New Gallery Cinema

121-125 Regent Street,
London, W1B 4TB

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

Ian on January 22, 2019 at 1:01 am

Interior photos from January 2019 trading as the Burberry Store, with much of the original architecture on show:–





JohnWright on February 20, 2016 at 4:42 am

I have a recording of the New Gallery Cinema Wurlitzer played by Claude Ivy with Jack Hylton’s orchestra, dated 11 November 1927, if anyone is interested I’ll feature it on my podcast to be uploaded 26 Feb 2015 (which will be available to download during the next 2 years).

tulare on November 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Have a Victor 78 Recording of Reginald Foort playing “In a Persian Market” sometime before 1939. Will try to post.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 23, 2012 at 7:28 am

Robbie25646 & rasLXR; The former New Gallery Cinema is NOT going to re-open soon. Since September 2012, it has become a Burberry clothing store.

You are confusing the New Gallery Cinema with the former Cameo Poly Cinema (listed on Cinema Treasures as the Regent Street Cinema) which is located at the northern end of Regent Street, which has just been awarded Lottery funding to be refurbished and re-opened as a cinema in the future.

rasLXR on October 23, 2012 at 7:05 am

Hi Yes I saw this on the BBC last week and sent it to the News items on CT but it never made it onto the site!

Robbie25646 on October 23, 2012 at 7:00 am

Seems this theatre is to re-open in the near future according to London’s Evening Standard newspaper. I hope it is true.

Sid on October 19, 2012 at 9:32 am

Hi all, it has come to my attention that a company called sq-m2 Ltd (Square Metre), actually did a refurbishment prior to 2006, for the Crown Estate of the New Gallery Cinema / auditorium!! Strip out of finishes, light restoration, works to the mezzanine balcony areas, new ballustrades etc.
This was BEFORE the Habitat conversion in late 2006, c. 2004/5. Should really put that into the Wiki…

HowardBHaas on October 11, 2011 at 5:50 am but it had a balcony.

Jeremy Buck
Jeremy Buck on January 27, 2011 at 6:10 am

Concerts on the Wurlitzer resumed in December 2010 and it is currently played on the first Saturday of each month at 4pm. However, Habitat have announced that the store will be closing down on March 19th 2011 and thus the building faces an uncertain future.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm

A vintage photograph of the entrance and another of the auditorium, plus photos of the Wurlitzer organ console:

HowardBHaas on April 19, 2007 at 11:43 am

View link
my April 2007 photo of the ceiling dome.
my photo of the Wurlitzer organ is blurry, but I was told it is now played Thursdays about lunchtime.

Eppy on December 1, 2006 at 3:08 pm

As a young boy living in Great Titchfield Street, just off Oxford Street, London. The New Gallery was one of my local cinemas. I remember seeing “Treasure Island” there with Robert Newton and “Appointment With Venus”. The main memory of this cinema was the showing of a free colour one hour film of the great health dangers of cigarette smoking. I vividly remember see a human lung full of tar,it was very explicit and horrible. I have never ever smoked to this day. Thank you “New Gallery” Malcolm Epstein, aged 65 2nd December 2006

helsfatcatmullen on September 20, 2006 at 4:36 am

Hi I wonder if anyone has any reminiscences, reminders etc of the opening of Snow White and Seven Dwarf’s in 1938

Unclemac on July 18, 2006 at 11:16 pm

Hi Ken, many thanks for your reply to my article.
As I am simply rewriting and, where possible, improving on the tales left by my Father, these having been transcribed by a mate of his from tape recordings, I am unfortunately unable to verify that all the content is 100% correct. Taking into consideration how long ago it was, and that at the time he was only nine years old, then the I must accept that there will be errors, but luckily there are experts such as yourself who are able to dot the i’s and cross the t’s for me. It still gives interested people a window, even thougha little dusty, looking into the world as it was then.
Having read the notes on this website regarding the Wurlitzer installed at the New Gallery Cinema, it does appear that my Father and Grandmother would probably have been entertained by that, as opposed to the usual piano, unless of course the Wurlitzer was experiencing some teething troubles. I have sadly no means to check what the management were offering in the way of backround accompaniment at that particular performance. Nevertheless the tales I am working on are quite intrigueing and as my Grandmother was an avid cinemagoer it makes it all the more interesting to read about other cinemas such as The Canterbury and Gatti’s in the Westminster Bridge Road which she visited very regularly whilst living in the Lambeth Walk during the 1920’s.
I shall indeed someday try to pay the New Gallery building a visit and listen to that same Wurlitzer that you describe and generally do a bit of ‘Ghost Hunting’ around Lambeth, though sadly, I shall not be able to ‘enjoy’ the thrill of being covered in sparks and ashes deposited by the passing trains through the skylight of the Canterbury on a hot evening and the fleas at Gatti’s you can keep anyway.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 17, 2006 at 11:55 pm

Malcolm….Nice story, thanks for sharing it with us. The only question that I have is regarding the specific mention of ‘had the usual piano accompaniment’. The New Gallery Cinema was the third cinema in the UK to be equipped with a Wurlitzer Theatre Organ (it was installed in June 1925 and was opened by organist Jack Courtnay) and I would have thought that this would have been used to full advantage, together with the full orchestra that this prestigious West End cinema had.

The Wurlitzer organ is still in situ at the former New Gallery Cinema (now recently converted into a Habitat furniture store) and is played regularly on (I believe) Thursday afternoons and Saturday lunchtime.

Also still surviving is the early sound film clip of George Bernard Shaw which I remember seeing on tv a while ago.

Unclemac on July 17, 2006 at 10:58 pm

Dear members,
I am currently writing up the memoirs of my father, Frederick McBride, who grew up in Lambeth Walk, London, England. I have just come to the following recollection of his, when he once visited ‘The New Gallery Cinema’ in London’s Regent’s Street. This particular episode happened, as far as I can work it out, in 1929 when he was nine years old.
I sincerely hope that you enjoy this account.

…“We sat through a silent film which had the usual piano accompaniment. After a short interval, the curtains parted to reveal a projected picture of the writer, George Bernard Shaw, standing at the end of a path in his garden at Ayot St. Lauwrence in Hertfordshire, England. There was no piano now, no music: the cinema was so quiet that we could hear the whirring of the projector above us. He slowly walked forward. When his head a shoulders were filling the screen, he stopped, and clear as a bell, in his stenorian Irish Brogue, said, "Good evening, how do you do? I won’t keep you long, but there is something I should like to say to you…"
We were dumbfounded. We were witnessing a miracle. The whole thing lasted for no longer than five minutes. Exactly what he said I sadly cannot remember; but during thoose few moments, a new world had opened before us…Those mute images had been given a voice. It was not until some time later that we heard of a film entitled, ‘The Jazz Siger’, staring of course Al Jolson.”

benrayner on July 12, 2006 at 3:29 pm

Thank you Ian! Too right! What an earth was the point in ‘conserving’ the structure when the whole point of the space was as an auditorium? The poor Wurlitzer looks very forlorn and alien in this white Habitat environment. How much more sympathetic is the rather lurid environment of the Mecca Bingo setting at the State Kilburn! One does feel that the Americans, on the evidence of this wonderful CinemaTreasures site, might have responded better to an appeal to save this Kinema treasure in the heart of London’s West End and restored the venue to at least a live/movie life . Thank you, Habitat , for the nice white paint and the lovely Exit doors and the history display boards, but you could have saved yourselves a lot of dosh by forgetting most of the details that spelt out cinema and occasion and history…And what happened to the Egyptian murals and bas-reliefs?

Ian on July 1, 2006 at 5:16 am

This cinema has been all but wrecked in the conversion to retail space. Although – in theory – the new works are removable, in practice it is well nigh impossible to return a valuable retail space to arts use, and removing the extensive new build inside the auditorium – on a levelled floor – would be prohibitively expensive.

Two recent pictures here. The first shows about as much as you can see of the proscenium arch (now blocked in):–

View link

and the second is a view from the former balcony area:–

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 27, 2006 at 1:16 am

After sitting empty and unused for the past 10 years or so, and surving plans to convert into a restaurant and tv studio, the New Gallery Cinema building is set to re-open on 28th April 2006 as a Habitat furnishings store.

The Wurlitzer organ (the 3rd oldest installation in the UK) has been preserved and has been restored to playable condition. It will be featured as an ‘occasional’ entertainment to shoppers. The opening day organist will be Richard Hills, followed the next day by Keith Beckingham and then Richard Hills again. Initially it is planned to have the Wurlitzer played at lunchtimes on Wednesday’s thru Sundays for the first 3 weeks of operation.

woody on August 31, 2004 at 7:13 am

The building is currently surrounded by boarding and the sound of drills and excavators suggests that some major work is currently happening, the 1980’s lobby suspended ceiling has been pulled down revealing the original ornate plaster ceiling that appears in very good condition apart from the front section which has been removed. the regentstreetonline website says that studies have been done into bringing the cinema into reuse as soon as possible as part of the redevelopment of heddon st, quite what this use would be is dubious as there would be little point in operating it as a cinema, its location is not right (hence its short operational life span)
More ominously there are currently four entire blocks of regent st that have been demolished retaining only the facades…

PeterK on June 28, 2004 at 9:39 pm

Some more history – before it was a cinema it was an art gallery – hence the name. It was opened in 1888 by the artists Bryne-Jones and Halle and was well known in the closing years of the 19th century for exhibitions of Arts and Crafts movement artists such as William Morris. There is a painting of it as anm art gallery hanghing in the foyer of another London west end Theatre which I remember seeing in the 1970’s, but I’ve forgotten which one. In the 1930’s it was known as the New Gallery Kinema (spelt with with a ‘K’). The Wurlitzer had real drums, trumpets and whistles in the upper chambers which you could play remotely from the console, which I had fun doing as a kid. Peter K

Peter K

PeterK on June 28, 2004 at 9:24 pm

Here’s some more information about the history of the New Gallery Cinema from – “No 123 Regent Street is the entrance to the new Gallery Cinema, opened in 1913, having been re-modelled out of the previous restaurant by William Woodward. It had 800 seats and the largest cinema orchestra in London. The cinema was extensively reconstructed and refurbished in 1924 by Nicholas and Dixon-Spain; decorated in a Grecian style, it had a 265 feet long frieze by Gertrude Halsey. In 1926 a Wurlizer Model F organ was installed, the first in a West End cinema.” I believe it featured premieres of films by Charlie Chaplin and later Jessie Matthews. PeterK

PeterK on June 28, 2004 at 6:51 pm

I spent long hours exploring the New Gallery as a child when my father worked there for the Seventh Day Adventist church from 1954 – 1961 and can provide many anecdotes if this is of interest. I can well remember the old Wurlitzer (with Theatre Oragn society concerts being held regularly) and the original arc projectors in the roof-top projection room which ocassionally caused the film to catch fire. “Good” films were shown frequently and not just religious ones. There was also a 2WW air raid shelter in the basement with bicycle-driven air pumps which I used to play on. Peter K