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Picturehouse Cinemas

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Picturehouse Cinemas
IndustryLeisure, Entertainment & Refreshments
  • Lyn Goleby/Tony Jones
HeadquartersLondon, England
Number of locations
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
  • Clare Binns
    (Managing Director)
Picturehouse West Norwood

Picturehouse Cinemas is a network of cinemas in the United Kingdom, operated by Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd[1] and owned by Cineworld.[2] The company runs its own film distribution arm, Picturehouse Entertainment,[3] which has released acclaimed films such as Hirokazu Kore-eda's Broker and Monster, Scrapper, Corsage, Sally Potter's The Party, Francis Lee's God's Own Country and The Wife. A previous iteration of this distribution arm, which focused largely on alternative content, was sold in 2017 to Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire and rebranded as Trafalgar Releasing.[4]

The first cinema in the chain, Phoenix Picturehouse, opened in Oxford in 1989, but many of the others operated independently before then:[5] the Duke of York's Picture House in Brighton, for example, opened in 1910 and is Britain's longest continually operating cinema.

On 17 March 2020, Picturehouse and all other movie cinema companies in the UK temporarily closed their UK cinemas, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,[6] reopening them on 31 July. A second closure took place from 9 October 2020 until 17 May 2021, due to an insufficient amount of new film releases and a second wave of the pandemic closing indoor venues.[7]

In 2022 their parent company Cineworld filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States,[8] but on July 31 2023, the company and certain of its subsidiaries successfully completed their financial restructuring process and emerged from their Chapter 11 cases.



The original Phoenix Picturehouse in Oxford.[9]
Picturehouse in Bromley
Location Name Screens Notes
Ashford Ashford Picturehouse 6 Home to the UK's first laser projector as well as its 6 screen multiplex also featuring a stunning Cafe, Restaurant and Bar hosted within Picturehouse's largest Foyer
Bath Little Theatre Cinema 2
Brighton Duke of York's 1 Grade II-listed, it opened 22 September 1910 and is Britain's oldest purpose-built cinema. It has a 20-foot sculpture of a can-can dancer's legs on its roof.[10]
Brighton Duke's at Komedia 2
Cambridge Arts Picturehouse 3[11] The Regal Cinema opened in the city's Regent Street in 1937, was redeveloped in 1972 as a two-screen ABC cinema, and closed in 1997. Two years later, Wetherspoons installed a pub on the ground level of the building, with the Arts Picturehouse establishing a three-screen cinema above it.[11]

The cinema hosts the annual Cambridge Film Festival.[11]

Chester Chester Picturehouse 6 Opened on Friday 10 November 2023
Edinburgh Cameo 3 It originally opened in 1914 as the King's Cinema, acquired sound in 1930, was renamed The Cameo in 1949,[12] and was granted B-listed heritage status in 2006.[13]
Exeter Exeter Picturehouse 2[14] It was designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, opened in 1996 and has a first floor cafe.[15]
Henley-on-Thames Regal 3
Liverpool Picturehouse at FACT 3[16] Has a bar which hosts events.[17]
London – Brixton Ritzy 5
London – Bromley Bromley Picturehouse 6 House in a 1936 art deco building by George Coles, the venue became a Picturehouse cinema in June 2019.[18] It has a bar and kitchen.[19]
London – Chelsea Fulham Road Picturehouse 6 Formerly a Cineworld cinema, the venue opened as a Picturehouse on 8 December 2019.
London – Clapham Clapham Picturehouse 4
London – Crouch End Crouch End Picturehouse 5[20] Has a restaurant and bar.[20]

Its building, Rosebery House, was erected in the 1950s[21] as a factory and office,[22] and refurbished in 2015 by Panter Hudspith.[21][22]

London – Ealing Ealing Picturehouse 8[23] Opened October 2023.
London – East Dulwich East Dulwich Picturehouse and Café 3
London - Finsbury Park Finsbury Park Picturehouse 7 Opened September 2021.
London – Greenwich Greenwich Picturehouse 5
London – Hackney Central Hackney Picturehouse 6
London – Notting Hill The Gate 1
London – Piccadilly Picturehouse Central 7 Host venue for Sundance London Film Festival.[24] It has a membership scheme which gives access to a rooftop member's bar.[25]
London – Stratford Stratford Picturehouse 4 Host venue for the Sci-Fi London Film Festival and the Fighting Spirit Film Festival.
London – West Norwood West Norwood Picturehouse 4 The original Nettlefold Hall was reimagined as a Library and opened by Princess Margaret in 1969.

In 1970 Stanley Kubrick filmed a scene for A Clockwork Orange in the old hall. It was refurbished and opened as a Picturehouse Cinema in 2018.

Norwich Cinema City 3
Oxford Phoenix 2
Southampton Harbour Lights 2[26] Designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, Harbour Lights opened in February 1995. The building received a Civic Trust Commendation, was shortlisted for a RIBA award for architecture,[27] and was shortlisted for the Sunday Times building of the year.[28] The cinema was voted Britain's Best-Loved Independent Cinema Empire readers in 2000.[27]
York City Screen 3


Location Name Screens Notes
Aberdeen The Belmont Picturehouse 3 Sold in 2014 to the Centre for the Moving Image
Bury St Edmunds The Abbeygate Picturehouse 2 Sold June 2014 to Abbeygate Cinemas[29]
Stratford Upon Avon Stratford Upon Avon Picturehouse 2 Closed down on 5 January 2020[30]


Location Name Screens Opening Notes
Epsom Epsom Picturehouse 6 2024[31]

Industrial action[edit]

In 2014, Cineworld was subject to industrial action owing to its refusal to pay the London living wage to its staff.[32] Started by workers at the Ritzy Cinema, Brixton, the resulting Ritzy Living Wage campaign attracted the support of Eric Cantona[33] and Terry Jones.[34]

Industrial action resumed in October 2016 over the issue of the Living Wage, as well as recognition of the theatre union BECTU, parental pay and sick pay, and spread to six Picturehouse cinemas, making it the biggest strike action ever by cinema workers in the UK.[35][36] Staff at the Ritzy Cinema were represented by BECTU while other cinemas were represented by the Picturehouse Staff Forum, a company union set up by management in 2003 and later run by Picturehouse staff.[37]

Strikes continued into 2018, when workplace reps were found to be unfairly dismissed and were instructed to be reinstated,[38] meanwhile Picturehouse claimed that they were one of the highest paying employers in the UK cinema industry.[39]

In 2019, following a membership vote, the Staff Forum (run by Picturehouse management) was dissolved and later removed by the Certification Officer from the official list of trade unions.[40] BECTU also called off the company boycott, stating "BECTU members have now agreed to suspend our Living Staff Living Wage campaign and call off the public boycott to focus on fighting for equal pay at the Ritzy and continuing to challenge the dismissal of other members. We won't rest until Ritzy and Picturehouse follows suit with other cinema employers we have successfully worked with and treats all its workers fairly."[41] As of 2022, Picturehouse cinemas still do not pay their frontline staff living wage.[42]


  1. ^ Picturehouse | About Us Linked 23 August 2013
  2. ^ "Cineworld buys Picturehouse in cinema chain takeover". BBC. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  3. ^ Home | Picturehouse Entertainment Linked 14 March 2024
  4. ^ "UK distributor Trafalgar Releasing reveals structure and growth plan". Screen. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  5. ^ White, Debbie (24 January 2013). "Jericho cinema to mark centenary". The Oxford Times. p. 29.
  6. ^ "Coronavirus: Odeon, Vue and Cineworld shut UK cinemas". BBC News. 17 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Cineworld to shut down UK screens after Bond film delay". BBC News. 4 October 2020.
  8. ^ Goldsmith, Jill; Tartaglione, Nancy (7 September 2022). "Regal Parent Cineworld Files For Bankruptcy". Deadline Hollywood.
  9. ^ "Cine-files: The Phoenix Picturehouse, Oxford". The Guardian. 23 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Duke of York's Picturehouse | Brighton Cinema | Picturehouse". Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  11. ^ a b c "Vive Le Cinéma!". Picturehouse (newsletter). Archived from the original on 27 June 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Cinema Forever". Picturehouse (newsletter). Archived from the original on 13 June 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  13. ^ "B-listing will act to protect Cameo | The Scotsman". 21 September 2006. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Exeter Picturehouse | Exeter Cinema | Picturehouse". Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Exeter Picturehouse". Picturehouse (newsletter). Archived from the original on 26 June 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Inside Picturehouse at FACT". Picturehouse (newsletter). Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  17. ^ "MyPicturehouse". Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Bromley Picturehouse | Bromley Cinema | Picturehouse". Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Inside Bromley Picturehouse". Picturehouse (newsletter). Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Crouch End Picturehouse | Crouch End Cinema | Picturehouse". Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Cinema Of The Week: Crouch End Picturehouse". Picturehouse (newsletter). Archived from the original on 18 July 2020. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Panter Hudspith Architects |".
  23. ^ "Ealing | Ealing Cinema | Picturehouse Cinemas". www.picturehouses.com. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  24. ^ "Picturehouse Central | London Cinema | Picturehouse". Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  25. ^ "MyPicturehouse". Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Harbour Lights Picturehouse | Southampton Cinema | Picturehouse". Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  27. ^ a b "Not Long Now". Picturehouse (newsletter). Archived from the original on 25 June 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  28. ^ "Harbour Lights — Burrell Foley Fischer LLP". Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  29. ^ "Bury St Edmunds Picturehouse Cinema sold after competition ruling". BBC News. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  30. ^ Woodings, Simon (17 October 2019). "Stratford Picturehouse will close next January". Stratford Herald.
  31. ^ "Epsom Founder Membership | Picturehouse Blog". Picturehouses. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  32. ^ "Cinema staff go on strike over London Living Wage". BBC News. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  33. ^ Rucki, Alexandra (10 June 2014). "Eric Cantona lends support to Ritzy Living Wage campaign". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  34. ^ Lusher, Adam (20 July 2014). "Nudge, nudge: Python supports ushers striking for the living wage". The Independent. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  35. ^ picturehouseworkers, Author (18 September 2017). "Picturehouse Strikes 2016-". Picturehouse Workers' Blog. Retrieved 8 January 2019. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  36. ^ Smith, Mark D. "Picturehouse dispute: how far will Nero go?". Counterfire. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  37. ^ picturehouseworkers, Author (16 July 2017). "2003: Staff Forum or Trade Union?". Picturehouse Workers' Blog. Retrieved 8 January 2019. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  38. ^ "Tribunal rules sacked Ritzy reps must be reinstated". Union News. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  39. ^ "Pay at Picturehouse". Picturehouses.
  40. ^ "Certification Officer: amendments to the lists". GOV.UK. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  41. ^ "Bectu response to Picturehouse ruling". Bectu. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  42. ^ "Indeed - Picturehouse pay grades".

External links[edit]