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The Metro Cinema opened on 15th January 1981 with a special screening of Jacques Tati in “Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday” followed the next day when the general public were admitted, with Derek Jarman’s “The Tempest”.
It is housed in the former lecture theatre of the Derby College of Art, a Victorian building which dates from 1876 and was designed in the Gothic style by architect F.W. Waller of Waller & Son, Gloucester. Today the building is part of Derby University and is known as the Derby Central School of Art. It was set up as one of several Regional Theatres funded by the British Film Institute in conjunction with Derby City Council and the East Midlands Arts Board. All these bodies still support the funding of the operation of the building.
The Metro Cinema remained open as Derby’s only outlet for art house films and drew a large and regular audience of discerning patrons who saw here films that the city’s two multiplexes will not screen.
In October 2006, the Metro Cinema, Green Lane was closed due to the lease expiring. It moved temporarily into the Heap Lecture Theatre at the Keddleston Road Campus of the University of Derby where a 35mm projector and a digital projector were installed.
The Metro Cinema moved into its new home at the newly built 2-screen Quad Cinema on 28th September 2008.
The Grade II Listed building in Green Lane stood empty and unused until it was re-opened in December 2012 as a theatre rehearsal space for Derby Theatre.
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