Built in 1848, London’s 187-seat Regent Street Cinema has reopened for the first time in 35 years.

Referred to as ‘the birthplace of British cinema’, the theatre has been brought back to life due to support from the Quintin Hogg Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

The unique 187-seat cinema is attached to the University of Westminster on London’s bustling Regent Street and is one of the few cinemas in the country to show 16mm and 35mm film as well as the latest in 4K digital film – not to mention it’s equipped with a fully working Compton Organ.

The cinema was the first in the country to show moving pictures.

In 1896, the cinema showcased the Lumière brothers’ Cinématographe to a paying audience.

Audiences were also shown the Lumière brothers’ L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat (Train Pulling into a Station).

It is reported that the audience were so overwhelmed by a moving image of a train seemingly coming towards them that they fled from their seats.

After being used a student lecture hall by the university since 1980, Regent Street Cinema was restored into a working cinema featuring a state-of-the-art auditorium as well as an inclusive space for learning, cultural exchange and exhibitions.


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