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Hollywood comes to life with museum’s exhibition

Young and old have started to enjoy the new exhibition at the Novium Museum in the city centre, which opened on Saturday.


Visitors will be able to delve into the world of big-screen historical legends as part of its colourful new exhibition – Hollywood Rome: Reel Life in the Ancient World.


The exhibition, which replaces the Chichester Camera Club: A Celebration of People and Places, features stunning costumes, props and posters from some big name modern epics such as


Gladiator, Centurion, King Arthur and Ben Hur. This is the first time the touring exhibition, curated by Pop-Up Exhibitions, has been shown.


It interprets the films in the context of the history and archaeology that has inspired film-makers, presenting historical figures in a way that will connect with modern audiences and fans of historical cinema.


It also includes interactive and handling elements, original cinema posters and banners and fabric hangings used in Gladiator. There will also be a selection of memorabilia from classic ‘sword and sandal’ flicks of the 1950s and 1960s.


Museum manager Stephanie Thorndyke said: “We’re really thrilled to be able to bring this exhibition to the Novium. It’s a touring exhibition created by pop Up Exhibitions and this is the first stop on its national tour.


“It’s a subject matter which we think will really appeal to our audiences. By combining popular modern culture, epic storytelling through these high budget movie and TV productions, Hollywood glow and Roman heritage and history, which is at the heart of Chichester, we think it will really appeal to our audiences.”


Barry Chandler, director of Pop Up Exhibitions, added: “Pop Up Exhibitions are thrilled to be showing our collection of Roman-themed film and TV costumes at The Novium Museum.


“The collection has taken years to build and we are excited to see it all on display for the first time in Chichester. We are sure visitors will love it!”


A series of events organised by The Novium Museum will accompany the exhibition, including two evening talks in May:


Thursday, May 2, at 6.30pm: set and costume designer Ryan Dawson Laight will present a talk entitled ‘Pencils, Paint, Process & Performance’.


Thursday, May 16, at 6.30pm: Keith Lodwick, curator – theatre and performance at the Victoria & Albert Museum, will discuss Hollywood costume.


Tickets for the events cost £6 per person and can be booked at: or by calling 01243 816525


The exhibition runs until Sunday, September 8 and admission is free, with donations gratefully received.

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