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Closing on 14th August 2016.
This cinema on several accounts has seriously suffered since the opening of Cineworld Wembley in October 2013, with dated facilities and extreme absence of customers – on my last few visits there in 2014-15 I’ve mostly had the entire screen to myself. On one occasion the film wasn’t started at all, another time it was randomly moved to another screen with no notification from staff, meaning the audience sat in a silent screen for several minutes only for another customer to inform them the film had actually started several minutes earlier in another screen.
Can’t see it lasting long although it does have free parking, and if quiet cinemas are your thing it’s worth checking out.
This cinema seriously suffered when the nearby Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue closed in September 2014. This used to be an excellent location for less-mainstream films with Shaftesbury Avenue sticking to the Hollywood hits, but with SA’s closure and conversion into a Picturehouse it now shows an erratic mixture of everything, as the comments above confirm.
And there’s rats. Lots of them. The occasional screaming of a customer as one nips across the floor and brushes a leg is fairly commonplace, at least it was on my last visit there in early 2015. Fairly unacceptable in today’s age but I imagine there’s little the staff can do.
The website proudly states “All Tickets, Everyday all day £3.50” which is unbelieveably cheap for 2015.
£3.95 tickets for most films on a Tuesday makes this easily one of the least expensive cinemas in the London area as of April 2015.
There’s a phone box in Whitechapel which as of December 2014 continues to advertise the “new” UGC cinema, fourteen years after open and nine years after becoming a Cineworld. It even proudly displays the UGC Megapass, which eventually evolved into the Cineworld Unlimited card.
As perhaps imagined due to the huge amount of former owners, the inside styling is a mishmash of 1990s and 2000s design from its various former incarnations.
The top floor (screens 6 to 9) in particular appears to have been completely untouched since around the turn of the millennium, to the point where as of February 2015 it continues to advertise the long, long closed Virgin Megastore on the ground floor – a brand defunct since 2007!
The black area with the Cineworld logo on the left was converted into a large window looking into the foyer in January 2015.
This cinema was the last place I saw a 35mm screening to date, ‘One Day’ in August 2011 in one of the smaller screens. It was the last Odeon in the country to be fully converted to digital in November that year.
Still as of 2014 displaying obsolete ABC logos around the entrance, many years after said cinema chain went defunct!
Apparently this was the last cartoon cinema left in the UK when it closed with ‘The Hound that Thought He was a Raccoon’ on August 27th, 1981. I’d been told by my father about them but I never knew how long they lasted.
Although accessing a screen often involved going up a frustratingly large number of escalators, it’s a still a shame it closed. It had formed a good partnership with the Cineworld Haymarket down the road in that Shaftesbury Avenue would normally show the big, populist blockbusters and Haymarket the smaller art-house films, although sometimes one would be in the other – the last film I saw here was ‘The Congress’ a few weeks before it closed. The disinterest of some of the staff was apparent who probably already knew they were losing their jobs, but I did like the random appearance of a Dalek by one of the escalators, constructed by a staff member for the 2013 50th anniversary episode and left there ever since. Wonder where that is now.
Poor Haymarket now has a challenge in what films it can fit into its three screens. The Fulham Road/Chelsea cinemas have a similar sharing of content between them (situated minutes walk away from each other) but the distribution seems a bit more random there, both big and smaller releases shared between both cinemas.
And still open as of March 2014, as mentioned friendly staff but with an interior seemingly unaltered for at least about 20 years. A bit like stepping back in time.
Interesting to hear – when I went just last month it was still very much stuck in the Virgin/UGC days of the late 1990s.
Still open as of February 2014 and seemingly no sign of closure.
Can anyone confirm if Disney’s ‘101 Dalmatians’ was shown here around VE Day in 1995? I have a childhood memory of going to an Odeon which was bombed during the war and a short film being played about the rebuilding, then 101 Dalmatians afterwards. The description of both this and the previous cinema on the site seems to match it, if so I was lucky enough to see this cinema before the dividing.
Notable until recently for its popular ‘Cheap Day Monday’ screenings, which at £3.95 (2011-12 price) were some of the cheapest in London. These ended in about October 2012, a similar (though slightly more expensive) ‘Super Tuesday’ scheme, mirroring Cineworld, runs as of November 2013.
Stunned to see this demolished despite only being twenty years old. It’s been a very controversial demolition in the Willesden area but apparently a ‘cultural centre’ will be built in its place.
After the ABC Hendon closed in early 1997, this became our usual cinema. Aged 8 I saw the Special Edition re-releases of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ here. As far as I remember it still kept its very 70s beige interior even then, and felt a bit like you were stepping back in time – especially when the films were as old as the cinema!
Many happy memories of this cinema – we moved nearby in 1995 and this became our local until closure. There was a little newsagent by it where everyone would buy food and drinks for much cheaper than in the auditorium!
Even at this time there was a ‘Saturday Kids Club’ where a magician or other entertainer would perform on the stage before the feature – something I’ve never seen since and must have seemed like from a bygone age even then! But to my seven year old eyes it was great, and I was disappointed when it closed.
I’m pretty sure this was my first ever cinema! I saw Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ there at the end of 1993 as a five year old. Not the most exciting or remembered of places (absolutely no photos of it on Flickr I can find, they’re all of its predecessor) but simply looking at the above reminds me of the excitement of seeing such a big screen for the first time.