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Bill Douglas Centre - History of Cinema

  • Exeter
  • Indoor
  • Ages 9+
  • Museums and Art Galleries

Attraction Information

Bill Douglas Centre (History of Cinema) is a public museum and an academic research centre that contains one of the largest collections of prints, books, and artefacts relating to the history of cinema and the moving image. It is open daily and free to visit, making for an interesting day out with the kids that won't break the bank!

Discover the changes that have occurred in the medium of visual entertainment over the last 200 years and how far they have come since the early experiments with shadows, mirrors and puppets! The collection of 75,000 artefacts is pretty diverse, but linked by an emphasis of the audience experience of the moving image.

There is so much to see, including rare panorama and diorama items, Magic Lantern slides (over 650!), plus a large number of items that demonstrate optical illusions. You can learn about early cinema and see loads of items relating to great film stars such as Greta Garbo and James Dean. The museum also contains plenty of items relating to animation, including the largest collection of Disney resources in the whole of the UK!

Follow the history of British cinema through thousands of items from the Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s to modern day and everything in between! There is also plenty of publicity material from all ages, including Lobby Cards from Disney's 1940 Fantasia and the 1988 horror film ‘The Blob'.

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Opening hours

Monday to Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Closed 24th December to 1st January 2017.


Free admission

Travel & Contact Information


University of Exeter, The Old Library, Exeter, Devon, EX4 4SB, England

Phone number

01392 264321



Click here to visit Bill Douglas Centre - History of Cinema's website.

FAQ & Additional Information

Yes, there is parking nearby.

Yes, there are toilets and accessible toilets.

No, there are no baby changing facilities.

Bill Douglas Centre - History of Cinema has not told us if you can bring a picnic.

Bill Douglas Centre - History of Cinema has not told us about their dining options.

Yes, Bill Douglas Centre - History of Cinema is wheelchair friendly and has accessible toilets.

No, Bill Douglas Centre - History of Cinema have stated they are not pushchair friendly.

Bill Douglas Centre - History of Cinema has not told us if they are dog friendly.

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