Entertainment and Arts in Purbeck

Our guide to the great selection of entertainment and arts attractions and events located in and around Purbeck

Purbeck's Cinema and Theatre

For regular cinema and theatre productions check out The Mowlem Theatre and cinema, located by the sea in Swanage,  which boasts over 200 films and up to 100 live theatre performances every year! For a really traditional cinema experience visit  The Rex in Wareham, one of the oldest cinemas in the UK which also has a good, varied selection of films on offer. The cinema has also been lovingly restored in the Art Deco style – including a charming little bar and Hollywood style toilets!

For film enthusiasts don’t miss the Purbeck Film Festival which takes place every autumn. The festival sees a large variety of local venues turn into pop-up cinemas in Purbeck.  The Rex Cinema and Mowlem Theatre also support the festival, showing a number of movies. Find out more at the Purbeck Film Festival website.

Enjoy Great Movies and Theatre by the Sea!
One of the oldest cinemas in the UK
Inside The Mowlem Cinema and Theatre Swanage Purbeck
Swanage's Independent cinema
Movie themed Toilets at The Rex Cinema in Wareham Dorset
The Rex Cinema's Art Deco Hollywood style loo!

Open Air Cinema in Purbeck

There is also a regular programme of open air cinema in Purbeck during the summer –  at some of the most popular local attractions such as Corfe Castle, Lulworth Castle and the Blue Pool. The usually show some great family favourites movies during the school holidays. 

Find up coming events on our What’s On page. 

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Open Cinema at The Blue Pool in Wareham, Purbeck
The Blue Pool near Wareham has open air cinema during the summer holidays

Purbeck’s annual festivals and music concerts

This area of Dorset also has a busy schedule of annual festivals every year including Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle, a fun music festival for the whole family; the Purbeck Valley Folk Festival; the Swanage Blues Festival which brings an amazing collection of Blues Musicians to Swanage every year and the Swanage Jazz Festival, bringing over 40 Jazz musicians to Swanage.

For classical music lovers there is the Purbeck International Chamber of Music Festival,  held every Autumn in historic locations such as Purbeck’s beautiful historic churches and houses.

There’s also a good variety of pop- up concerts from choral and classical groups to local pop and rock bands throughout the year. Find out more on the Visit Purbeck Dorset What’s On Pages.

Artsreach is a local Dorset charity which brings live performances to venues across rural Dorset including Purbeck. Find out more on the Artsreach website.

Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle near Purbeck is a popular live music festival for families

Local entertainment, cinema and live music events in Purbeck

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May 2024
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The Arts in Purbeck

The arts scene is also popular in Purbeck. The natural beauty of the area has attracted many artists to Purbeck and there are a number of galleries in the area. Durlston Castle is home to the Fine Foundation Gallery which has exhibitions throughout the year from local artists and photographers. 

There is also annual festival Purbeck Art Weeks held every year in May or June. Showcasing the work of local artists with exhibitions and pop up galleries throughout the area. They also have a series of live music concerts in various locations in throughout Purbeck. Find out more about them at the PAW Festival website.

Durlston Country Park and Castle

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