Considering its importance, it is surprising to learn that historically the borough of Greenwich was poorly served by cinemas.The Trafalgar Cinema opened on 26 December 1912. A small classical building, it served Greenwich until 30 September 1937 when it was joined by the far larger Granada, a typically lavish ‘30s super-cinema. These two flourished until the 1950s when all cinemas fell victim to the success of television and audiences fell dramatically. The Trafalgar, which had become an Odeon in 1945, was the first to close and it became a car showroom in 1960, finally being demolished in 1998.To visit Greenwich Picture House on your trip to London, use our London attractions planning tool .
The Granada closed in 1968 to become a bingo hall and was recently gutted for conversion into residential use. The neighbouring towns of Deptford, Lewisham and Woolwich all had far superior cinemas, some of which survive with listed status (Woolwich Granada – now a bingo hall, Woolwich Odeon – now a church) but most have sadly been demolished, including the spectacular art-deco Odeon at Deptford and the lavish Gaumont in Lewisham.
In something of a turn-around, Greenwich is now the best-served of these locations in terms of its cinemas.
In the multiplex building boom of the 1980s, when most developments were in out-of-town locations, Greenwich was unique in having a council-funded development in the town centre. The Greenwich Cinema was a modern purpose- built three-screen cinema designed by Howard and Unick. Opening in 1989, the cinema was an instant success and continued to do solid business until out-of-town multiplex competition opened nearby. The cinema closed in 2002.
City Screen, the UK’s leading independent cinema operator which runs some of London’s most cherished cinemas including the Ritzy, the Gate and the Clapham and Stratford Picturehouses, stepped in to rescue the building and transformed it into a five-screen venue, including a flexible basement screening area with its own lounge bar (which also hosts music and comedy events), a bar and two restaurants. The architects for the conversion were Panter Hudspith who have previously worked with City Screen to create award-winning cinemas.
Greenwich Picture House Reviews
A very comfortable cinema with excellent seating. The sense of relaxing and watching is rarely done so well. The entrance and shop are quite small. However, there is a nice bar attached to the cinema.... more »
We have been members here for years and always love the upstairs bar and the staff up there. We were left severely disappointed on this occaision. A girk was standing behind the bar looking disinteres... more »
We have always enjoyed the Greenwich Picturehouse. Very small, quaint and offers such intimacy that you feel like you are totally with your family. Very clean and Well kept with great customer service.
It has the feel of an independent, local cinema, and feels far more refreshing than the normal cinema chains. The only potential downside is that because the gradient between seats is shallow, on busy days it might be difficult to see. However the atmosphere of the place can't be faulted
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