Screen Saving: Listed Cinema Buildings in the UK
English Heritage’s generic survey of surviving cinema buildings last year resulted in a proposal to list thirty more examples as being of special architectural or historic interest and to invite the public to submit further cases for consideration. Now the selection goes to Chris Smith, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to make the final decision on whether they should be added to the 124 cinema buildings already listed.
Yet is the whole exercise happening far too late? Of the thirty buildings chosen, only seven are still operating as cinemas. They range in style from the Gate, Notting Hill, with its auditorium of fruity Edwardian plasterwork, to the streamlined, colourful Art Deco of the Regent in Lyme Regis (1937). There is also the Phoenix in East Finchley which opened in 1910 but was extensively rebuilt in 1938. The Tyneside in Newcastle (1937) was the News Theatre when it opened, and showed newsreels and shorts only.