ABC Ionic Golders Green

612 Finchley Road,
London, NW11 7RX

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ABC Ionic Golders Green

Located in the northwest London district of Golders Green. In 1975 the original 1913 built Ionic Cinema was demolished and a supermarket built on the site with the new Ionic Cinema (around half the number of seats as the original) on the 1st floor level. The New Ionic Cinema opened on 25th August 1975 with “The Four Musketeers”.

Designed by the architectural firm George Coles and Company, it was taken over by the Cannon Group in 1986 and re-named Cannon Ionic. In 1997 it was taken over by ABC Cinemas and re-named ABC Ionic from November 1997.

It remained a single screen until closure on 30th September 1999 with Tom Cruise in “Eyes Wide Shut”.

There was talk of the Sainsbury’s Supermarket which is located in the building, wanting extra space, and also talk of conversion into a gym, but to date nothing has happened and the former cinema space has remained empty and unused. Golders Green is an affluent area without a cinema and the Ionic could well fare well in an art-house operation.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

orpheum on May 21, 2010 at 7:49 am

I tried to keep the Ionic open.However Sainsburys just wrent interested.They were going to use it as as a health club.However this never materialised.The foyer is part of the store .The cinema in the basement is empty.Anothere xample of a big chain store getting their way against the wishes of the community.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm

My brother who is in the Health club business said he visited a location i think in LOUISVILLE.KY. that was a like a six plex that was also a spa/Health club. So watch a movie and work out.Only in the states i guess,Orpheum.

Shamus Dark
Shamus Dark on July 6, 2010 at 2:24 pm

A shame that there don’t seem to be any photos of the Ionic in its heyday in the 50’s and 60’s. I remember my mum taking me there on a number of occasions – most notably to see Danny Kaye in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.

orpheum on July 7, 2010 at 2:35 am

i have seen photos of the exterior but not of the interior.It was a beautiful cinema.If you were sitting in the stalls you had to make sure that you did not sit anywhere near the supporting beams that would obscure your view.What has happened to this building and its successor are a stark example of the almighty power of the supermarket chains to get their way and the craven cowering attitude of local councils,the planners and councillors.Thier needs are more important than those of the nlocal residents.Golders Green which once had 4 cinemas now has none.Not unusual but no less sad for all that.If it existed today i think that it would be at least listed as 2*.However such is progress.

Shamus Dark
Shamus Dark on July 7, 2010 at 5:10 am

If there are any photos of the original cinema, I’d be grateful if someone would point me to the relevant website. And orpheum, I totally agree with your sentiments regarding local council planning committees. I suppose you could argue that the pressure from multi-billion pound conglomerates puts them under intolerable pressure – but, inner city vandalism, in the shape of outsize, ugly buildings, has been going on for years. It was pointed out to me some time ago that the famous Euston Arch would be listed Grade 11 if in fact it still existed. That may be so, but beautiful buildings are still being torn down at a rate of knots. Even where they aren’t particularly beautiful, any replacements are usually far to big and completely out of keeping with the surrounding structures. The Arts Depot in Finchley is a gross and rather extreme example.

SJT on June 3, 2011 at 9:39 pm

The building on the far right, set back from the road, is the original Ionic.

And this is its interior

Billy on February 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

After the ABC Hendon closed in early 1997, this became our usual cinema. Aged 8 I saw the Special Edition re-releases of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ here. As far as I remember it still kept its very 70s beige interior even then, and felt a bit like you were stepping back in time – especially when the films were as old as the cinema!

davidcoppock on March 11, 2018 at 5:12 am

I think this might the cinema(in a Jewish area) that got hit by a storm while showing “Who framed Roger Rabbit” and blew off one the letters on the marquee and instead showed “Who franed Roger Rabbi”(Mentioned in Film facts by Patrick Robertson).

davidcoppock on March 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm

The storm was in November 1988. It was this cinema.

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