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  • Writer's pictureEllen Cheshire

Cinemas Near Me: Finsbury Park

In my quest to visit theatres I've not been to before, this week I found myself at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park to see an adaptation of the anime film, The Garden of Words. At a cost of just £2.6 million, the building, designed by David Hughes Architects, opened in May 2013. Whilst there it would have been remiss of me not to snap photos of the two significant cinema buildings now thriving with new uses, and the new Picturehouse cinema which opened in 2021 as part of the major redvelopment work happening around the train station.

The cinema, converted from a roller skating rink on the site of an old tram depot, opened in 1913.

This seven screen Picturehouse opened in September 2021 and is fitted with 4k laser projectors, a state-of-the-art sound system and comfortable reclining seats with fantastic legroom. The foyer area is light, spacious and welcoming.

The centre-piece of the lobby is a specially commissioned mural from British artist Dale Lewis celebrating the rich cultural history and the diverse communities of the local area. The mural, Lewis' largest artwork to date, measures seven metres in height and five metres in width and will be his first permanent public commission in the UK.

The cinema opened in 1930 but was primarily a music venue from 1956 - 1982, and was listed Grade II* in 1974. From 1988 it has been in use as a church, the current occupants UKCG have been there since 1995 and have done considerable restoration to the exterior and foyer areas (from what I could see) and the auditorium. They wouldn't allow me to take photos of the large/magnificent lobby area or auditorium. Check out Rick Burton's History of the Rainbow Theatre for loads of photos from over the years.


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