Cinema’s British birthplace, reborn on Regent Street

Posted on April 30, 2015

Regent Street, one of London’s most exciting thoroughfares, is synonymous the world over with the very best in shopping, restaurants and bars (of course!) and nightlife. But a less-known fact is that Regent Street can also claim to be home to the birthplace of British cinema – and now that birthplace has been lovingly restored for a new generation to enjoy!

Built in 1848 and housed within the Polytechnic Institution – today the University of Westminster – the cinema was the first in Britain to show moving pictures. In 1896, the cinema showcased the Lumière brothers’ – the French inventors of cinema – Cinématographe to a paying audience, and, as the curtain fell, British cinema was born.

After being used a student lecture hall by the University since 1980, Regent Street Cinema has now been restored to feature a state-of-the-art auditorium as well as an inclusive space for learning, cultural exchange and exhibitions, making it truly a landmark venue for the British film industry in the heart of the West End.

We were delighted this week to attend a launch party where for the first time we were able to see the seat which we have sponsored and which carries a very attractive plaque! The cinema opens to the public from 6th May; to find out what’s on and book tickets, visit the Regent Street Cinema website.