East Finchley

Phoenix Cinema



the oldest continuously-running cinema in the UK,

The Phoenix is probably the oldest continuously-running cinema in the UK, showing acombination of arthouse films and the occasional blockbuste > 40 High Road, East Finchley

The Phoenix first showed films with sound in 1929 (it was then known as the 'Coliseum'), and in 1937 the building was redesigned and rebuilt in a more art deco style and reopened as the 'Rex' in 1938. It took its current name in 1975 when it was purchased and run by the distribution company Contemporary Films and concentrated on showing independent, foreign and specialist films, as it does today. The cinema was sold in 1985 and was earmarked to be demolished but was saved by a grant from the Greater London Council after a campaign by local residents (with the patronage of Maureen Lipman) and is now administrated by the Phoenix Cinema Trust, relying on its own income and donations to survive.

It is distinctive on East Finchley's high road by its large neon sign on the side of the building. Its patrons are Maureen Lipman, Mike Leigh, Michael Palin, Bill Paterson, and Victoria Wood.


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Inside the Phoenix
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