Our History

Our History


Built in 1910, the cinema finally opened in 1912 as The East Finchley Picturedrome, part of the first wave of cinema building happening across the UK in the early 1900s.

Here Gerry Turvey introduces the cinema’s beginnings:



The 1909 Cinematograph Act introduced laws to make cinemas safer. As a result, more purpose-built cinemas began to appear, including this one. It was built by Premier Electric Theatres in 1910 on what was considered an excellent site, with electric trams running past and the station nearby. However, the company went bankrupt before the cinema could open. In 1912, the building was purchased by businessmen who had been involved in setting up East Sheen Picturedrome. The cinema finally opened as The East Finchley Picturedrome in May 1912 with a film about the tragic Titanic ocean liner which had recently sunk. At its opening it looked very different to today with a façade of towers and domes. Inside, there was a café on the 1st floor, which has recently been reinstated. In the auditorium, there was an orchestra pit and twice the number of seats as today. Maisie Williams describes the auditorium at this time: