Wednesday, July 17News For London

Regent Street Cinema Reborn

Edward Lauder and Nader Kaddour caught up with Shira MacLeod at their London offices to chat about their aspirations for the newly renamed and renovated Regent Street Cinema.

The Lumière brothers made history in 1896 by showing moving pictures to a paying audience in Britain for the first time.

Then known as Marlborough Hall, the venue used would continue to show films for 84 years-under various names-until its transformation into a lecture theatre at the Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Westminster) in 1980.

Now, nearly 120 years after the Lumière brothers’ first viewing, the symbolic cinema is making a comeback under the guidance of Shira MacLeod to delight crowds once again in the busy heart of London.

Timeline: Regent Street Cinema 1896-2015
Timeline: Regent Street Cinema 1896-2015

Name changes to the Polytechnic Theatre and Cinema*

1848 Royal Polytechnic Institution Theatre

1882 Great Hall (of the Polytechnic Young Men’s Christian Institute)

1894 Marlborough Hall; also sometimes known as the Great Hall

1900 Polytechnic Theatre

1916 Large Hall is used within the Polytechnic, Polytechnic Hall is used commercially

1920 Polytechnic Cinema

1923 Polytechnic Hall

1924 Polytechnic Cinema Theatre

1924–36 Variously called Polytechnic Cinema, Polytechnic Theatre and

Polytechnic Cinema Theatre

1940s Cameo News Theatre

1949 The Polytechnic (ex. Cameo); from December 1949 known as

the Cameo-Polytechnic Cinema

1952 Cameo-Poly

1972 Classic Poly

1974 Regent Theatre

1980 Classic Poly Cinema

1980–2014 Lecture Theatre 1/2, informally

2015 Regent Street Cinema

*University of Westminster Archives

With thanks to the University of Westminster Archives and the University of Westminster Development Office.