Cineworld Cinema - Hammersmith

207 King Street,
London, W6 9JT

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Cannon Cinemas, Cineworld, MGM Theatres, UGC, Virgin Cinemas

Architects: William Riddell Glen

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Regal Cinema, ABC, Cannon, MGM, Virgin, UGC

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Cineworld Cinema - Hammersmith

Located in the west London inner city district of Hammersmith. Designed by Associated British Cinemas(ABC) in-house architect William R. Glen, the Regal Cinema replaced two earlier cinemas on the site (Blue Hall 1 and 2-Annexe).

It is a handsome theatre inside with seating for 1,283 in the stalls and 974 in the circle. It was equipped with a Compton 2Manual/5Rank theatre organ that was opened by Gilbert Handley (The organ was not new, as it had previously been installed in the Granada Theatre, Hove). There was a stage and four large dressing rooms. The décor was simple, the main feature being a large galleon on the splay wall either side of the screen and, typically for Glen, concealed trough lighting. The Regal Cinema opened on 14th September 1936 with Clark Gable in “Wife vs Secretary” and Irene Dunne in “Magnificent Obsession” plus a stage show.

The Regal Cinema was renamed ABC in 1964 and closed for tripling in March 1975. Reopening took place 25th May with 662 seats in ABC 1 in the former circle, 414 seats and 213 seats in ABC’s 2 & 3 in the former stalls. Later ABC 1 was twinned to become Screens 1 & 2, while ABC’s 2 & 3 became Screens 3 & 4.

Running the usual gamut of names of former ABC house’s lately, the cinema eventually became the UGC and is now known as the Cineworld. It appears to be prosperous with usually five screenings of each film per day starting from around mid-day. In February 2016 it was announced that the Cineworld would close mid-April 2016 as the landlord had served notice to vacate the building due to the King Street regeneration project, and it will be demolished. Plans are for a 3-screen Curzon Cinema will take its place in the redevelopment. It closed 23rd April 2016 and was demolished in March 2017.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

GPM10 on April 6, 2017 at 11:58 am

Sad to update that, less than 50 weeks after closure, this wonderful cinema has been demolished – the clearing site is massive, and reminds you just how big this place was. Of all of London’s cinemas, this was personally my most loved, and I estimate having seen a high three-figure sum of films here between 1992 and 2016 having lived in nearby Bayswater between 1995 and 2004 and continuing my journeys there after leaving the area. There has been zero work on the ‘replacement’ Curzon (planned for next door) and much uncertainty about the building of the Picturehouse Chiswick cinema (straight down the road in the old Rambert Dance Studio) so it seems that one cinemaless year on, the local residents will have little to service their filmgoing needs in the short to medium term at least. Ealing all over again, methinks.

Zappomatic on April 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Reading up on this, apparently MGM spent £1.5m refurbishing this cinema in the early 90s including restoring the exterior, removing the false ceiling from the foyer and practically rebuilding the auditoriums from the ground up. There was such an overspend that Ealing (demolished by Empire) didn’t get its proposed bar!

SethLewis on April 6, 2017 at 6:55 pm

I’m not sure there will be a big rush for Curzon, Picturehouse or Everyman to come in with new screens in the old BBC complex in Shepherd’s Bush due…I agree that the Western corridor is underscreened in terms of quality films not in terms of blockbusters when you have 5-7 screens in the two Vues showing the same product

GPM10 on January 22, 2018 at 11:59 pm

Update on this site : tragically, no sooner was this magnificent cinema demolished than the plans to re-develop the area fell through spectacularly. The local council though are going through the planning process again to gain permission for housing and a new four-screen cinema which, unlike the original plans, will be built on the site of the old cinema. Given vocal unhappiness from the near-residents, the new cinema could be built as early as this summer (2018) – but I wouldn’t hold my breath. The Picture House Chiswick plans for the site straight up the road from here have apparently been permanently shelved, adding to the paucity of viewing options in the Chiswick/Hammersmith direction.

Zappomatic on January 26, 2018 at 11:06 pm

Footage from the MGM Hammersmith in 1995

Zappomatic on January 26, 2018 at 11:14 pm

And some more

GPM10 on March 11, 2019 at 10:11 am

Visited the site a number of weeks ago, sadly unlike the much more recently demolished Cineworld Chelsea the only ‘progress’ seemed to be a wraparound placed on the exterior (presumably by the local council) showing an artist’s impression of the proposed replacement cinema. This will be though a much larger job : there will be a very substantial retail and residential element to the rebuild, though local agitation at the loss of a very popular facility has seen the council announce that the rebuild of the cinema will be a priority. Nearby, up the road in Chiswick, plans to convert the old Rambert Dance Studios to a five-screen cinema have been revived and construction is understood to be in hand, with a possible opening before the end of 2019. It seems that Picturehouse Cinemas are no longer attached, though, and the cinema will be a stand-alone independent.

Alan Baker
Alan Baker on May 28, 2019 at 6:00 pm

The Regal Hammersmith is a rare (possibly unique) example of a purpose built ABC which, for decades, did not play the ABC release. In the absence of an Odeon cinema in Hammersmith, the Regal played the Odeon release while the ABC release played the Commodore and the Broadway (and the Gaumont release obviously played the Gaumont). When Rank reorganised its circuits in January 1959 the new Rank release went to the Gaumont, leaving the Regal with the National release or off circuit releases. It was not until the Commodore closed in 1963 that the Regal finally played the ABC release.

rivest266 on May 28, 2021 at 5:06 pm

Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on May 28, 2021 at 5:19 pm

May 25th, 1975 Grand opening ad as ABC 1 2 & 3 King St. Hammersmith posted. the 4th screen came later.

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