Picturehouse Central

Great Windmill Street and Shaftesbury Avenue,
London, W1D 7DH

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Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue at the Trocadero in November 2008

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the Trocadero Building, which opened as the Trocadero Palace of Varieties Theatre on 30th October 1882. It later became the Royal Trocadero Music Hall and then the Eden Theatre which closed on 24th February 1894. Over the following decades the building went through many uses, was gutted internally and partially re-built and the site expanded to include a Lyons Corner House restaurant and cabaret room.

A 7-screen multiplex cinema opened on 1st November 1991 as the MGM Trocadero Cinemas. Seating was originally provided for 1,393, later reduced to 1,293. The entrance was originally on Great Windmill Street and the cinema was reached via escalators which led to an upstairs foyer which had hanging on its walls, several 100 years old painted murals by artist Gerald Moira depicting an Arthurian scenes. These had originally been hung in the building when it was a restaurant.

MGM were later taken over by Virgin, who in turn were taken over by UGC and they operated the cinemas until mid-2005 when Cineworld took control. By 2008, the foyer and box office area had been transferred into an a space previously occupied by the Pepsi IMAX Cinema inside the Trocadero Centre, with entrances on Coventry Street and Shaftesbury Avenue.

The Cineworld was closed on 21st September 2014, to be converted into a 7-screen art house cinema, operated by Picturehouse Cinemas (now a subsidiary of Cineworld). It was designed by architectural firm Panter Hudsmith Architects. A new entrance was created at the corner of Great Windmill Street and Shaftesbury Avenue. A ‘soft’ opening of some of the screens began in mid-June 2015, with the official opening on 19th June 2015. There are 1,001 seats. The main Screen 1 has 341 seats and is equipped with 70mm and digital 4K DCP. plus Dolby Atmos sound. Screen 2 has 177 seats and has a wall-to-wall floating screen. Opening films included:“London Road”, Jurassic World", the Indonesian genocide documentary “The Look of Silence” and Tod Browning’s 1932 circus drama “Freaks”.

Contributed by Jack Coursey, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

CF100 on November 9, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Have not seen a film there in some time and last time I did was not impressed by what I can only describe as an outdated and run-down multiplex. It isn’t closed for good though, it’s being refurbished into a Picturehouse and it will have its own entrance.

zappomatic on April 8, 2015 at 4:10 am

The Dalek is now down the road at Cineworld Haymarket.

SethLewis on April 8, 2015 at 4:47 am

The Odeon Covent Garden was not a bad conversion from the ABC 1&2…The Panton Street needs to go…now! The most uncomfortable theatre in London

CF100 on May 31, 2015 at 6:27 pm

Due to open this Summer.


Some drawings of the bar area etc. Looks hideous!

zappomatic on June 18, 2015 at 5:08 am

Off to the launch event tonight – looks great in the photos!

SethLewis on July 12, 2015 at 3:02 pm

A great experience…a lovely ground floor cafe…well laid out mezzanine entrance with multiple ticket and snack points…pick and mix, donuts, and another bar so a great place to meet and chill before and after The cinema layouts appear to be similar to the old Cineworld but with new seats Saw Love & Mercy the Brian Wilson story great projection and sound No adverts Despite the high prices this is a great grown up place to see a movie

DavidSimpson on December 10, 2015 at 12:33 am

According to Picturehouse publicity in November 2015, the auditorium capacities are: Screen 1: 341, Screen 2: 177, Screen 3: 131, Screen 4: 127, Screen 5: 82, Screen 6: 78 and Screen 7: 65. A total of 1,001 seats.

SethLewis on December 10, 2015 at 3:14 am

Preview of Brooklyn a few weeks ago…can still inject a bit more professionalism into managing events and the wide range of things going on here…but as good a moviegoing experience as there is in London right now

CF100 on January 27, 2016 at 4:12 pm

I spent a pleasant hour or so in the main bar, a comfortable and airy place to seek refuge from the chaos outside—at least earlier in the day!

The interior is a mish-mash; worst of all are the exposed ceilings/services, and bare brick walls—no objection to this, if it’s done right—not when it (particularly in the bar area) reveals the scars left by years of alterations. (The Trocadero is, after all, a labyrinth block of various buildings knocked together.)

Then there’s the “art” (to be charitable) by the entrance staircase…

Nit-picking aside, though, I concur with SethLewis—a very, very nice pre/post-film hangout.

Technical information

Some key points:

  • Screen 1/Screen 2 are renamed Screen 2/Screen 1.

  • Screen 1 is fitted with a Dolby Atmos system.

  • 2 largest screens are equipped with 4K projection.

  • 4 screens support RealD 3D.

  • 35mm/70mm capability in Screen 1 (formerly Screen 2), 35mm in Screen 7.

  • All auditoria retained but completely re-fitted, including increased floor rake in Screen 1 and increased screen sizes in 1 and 2.

Photos – inc. Screen 1

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