The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

Image of museum objects
Guided tours icon Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is home to one of the largest collections of material relating to the moving image in Britain. We are both an accredited public museum and an academic research facility and we hold a collection of over 75,000 items. Over 1,000 of our items are on display in our Galleries and are available to be viewed by the public 7 days a week.

Venue Type:

Museum, Library, Archive

Opening hours

The museum galleries are open 10am-5pm 7 days a week
We are open on Bank Holidays, except between Christmas and New Year when the building is closed.

Admission charges


The Centre houses one of the largest collections of film- and cinema-related memorabilia in the UK, including Disney toys, posters, film stills, sheet music, postcards, campaign material and an extensive library. The collections also represent the wealth of Victorian optical entertainments, including shadow puppets, magic lanterns, panoramas, zoetropes and peepshows. Items not on display can be consulted in the research centre, which is open Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm.

Collection details

Archives, Film and Media, Literature, Performing Arts, Personalities, Photography, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, cinema studios, Star Wars, blockbusters, Lumiere cinematographe, Alfred Hitchcock, Hollywood, silent cinema, magic lanterns, panoramas, optical toys
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Film before film: a history of the moving image

FREE teacher's resource pack for exploring the history of cinema and the pre-cinematic moving image. Includes lesson plans, background material and images. Themes include: playing with light (shadows and shadow puppets); projection and the magic lantern; 19th-century animation; film stars (their creation and marketing). Use of the pack can be combined with a visit to the Bill Douglas Centre, including a tailor-made tour and activities. Suitable for upper KS2 and lower KS3.


  • Pippa Marriot
  • Hester Higton

How to obtain

Order forms available by e-mail from or by post from The Bill Douglas Centre, University of Exeter, The Old Library, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PT

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum
University of Exeter
Old Library
Prince of Wales Road




01392 724321

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.