London's Regent Street Cinema restoration appeal

An artist's impression of the cinema by Tim Ronalds Architects The Lumiere brothers showed their first moving picture show in the cinema on 21 February 1896

Related Stories

An appeal has been launched to raise funds to restore the 118-year-old cinema that was the first in the UK to hold a moving picture show.

Regent Street Cinema in London has recently been used as a lecture theatre by the University of Westminster.

About £4m has been raised for the restoration, but another £2m is needed.

Celebrities including filmmaker and University of Westminster alumni Asif Kapadia and Radio 4 broadcaster Sandi Toksvig are backing the appeal.

The cinema was used by the Lumiere brothers to show their first moving picture show on 21 February 1896.

The cinema' today Donors are being sought to sponsor each of the 200 seats in the restored cinema

The rebuild by Tim Ronalds Architects, which received permission from Westminster Council last November, will see period features of the 200-seat theatre restored.

Work is expected to begin in April and be completed in a year's time. The cinema, which was closed in 1980, will be reopened to the public.

Start Quote

This cinema is a place where we can celebrate not just the past but the future”

End Quote Sandi Toksvig

Mr Kapadia said: "Over the years so many fantastic, iconic cinemas in the UK have closed down or been redeveloped, so this is a marvellous opportunity to restore a venue that played a vital role in the birth of cinema in the UK."

The university first launched an appeal for funds in March 2012, but the appeal has been renewed on the 118th birthday of the auditorium.

Ms Toksvig said: "This cinema is a place where we can celebrate not just the past but the future."

Donors would be able to sponsor one of the cinema's 200 seats, and 50 have been taken up already.

The Heritage Lottery Fund, Quintin Hogg Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation and Odeon cinemas have contributed to the restoration.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

Min. Night 9 °C

Features

  • Jesse, Milo and JudahNo kidding

    The family with 34 children - and they're adding two more


  • Lost itemsLost and found

    The strange things passengers leave on the Tube


  • German cabin Stollen Christmas

    How German markets captured the UK's imagination


  • Man and dog on dark winter morningSolstice lag

    Why mornings will keep getting darker after 21 December


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.