Revamp plan for UK’s oldest cinema in London given green light

08:03 21 February 2014

The project will see the cinema

The project will see the cinema's period features restored alongside the introduction of modern film display technology (Picture: Tim Ronalds Architects 2014/PA Wire)

A £6million project to restore London’s Regent Street Cinema, the UK’s oldest, has been given the go-ahead by Westminster council, with broadcaster Sandi Toksvig also throwing her weight behind the plans.

The proposals will see the first cinema in the country to host a moving picture show exactly 118 years ago today returned to its former glory.

The venue is widely considered the birthplace of British cinema, after featuring a Lumiere brothers’ film on February 21, 1896, but has recently been used as a lecture theatre, as part of the University of Westminster.

TV and radio star Ms Toksvig described it as “a significant building”, adding the revamped venue would be an asset to the British film industry.

Ms Toksvig said: “This is the birthplace of cinema, where it all started. How fantastic for young people to be able to showcase their work, here, alongside great professionals. This cinema is a place where we can celebrate not just the past but the future.

“This is a significant building and it’s wonderful that so many who are passionate about cinema, the history of film or who have a connection with the heritage and future of the university want to be a part of it.”

The University of Westminster first announced plans to return the historic 19th century cinema in 2012.

Having so far raised £4million towards the total restoration bill, it has also today renewed its appeal for donations, including 150 seat sponsorships.

When the work is completed in April 2015, the cinema’s 200-seat auditorium will reopen to the public having closed in 1980. Work will begin in April.

Professor Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas, deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Westminster, said: “The cinema holds a unique place in the history of film-making and cinema, and it is wonderful to see that 175 years since the founding of our institution, a new and exciting phase in its history will begin.

“When it re-opens, the cinema will offer an outstanding venue in which to nurture future talent as well as provide a place where our students, alumni, industry professionals, and our community can come together and enjoy film and our shared cinema heritage.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Coronation Street star Katie McGlynn has revealed Sinead Tinker worries her injuries will put too much pressure on boyfriend Chesney Brown.

Read more

Brenda Blethyn has said she likes getting in touch with her audience of the future through Henry Hugglemonster.

Read more

New Girl star Jake Johnson admitted that his new film Digging For Fire is based on his own life.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Nothing says

iWOOT has a great selection of quirky Valentine’s Day gifts for every possible person and partner.

Top Stories

Quizzes

How well do you really know the Tube map?

Everybody thinks they know the Tube map but do you really?

Read more
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

It’s time to test your knowledge on the two London institutions: the Underground, and the boozer.

Read more
Adrian Chiles is no longer ITV's main man... so why not test your knowledge of some of his (and others') greatest gaffes? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

With news of presenter Adrian Chiles’ sacking by ITV, it’s a good time to remember some of the most memorable punditry blunders.

Read more