Harwich is set for the launch of Octopus Ahoy! as Electric Palace plays host to 60 school sculptures prior to the start of the trail on 25th June. The public art trail forms part of the Harwich Project, delayed since 2020, and celebrates the 400th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Mayflower to the US from the town.

Sixty school designed Octopuses flooded into the iconic Electric Palace recently for a photoshoot and were the first guests to sit in the famous cinema since the crew of Downton Abbey visited. The cinema has long been a cherished building in the town of Harwich, and it’s amazing to see it taking part in such an exciting event taking place here this summer.

Michael Offord, Operations Director of the Electric Palace, said: “It was great to see our cinema full again even if it was filled to the brim with vibrant octopus sculptures! We even rustled up our back catalogue of 1970’s sea-themed films so they felt right at home. It’s going to be fantastic to see the town awash with these wonderful pieces of art which will bring huge footfall to Harwich and boost all the businesses that really need our support after a tough year.”

Katie Skingle, Director of KAT Marketing, said: “What’s good for Downton Abbey is good for the Octopus Ahoy! crew. Following in the footsteps of their wonderful cast is a little bit special as Harwich is the Octopus Ahoy! project’s spiritual home as its where the Mayflower famously set sail from. Mayflower 400 may have been postponed last year but the Octopus Ahoy! art trail is really going to kickstart the celebrations around Harwich, and throughout the whole of Tendring, back into top gear.”