Ionic Picture Theatre
612 Finchley Road,
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The Golders Hill Picture Palace was opened in April 1913 and the opening ceremony was attended by famed ballerina Anna Pavlova. It was one of the first cinemas to be designed by Major W.J. King. The facade had the look of an ancient temple, with four stone columns supporting a pediment on top. There was a central recess over the entrance. Inside the auditorium, there was a barrel ceiling and a horse-shoe shaped balcony, which had a series of eight private boxes along the walls on each side.
Initially operated by the Golders Hill Picture Palace Company Ltd., it soon changed operators and was briefly re-named Louis Theatre. It was soon re-named Ionic Picture Theatre.
In later years the Ionic Picture Theatre was playing independent releases and second run programmes. It was closed on 20th August 1972 with Paul Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid".
The old Ionic was demolished in early-1975, and the site was purchased by Sainsbury’s, to build a new supermarket. Permission to build a supermarket was given on the proviso, that a new cinema would be incorporated into the new building’s design. This opened as the 652 seat, New Ionic Cinema on 25th August 1975 and was designed by George Coles and Company. Later becoming the ABC Ionic, it has been closed since 1999, and sits vacant in 2008. It has its own page on Cinema Treasures.
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