Curzon Bloomsbury

Brunswick Square,
London, WC1N 1AW

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Curzon Cinemas Ltd. (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Curzon Cinemas

Previously operated by: Walter Reade Theatres

Firms: Burrell, Foley & Fischer

Functions: Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Previous Names: Bloomsbury Cinema, ABC, EMI International Film Theatre, Gate 2, Gate Bloomsbury, Renoir Cinema, Curzon Renoir Cinema

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 440871.703.3991
Manager: 4400207.837.8402

Nearby Theaters

Curzon Bloomsbury

The American-based Walter Reade Organisation opened the 450 seat Bloomsbury Cinema as their first and only British venture. It opened on 19th January 1972 with the movie “The Trojan Women” starring Katharine Hepburn. Located in a basement in the (then) newly-built Brunswick Square complex which included a shopping centre, residential units and a car park.

With its close proximity to the University of London and the British Museum (and two minutes from Russell Square Tube station), it aimed to attract many young people and students with its art house programming. However due to its high admission prices, and hidden location, the Bloomsbury Cinema was a failure and it was taken over by EMI on 4th May 1974 and re-named ABC Bloomsbury. Re-named EMI International Film Theatre in January 1977 it continued its programming screening foreign movies. This venture failed and it was sold to Cinegate who operated the Gate Cinema in Notting Hill Gate, West London. It was re-named the Gate 2 from 23rd February 1978.

The cinema was twinned by a dividing wall down the centre of the auditorium and it re-opened as the Gate 1-2 on September 24th 1981 with seating for 251 and 241 in the two screens, however this closed on 30th October 1985.

After a short period of closure and a re-furbishment by architects Burrell, Foley Associates it re-opened under the management of Artificial Eye and was renamed Renoir Cinema on 9th May 1986.

It has now found success and flourishes as an art house cinema. It was refurbished in 2008 and in November 2008, was taken over by the Curzon Cinemas chain. It closed on 1st June 2014 to be converted into a 6-screen cinema, which re-opened on 27th March 2015 as the Curzon Bloomsbury.

The Renoir Cinema is a Grade II Listed building.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

woody on June 15, 2010 at 2:21 am

another press ad from dec 1979 for The Outsider showing exclusively at the Gate Two

Paul Stephenson
Paul Stephenson on September 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm

This cinema closed 1st June 2014 with “Boudu Saved from Drowning” for sub division into 6 screens, reopening in December 2014 as the Curzon Bloomsbury. The architecural drawings show 1 “large” screen of 155 seats in the centre of the original auditorium, 1 “medium” 59 seat screen on the stage, and 4 small screens of either 24 or 29 seats each towards the rear of the original auditorium.

Details at

The place had similarities to the Angelica Film Centre in Manhattan – great art house film selections, but awkward auditoriums. The cinema had been unsatisfactorily twinned down the centre in 1981.

So, sad to see it close in it’s current format, sad to see the loss of it’s name, but hopeful the reopened cinemas will be better.

Buffer on March 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm

The Curzon Bloomsbury is opening on 27th March, with six screens designed by architect Takero Shimazaki. The fifth one will retain the name Renoir and be the largest with 139 seats and 10 more in the balcony. Other screens are around 30 each except the 55 seat Bertha Dochouse screen 6

terry on June 24, 2015 at 8:38 am

2 auditorium shots uploaded as it was when ABC briefly ran it.

DavidSimpson on July 6, 2015 at 7:21 am

In a nice nod to the company’s cinemas from the past, five of the new Curzon auditoriums are named Renoir (the largest, with 141 seats plus 9 more in a small balcony), Lumiere, Plaza, Phoenix and Minema (I believe the smallest, with 21 seats). The sixth is the Bertha DocHouse, devoted to showing documentaries; this has it’s own lounge/reception area. Inevitably, shoehorning six auditoriums into a relatively restricted space has led to the five smaller ones being rather cramped.

Ian on August 27, 2016 at 12:58 am

An August 2016 photo here:–


goodshow on September 4, 2016 at 1:04 am

Photo posted (4 Sept.2016) of the map advert for the brand new Bloomsbury Cinema and the first presentation referred to in our first paragraph.

rivest266 on May 26, 2021 at 5:36 am

Grand opening ad from January 18th, 1972 posted.

rivest266 on May 26, 2021 at 5:56 am

1977, 1978, 1981, 1986 grand opening ads posted.

philgyford on May 19, 2023 at 7:49 am

The 2014 link to architectural drawings of the change to six screens no longer works. However, Takero Shimazaki Architects' site has some photos and, at the bottom of the page, some drawings of how the new screens fit into the space:

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