Picture House

33 Long Row,
Nottingham, NG1 2DR

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd., Provincial Cinematograph Theatres Ltd.

Firms: Naylor & Sale

Functions: Arcade

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Picture House

The Picture House opened on 5th November 1912 with Kathlyn Williams in “The Merry Wives of Windsor”. It was built for and operated by Provincial Cinematograph Theatres(PCT). It was described as a beautiful little theatre, with elaborate decorations. An unusual feature was that the balcony was arranged like a series of boxes down one wall and on the other opposite wall there were tapestry panels, surrounded by oak wood frames. It had a decorated domed roof and all was illuminated by concealed soft lighting. The cinema had a café for the convenience of its patrons.

The cinema was very popular, and in reality it needed to be enlarged, but site restrictions prevented, as it was hemmed in by other buildings. This problem was solved when PCT took over the Hippodrome Theatre, a former variety theatre of 1908, which became the largest cinema in Nottingham at that point of time (1927).

The Picture House was closed by PCT (by then merged with Gaumont British Theatres) on Saturday 4th January 1930 with Joan Crawford in "Our Dancing Daughters" and Louis Wolheim in "Square Shoulders". Both ‘silent’ films as the cinema had never converted to talkies.

In January 1937, it was purchased by J. Lyons who converted it into one of their chain of café/restaurants. Several uses and changes have been made to the building internally since then and today it operates as an amusement arcade.

The façade remains unaltered and it was restored in 1992. It is now designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

RichardG123 on January 21, 2013 at 7:36 am

From the English Heritage listing (listed 22 May 1990 – http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1270741):

‘To the rear of the site is the former auditorium of the Picture Palace [sic] Cinema, 1912, floored in at a later date. This retains its segment-arched moulded plaster ceiling and over the proscenium arch, a plaster relief of galleons. The cinema foyer on the first floor retains its panelling and a shallow plaster dome.’

MappMan on June 22, 2023 at 9:41 am

Planning permission has been given to convert part of the building into apartments.

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