Picture House

2 Holloway Road,
London, N7 8JL

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Imperial Cinema, Highbury, London 1912/13

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the inner north London district of Highbury. The Highbury Imperial Picture Theatre opened on 26th December 1912. Built for Richard Harris, who had made a fortune in mining and gold prospecting, the cinema was a high class building of its day.

The facade was constructed in red brick and stone , and had an open verandah with five Ionic pillars over the entrance and residential flats at the top storey. Inside the auditorium, seating was provided in stalls and circle and there were five boxes on each side. The proscenium was 34 feet wide.

It was taken over by the General Theatres Ltd. chain in March 1928, and in May 1928, they were taken over by the Gaumont British Theatres chain. In 1933, it was re-named Imperial Picture Theatre. In the mid-1950’s it was re-named The Picture House, and it was closed by the Rank Organisation on 11th April 1959 with Juliette Greco in "Whirlpool" and Ethel Barrymore in "Johnny Trouble".

The building was demolished and a petrol station named Regent Lion Service Station was built on the site. In more recent years, this has also been demolished and a building containing Majestic Wine Warehouse was built on the site, which remains in 2009.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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