has finally been served in the latest feature length documentary The Final Reel.

Directed by Jonathan Blagrove, produced by Marc Atkinson and co- produced by Jonathan and Anna Blagrove, The Final Reel is a feature length documentary featuring interviews from the colourful figures associated with Norfolk's cinema and narrated by John Hurt. It tells the story of how cinema has developed over the years and our obsession, love and passion for film and asks the question on whether it is indeed the final reel for cinema-going.

First and foremost, The Final Reel perfectly details cinema throughout Norfolk, containing a number of consistently engaging and interesting interviews that surprisingly provide a lot of funny yet moving stories surrounding the management of staff and experiences from audience members. It's a great balance between the two perspectives that helps to invoke a lot of emotion from all ages. Historically, the film is clearly well-researched – although it's not as broad as it could be, the specific exploration of Norfolk cinema still applies to every area of the industry and John Hurt's pleasing voice helps to provide satisfying narration. Add in some great camera-work and tight editing and it's a complete package.

More importantly though is it's message regarding the future of cinema. We are, in my honest opinion, unfortunately entering a digital era. It's natural for us to evolve with the times, and while there are upsides to this, the rise of more convenient ways to watch media, like large streaming services as Netflix is resulting in a rapid decline of the best way to experience a movie – at the cinema. The Final Reel honestly addresses these issues, assuring the audience that the preservation of the pictures is ongoing, leading to the title and the answer to the question regarding whether this is the 'final reel' for cinema. It's a profound conclusion and one that is truly affecting and stirring, boosting myself and everyone else's undying love for film.

No matter the circumstances, The Final Reel is a highly satisfying, beautifully filmed, entertaining, inspirational and informative documentary that perfectly captures the magic of cinema effectively and thoughtfully. Major appreciation goes to Blagrove and the filmmakers for creating a truly passionate piece throughout that gives proper recognition to the key figures that deserve it, ending on a positive note regarding the future of cinema whilst assuring the viewers that cinema in Norfolk and everywhere else will continue to be supported throughout the years; The Final Reel is simply stellar.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

9 September 2016 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Norwich, Norfolk, England, UK See more »


Box Office


GBP20,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Coda Films See more »
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Technical Specs


| (DVD)



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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