38 pictures that show how British cinemas have changed in the past 100 years

Travel back through the decades with this gallery of plush picture-houses from the past century.

Updated:

The Cinema House, Sheffield, 1914

The Cinema House, Sheffield, 1914

The Regent Cinema, Sheffield, 1927

The Regent Cinema, Sheffield, 1927

The Regal Cinema, Marble Arch, London, c.1928

The Regal Cinema, Marble Arch, London, c.1928

The Granada, Tooting, London, c.1931

The Granada, Tooting, London, c.1931

Gaumont Palace, King's Road, London, 1934

Gaumont Palace, King's Road, London, 1934

The Savoy, Enfield, 1935

The Savoy, Enfield, 1935

The Ritz, Barnsley, 1937

The Ritz, Barnsley, 1937

Gaumont Holloway, London, c.1937

Gaumont Holloway, London, c.1937

Clock Cinema, Leeds, 1938

Clock Cinema, Leeds, 1938

News Theatre (now Tyneside Cinema), Newcastle, 1938

News Theatre (now Tyneside Cinema), Newcastle, 1938

The Academy Cinema, Oxford Street, London, c.1945

The Academy Cinema, Oxford Street, London, c.1945

Warner West End (now Vue Leicester Square), London, 1946

Warner West End (now Vue Leicester Square), London, 1946

The Carlton, Nottingham, 1946

The Carlton, Nottingham, 1946

National Film Theatre Telekinema at the Festival of Britain (later moved to the current BFI Southbank site), London, 1951

National Film Theatre Telekinema at the Festival of Britain (later moved to the current BFI Southbank site), London, 1951

The Astoria, Charing Cross Road, London, 1956

The Astoria, Charing Cross Road, London, 1956

Columbia Cinema (now Curzon Soho), London, 1958

Columbia Cinema (now Curzon Soho), London, 1958

The Empire Theatre (now The Empire Leicester Square), London, 1959

The Empire Theatre (now The Empire Leicester Square), London, 1959

The Cosmo (now Glasgow Film Theatre), Glasgow, 1960

The Cosmo (now Glasgow Film Theatre), Glasgow, 1960

Curzon Mayfair, London, 1965

Curzon Mayfair, London, 1965

Cameo Royal Cinema, Great Windmill Street, London, 1967

Cameo Royal Cinema, Great Windmill Street, London, 1967

The Florida, Enfield, 1970

The Florida, Enfield, 1970

EMI International Film Theatre (now Curzon Renoir), London, 1976

EMI International Film Theatre (now Curzon Renoir), London, 1976

Filmhouse, Edinburgh, c.1979

Filmhouse, Edinburgh, c.1979
Credit: Edinburgh Evening News

Odeon Chelsea (now Curzon Chelsea), London, 1981

Odeon Chelsea (now Curzon Chelsea), London, 1981

National Film Theatre (now BFI Southbank), c.1981

National Film Theatre (now BFI Southbank), c.1981

Curzon West End (now Curzon Soho), London, 1985

Curzon West End (now Curzon Soho), London, 1985

Cornerhouse, Manchester, 1986

Cornerhouse, Manchester, 1986

Curzon Phoenix, Phoenix Street, London, 1986

Curzon Phoenix, Phoenix Street, London, 1986

Curzon Mayfair, London, 1986

Curzon Mayfair, London, 1986

Showcase Cinemas, Nottingham, c.1988

Showcase Cinemas, Nottingham, c.1988

UCI, Whiteley's Shopping Centre, Bayswater, London, 1989

UCI, Whiteley's Shopping Centre, Bayswater, London, 1989

Broadway, Nottingham, 1993

Broadway, Nottingham, 1993

Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Southampton, 1995

Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Southampton, 1995

QUAD, Derby, 2010

QUAD, Derby, 2010
Credit: Graham Lucas Commons

Queen's Film Theatre, Belfast, c.2012

Queen's Film Theatre, Belfast, c.2012

Odeon BFI IMAX, London, 2012

Odeon BFI IMAX, London, 2012

Watershed, Bristol, 2014

Watershed, Bristol, 2014
Credit: Toby Farrow

The Showroom, Sheffield, 2014

The Showroom, Sheffield, 2014

A Night at the Cinema in 1914 

In cinemas from 1 August

Cinema a century ago was a new, exciting and highly democratic form of entertainment. Picture houses nationwide offered a sociable, lively environment in which to relax and escape from the daily grind. With feature films still rare, the programme was an entertaining, ever-changing roster of short items with live musical accompaniment. 100 years on, this special compilation from the BFI National Archive recreates the glorious miscellany of comedies, dramas, travelogues and newsreels which would have constituted a typical night out in 1914. Our selection includes a comic short about a face-pulling competition, a sensational episode of The Perils of Pauline, scenes of Allied troops celebrating Christmas at the Front, and an early sighting of one of cinema’s greatest icons…

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