87 High Street,
Notting Hill Gate,
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Located in the west London inner city district of Notting Hill Gate. The building dates from 1861, when the ground floor room (the current cinema) was known as the North End and Harvey Dining Room. In 1879, the building became the Golden Bells Hotel, and the ground floor room became the Golden Bells Coffee Palace and Restaurant. The hotel upstairs operated as a brothel.
The ground floor room was converted into a cinema by architect William Hancock, opening in April 1911 as the 450-seat Electric Palace. It has a lot of Edwardian plaster-work on the ceiling and walls and is very comfortable, with all seating on a single floor. The exterior and tiny foyer is now of little merit having been rebuilt in the 1950’s after the original decorative facade and entrance was badly damaged by bombing during World War II.
By 1934 it was the Embassy News and Interest Theatre, when seating had been reduced to 314. By 1944, it had been taken over by the Capitol & Provincial News Theatres Ltd. (a forunner of the Classic Cinemas chain) and re-named Embassy Cinema. They re-named it Classic Cinema in 1957. The Classic Cinema was a popular revival house, screening many classic Hollywood films for many years until September 1974 when the Classic chain ceased to exist. It then became the Gate Cinema, operated by an independent operator Cinegate. It was closed in 1985, but re-opened in 1986.
The Gate Cinema survives today as a popular art house cinema and is now operated by the Picturehouse Cinemas chain.
In 1994, the Gate Cinema was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.
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