Esoteric London

No. 417: Islington High Street, N1

Posted in Architectural by esotericlondon on October 4, 2011

Islington High Street, London, N1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

The Angel Picture Theatre opened on Wednesday 19th March 1913 and was to remain Islington’s most luxurious cinema for some twenty years. It had two entrances, the one on Islington High Street at the foot of the tower shown in the photograph above, served the ‘posh’ balcony patrons and the foyer was lavishly decorated with a fantastic chandelier, stained glass windows and deep-pile carpet. The stalls entrance was in White Lion Street and was itself adorned with plush red drapes and a maze of polished brass rails to keep the eager punters in line as they shuffled forward to buy their tickets across the black and white marble floor. The auditorium which the stalls audience entered from behind the screen, had a barrel-vaulted ceiling containing plaster panels supported by a row of decorated arched pillars.

Its final screening on 18th March 1972 was “Burke and Hare” staring Derren Nesbitt and Glynn Edwards and “More Dead Than Alive” with Clint Walker. The building remained empty until 1974 when the auditorium was demolished and offices built on the site.

The former balcony entrance and tower feature was retained and bricked up for 25 years until it was re-furbished and is now a Starbucks. This part of the former Theatre has now been Grade II Listed. R.D.

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