Cinema XXX

12 Macclesfield Street,
London, W1D 5BW

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Additional Info

Functions: Restaurant

Previous Names: Red Mill Club, Pigalle Cinema

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Cinema XXX

Located across the alley, next door to the popular De Hems pub, in what today is London’s Chinatown district, off Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End.

The basement space had been operating as a ‘live’ strip-tease theatre for many years, known as the Red Mill Club. The Cinema XXX opened in 1975 and initially was an un-licenced cinema, screening un-censored films. A big hit at that time was "Me and My Vibrator" which ran for many months to packed houses. It was a 16mm projection operation, the projection booth was located in a room off the street level foyer and projection was via a mirror system in the floor, to the basement auditorium below.

In later years, the cinema gained an official Cinematograph Licence to operate, and went over to continuous screenings of double-bill censored adult films (although having XXX in the name caused many arguments when customers found they were were not seeing the XXX films they had hoped to see!). Projection in the later years was via a video projector, mounted on the ceiling of the auditorium.

The Cinema XXX closed on 1st October 1993, unable to compete with the more sexually explicit films which were being screened on satelite TV, and the availability of the then new category 18R rated videos, which were not so heavily censored as the 18 rated films that the Cinema XXX required to screen. The space was converted into a Chinese restaurant which remains open today.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 17, 2008 at 7:41 am

A vintage photograph of the Cinema XXX in March 1985:
View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 17, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Ken, thanks for keeping London history real.

gavcrimson on March 3, 2013 at 5:54 am

i believe this cinema appears briefly in the 1975 british sex film ‘girls come first’ and the harold balm striptease documentery ‘get em off’

Buffer on February 15, 2014 at 11:02 am

The XXX was booked for Cinema buffs attending the Entertainment and Leisure Industry Study group -to view slides of Cinemas, not porn!

Buffer on April 16, 2019 at 11:31 am

Unexpectedly there was a black and white moggy called Baby Cat at the cinema who later spent retirement in South Wales.

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