Ultimate Picture Palace

53 Jeune Street,
Oxford, OX4 1BN

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Ultimate Picture Palace

Additional Info

Architects: John R. Wilkins

Functions: Movies (First Run), Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Previous Names: East Oxford Picture Palace, Penultimate Picture Palace, Section 6 Cinema

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 440778.623.5121

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Ultimate Picture Palace

The Ultimate Picture Palace is a small single screen theater located on Jeune Street near St. Clements Street, off Cowley Road. Opened on 25th February 1911 as the East Oxford Picture Palace. After operating as a cinema for a few years it closed around 1920.

From then, the building was used for storage for almost six decades before opening as a cinema again on 18th July 1976, as the Penultimate Picture Palace with 185 seats.

The building is Grade II Listed.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Ian on December 26, 2007 at 3:48 am

A few vintage shots of the Penultimate dating from 1986 here:–

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picturepalace on May 19, 2010 at 7:27 am

The Penultimate Picture Palace / Ultimate Picture Palace is 100 years old in 2011.

To mark the centenery we are making a documentary film about this historic oxford landmark.

If you have memories or stories about the cinema we’d love to hear from you.

email: .uk
or visit the website at: www.picturepalace.org.uk (sign up for our newsletter there)
or follow us on Facebook

highgater on February 21, 2011 at 9:50 am

Current number of seats at the Ultimate Picture Palace, Jeune Street, off Cowley Road, Oxford: 121.

(via email from the cinema)

Gooper on June 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I saw many a picture at the PPP in the early 80s, including ALL of Bertolucci’s ‘1900’. They issued handy discount cards to we poor students. It was always cheaper than the Phoenix across town.

(I wonder what happened to the Jolson/Jazz Singer 3-D sign/sculpture?)

sisu on December 21, 2013 at 10:05 am

projection room accessed via ladder just by paybox outside

LARGE_screen_format on August 22, 2018 at 5:57 am

Great to see this cinema still running after all of these years. Not the Moulin Rouge ( http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/41623 ) was not so lucky.

Watched The Good, the Bad and the Ugly here around 1980. Has the projection, sound system and seats been upgraded over the years?

CF100 on July 19, 2019 at 10:15 am

LARGE_screen_format: According to the “History” page on the cinema’s website, the cinema was acquired by a local person, Becky Hallsmith, in 2011. Digital projection/replacement screen were added, and the sound system “upgrad[ed],” alongside “redecorations.” Subsquently, the seating was replaced also.

Alas, Ms. Hallsmith passed away last year; however, it is to become a “community-owned” business—so you, too, can own a “piece” of the cinema!

The cinema is the subject of an ~1 hour long documentary, “The Ultimate Survivor;” which can be viewed on the linked page.

DavidKH on December 5, 2022 at 5:33 am

I was always intrigued as to the old name of this cinema The Penultimate Picture Palace. Apparently this arose from a discussion between the previous owner and his bank manager we who said words to the effect that this was the second stupidest business proposition he had heard.

LARGE_screen_format on June 19, 2023 at 9:33 am

@CF100 - The Ultimate Survivor documentary that you linked to was very interesting and a real trip down memory lane.

Thank you.

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