ABC Ionic Golders Green

612 Finchley Road,
London, NW11 7RX

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Billy
Billy on February 9, 2012 at 5:00 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!

SJT
SJT on June 4, 2011 at 12:39 am

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

http://www.memoriespostcards.co.uk/londonnorthwest_files/Golders%20Green/ionic%20cinema.jpg

And this is its interior

http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldcinemaphotos/4346546846/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Shamus
Shamus on July 7, 2010 at 8:10 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.

orpheum
orpheum on July 7, 2010 at 5:35 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
Shamus on July 6, 2010 at 5:24 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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 21, 2010 at 7:17 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.

orpheum
orpheum on May 21, 2010 at 10:49 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.

woody
woody on December 3, 2008 at 4:37 pm

september 2003 with part of the frontage revealing where the IONIC sign once was
http://www.flickr.com/photos/woody1969/223126793/
same view a couple of years later with Sainsburys now occupying the ground floor area where the cinema lobby once was
http://www.flickr.com/photos/woody1969/245822549/

exciterlamp
exciterlamp on January 15, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Hi Nette

I have only just seen your post! As per my post above, the Premier was my local. I have done some research on it going back to its opening in the twenties and have a collection of photos inside and out taken while it was a bingo hall, though it had hardly changed from its cinema days. Even the screen and tabs were still there. If you are interested, I am happy for you to contact me on .co.uk and to let you have what info I have and pictures. Please head your email PREMIER CINEMA, so that it does not end up with the hundreds of spam emails, which I get on a daily basis! Kind regards. Kevin

jgrenfell
jgrenfell on September 22, 2006 at 6:01 am

I’m interested in the mention of the Premier Cinema, Enfield which belonged to my grandfather (may have been built by him) William Grenfell from the 1920s until his death in 1944. Has anyone further information about it?

Ian
Ian on August 13, 2006 at 1:41 am

Another exterior photo of the Ionic (around 1982 – scanned image) here :–

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 1, 2006 at 8:47 am

Photographed as the Cannon Ionic in the Summer of 1994:
http://flickr.com/photos/kencta/138342204/

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 14, 2006 at 3:50 am

At the time of closure, it was stated that Sainsbury’s supermarket wanted the cinema space for themselves to expand the store. This never happened and the cinema section remains boarded up today.

It originally opened on 25th August 1975 as the Ionic Cinema. The final fim screened was Tom Cruise in “Eyes Wide Shut”.

Doolally
Doolally on April 2, 2006 at 10:36 am

Why did the Ionic close? Did Sainsbury’s have plans to redevelop the entire site?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 30, 2005 at 6:38 pm

The Ionic opened with a seating capacity of 562. It closed on 30th September 1999 (seating had been reduced to 518)