Coronet Printroom

103-111 Notting Hill Gate,
London, W11 3LB

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Showing 26 - 50 of 63 comments

Sharkbytes on November 30, 2005 at 6:28 am

Hi Ken. As a newbie here I don’t know how to email you. I think I may have moved on by the time you came to Classic. The Manager was my friend Marcus Wedge with whom like all local cinema managers we had very good relationship. Lending icecream, kiaora orange, getting drunk, that sort of thing. I think I met Martin. The Classic had Cinnemechanicas that we envied…though history shows that our ancient Kallees were the really “proper” grown up machines with popping arcs and clanking change-overs. That said I do know your name so perhaps paths crossed. Park Royal. Morden? Didn’t know many Classic mgrs. Terry Herold at Balham a notable exception. And Bryan Yeoman…But will save these names for email lest other readers are bored.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 30, 2005 at 5:38 am

Hi sharkbytes; Thanks for posting your reminicences of your time at the Coronet and more about its history. I don’t know if you were still there when I was Manager of the nearby Classic Cinema (now Gate Picture House) in 1968 to 1970ish and we may know each other? Can you remember Martin Lamb who was chief projectionist at the Coronet at that period of time? I am still in touch with him. E-mail me if you would like further information.

Sharkbytes on November 30, 2005 at 4:50 am

I was Manager of the Coronet (then Gaumont, one of Rank Organisation’s mighty chain) for a couple of years from 1965. Despite the problems inherent in managing a theatre largely unchanged from its heyday in the 1890s when Irving, Bernhardt, Terry et al had trodden its boards I look back on it as an unique experience.

After twenty years of legitimate theatre (its performances always critiqued in no less an organ than The Times) it became a silent cinema. The original 1100+ seating was considerably lessened by the closure for safety reasons of the very steeply raked upper circle. (Seats had also been removed in the Dress (or lower) Circle to accommodate the projection beam from the adjacent Operating Box). That upper circle was a time-warp, the key had simply been turned in the doors four decades before.

By the time I arrived the cinema was ‘off-release’, the product-cream going to Rank’s Odeon Bayswater. This had the virtue of allowing me to have a hand in booking what audiences suggested. This was a time of continuous performances from 1.00pm till 11.00, double-feature and the ‘Look at Life’ magazine programme that had replaced Gaumont British News some years before.

That Sixties Notting Hill, of race-riots, flower-power and some extremely pungeant smoking is a far cry from the upmarket neighbourhood now. But I remember the Coronet with affection.
The box at stage OP which had been King Edward’s had by my time become nothing more than a popcorn storage cupboard.
I recall the extraordinary lesbian-paintings with which an unknown patron adorned the plaster scrolls in the Circle ladies one afternoon, (an unusually boring matinee perhaps?). Little masterpieces which decorum -and an agitated Regional Controller – dictated my painting over in white emulsion. They are probably still to be found if you scrape carefully. The stage was still a fully-equipped Victorian stage, the fly area still displaying old-fashioned sailor pegs used to secure the ropes of flying scenery. Old war-time posters disclosed its understage area to have been a WW2 air raid shelter.
And it had a ghost. I remember Peter Hall, then Manager of the Rank flagship theatre, Odeon Leicester Square, seeking me out at a press show expressly to ask if I had experienced the spectre (which I had) and was identical to his experience some thirty years earlier when he too had managed the theatre.

I am glad that the Coronet survives in a list of diminishing silver screens. Long may it do so.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 11, 2005 at 5:55 am

A 1968 exterior photograph of the Gaumont, Notting Hill here:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 27, 2005 at 12:06 am

Some photographs of the Coronet Cinema here:

movieworld on January 6, 2005 at 12:47 pm

Programme times for the CORONET can be seen in The Evening Standard, and their wab-site and

movieworld on October 14, 2004 at 12:13 pm

The Notting Hill Film Festival is taking place at THE CORONET at the
moment and ends on the 17th October.

movieworld on October 9, 2004 at 5:32 pm

When I was at the GAUMONT (coronet) about 1974 it was still two
Kalee 21s,and change overs. Then they got the cinemacannica Vic 8
with the tower.The Vic 8 is still there,but the tower has been replaced by a cake stand.And another cinema(screen two),has been built on the stage area.

kiwidownunder on October 8, 2004 at 3:29 pm

Yes our paths must have crossed at sometime.I was also there when Rank re furnished and re seated the cinema,and changed the projection equipment to a single spool,cinemacannica,and a 16 mm projector to show the old classics.We showed the first Al Jolson films half sound and half silent.Then there was Bette Davis in bobby socks with Leslie Howard,Humphrey Bogart in Petrified Forest.
I use to be relief projectionist several times at Westbourne Grove,Twickenham,Aylesbury,Holloway,Ilford,Shepherds Bush(Odeon 2)
Bury St Edmunds,Seven Oaks,Elephant & Castle,Cosham,Barking,Golders Green,Watford.
It was great tour of all the Rank cinemas at the time.
Wonderful days.
Please to have any emails anytime who remember or worked in those .nz

movieworld on October 7, 2004 at 11:49 am

I was at the GAUMONT in the early 70s before going to the west-end,
I think the last film I ran there was “The Way We Were” Robert Redford.Were you there then? I may Know you!It was handed over to the
Shermans about 1974 who brought back the original name CORONET.They
were indeed great days.I have “Summer of 42” on video.Nice to hear
from you!

kiwidownunder on October 6, 2004 at 5:29 pm

No more discussion about flies,thank goodness!
I loved the classics in the Coronet when I showed them in the seventies,Casabalanca,Gone With the Wind,Busby Berkley Films (Gold Diggers,Dames) Bette Davis and later classics Summer of 42,Walkabout,Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau greats!
Oh what great halycon days of the cinema and now we have some really pitiful remakes of films from those days.

movieworld on October 6, 2004 at 5:12 pm

The new owners are bringing the CORONET into the new millennium.

nickc on October 6, 2004 at 1:07 pm

Hi rob
A blue bottle is a large fly.

RobertR on October 5, 2004 at 12:29 pm

What are blue bottles?


nickc on October 5, 2004 at 12:19 pm

Thats good to know about those smelly old toilets, i once was attacked by a swarm of blue bottles in the gents, not nice
Good job they wer'nt showing THE FLY

movieworld on September 22, 2004 at 4:44 pm

The new owners of the CORONET have a refurbishment programme up
and running at the present time,which includes the toilets!While the show continues with the usual outstanding presentation both in picture and sound.
With their state of the art digital sound system,and cinemacannica
projection equipment,as is used at the ODEON Leicester Square.

nickc on September 21, 2004 at 3:30 pm

My 10%’s worth
Hi I visited the coronet a few weeks ago and to my surprise i did not know one of the staff, after reading the local cinema booklet of
the cinema news ect i was so shocked because the center page was a so call group shot of staff who had worked there for years, yeh right
Not one of the faces had worked the before, and i should know being an ex employee. I worked for the coronet for about 7 years when paul was the manager the nice old guy with the pipe, everybody liked him.
Paul died about 4 years ago not long after they the old head office crew booted him out with no redendency pay (tight crew) black hat mob
long beards if you know what i mean.
The old crew were most upset when a guy called joe constantine took over management the locals were overheard saying he could'nt organise
a p****** in a brewery and they were right and it was the wrong image
for the old place. Any way i have very fond memories of the place and some good stories to tell

movieworld on September 20, 2004 at 6:58 pm

Hi kiwidownunder!
Kalee 21 Projectors,Change overs.The manager Les Palmer
eventually went to the ODEON BARNET and the
short fat one went to the ODEON SWISS COTTAGE.

mba1 on May 23, 2004 at 12:48 pm

Both the manager and the assistant manager were retained along with the projectionist. I hope this helps clarify my statement

nastyman on May 23, 2004 at 4:31 am

REPLY TO mba1 dated on 20 may 2004 11.46 am

As a customer,i totally agree with what Humbleman said about your organization.It’s a blatant lie on your part to state that you retained all the staff at the coronet cinema.When i walked in the other day i could hardly spot the usual joyful team.Morevoer , i learnt that apparently just the managers were kept to work in the cinema.Anyway , i always had a fantastic time in the cinema until now.Thanks to the cheering crew!!

mba1 on May 21, 2004 at 1:51 am

Regarding the vintage postcard photo at the top of the page, does anyone know where I can get a copy or good download of it?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 20, 2004 at 3:38 pm

I saw “Malcolm X” there, and you could smoke in the balcony, which many did!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 20, 2004 at 9:29 am

The Cinema Theatre Association here in the UK welcomes the news that the Coronet will now be retained and run as a cinema. We also welcome proposed plans to restore the historic fabric of the building in the near future (suject to consultation with English Heritage, The Theatre’s Trust and the Cinema Theatre Association I hope)

I regularly attend this cinema in preference to going for the multiplex ‘experience’ as it has an exciting atmosphere and feel to it, rather than sitting in a ‘black box’. Ok. the cinema has been a bit run down over many years, but this is now a great oportunitity to make this cinema the centrepoint of the neighborhood again.

Notting Hill has been for many years a cinemagoers paradise as can be vouched for by the now successful restoration of the Electric Cinema, Portobello Road, (one of England’s oldest cinemas, still in operation since 1910, and the Gate Cinema (operating as a cinema from 1911) almost adjacent to the Coronet in Notting Hill which now operates as a succesful ‘art house’ cinema. To have three cinemas operating in one area just shows the enthusiasm of the locals and cinema buffs who attend them. Could it also be that they are all Listed buildings as well, I wonder?

Anyway, long live the Coronet, and I hope the current owners have a long and successful tenure there.