57 Walton Street,
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Picturehouse Cinemas UK (Official)
Operated by: Picturehouse Cinemas UK
Previously operated by: Ben Jay's Circuit, Poole's Theatres Ltd., Star Cinemas
Architects: Gilbert T. Gardner
Functions: Movies (First Run), Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)
Previous Names: North Oxford Kinema, Scala Cinema, Studio 1-2, Phoenix 1-2
Opened as the North Oxford Kinema on 15th March 1913 with a seating capacity of 498 on one floor. It was commissioned by R.H.J. Bartlett and a Mr. Green who employed local architect Gilbert T. Gardner to design the building. There was an outer foyer which contained a sweet shop and soda fountain and an inner lounge vestibule used for waiting in. The auditorium had a curved ceiling, the walls had wooden panelling at seating level and decorative plaster panels higher up. The screen was set between two decorated pillars.
It was re-named Scala Cinema in 1920 when the Gloucester based Poole’s Theatres Ltd. took over. In 1925 it was taken over by Ben Jay and re-named New Scala Cinema for a while. The next owner was J.E. Poynts who operated it from June 1930 until it was sold to Star Cinemas chain in 1970.
Star Cinemas converted the building into a twin cinema known as Studio 1-2 with seating for 220 and 105. On 17th July 1977 it was re-named Phoenix 1-2 and is now known as the Phoenix Picture House operated by City Screen and Picture House Cinemas.
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The Phoenix was equipped for digital screenings in January 2007.