ABC Piccadilly Circus

215 Piccadilly,
London, W1V 9DL

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Cannon Cinemas, Cinecenta, Jacey Cinemas, MGM Theatres, Odeon Theatres Ltd., Star Cinemas

Architects: Cecil Aubrey Masey

Functions: Nightclub

Previous Names: Monseigneur News Theatre, Jacey, Centa, Cinecenta 1-2, Cannon, MGM

Nearby Theaters

ABC Piccadilly Circus

The first of London’s Monseigneur News Theatre’s opened on 1st November 1934 in the former Monseigneur Restaurant on Piccadilly. It was a basement space and in the conversion most of the decorative features of the restaurant were retained. Part of the old restaurant balcony was converted into the projection booth while another part became a cafe area from where you could still view the screen while ‘taking tea’. Seating was provided for 284.

It was taken over by the Jacey Cinemas circuit in June 1960 and re-named Jacey Cinema and like many in this chain began to screen ‘adult’ sexploitation movies, opening here with “London in the Raw” in July 1964.

This policy continued for many years even when the Cinecenta group took over in May 1972 and they twinned the cinema (divided straight down the middle) in 1979, re-opening it with the 3D “What the Swedish Butler Saw” and “Blue Fantasies” in the 118 seat screen 1 and “Zombie Flesh Eaters” and “The Tool Box Murders” in the 124 seat screen 2.

It was taken over by the Cannon chain and re-named Cannon Piccadilly, then MGM and lastly ABC, playing independent art house films usually those with a violent or sexual content. When Odeon Theatres took over ABC Cinemas in 2001 the Piccadilly became surplus to their requirements and it was closed on 8th July 2001 screening “Lagaan” a three-hour-plus Bollywood epic and “When Love Comes”, a film from New Zealand.

Plans were put forward in 2005 to convert the building into a nightclub, which opened as the Pigalle in early-2007.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

woody on March 22, 2007 at 8:22 am

shot of the exterior taken yesterday, now as the Pigalle nightclub, the lobby and staircase ceiling plasterwork has been restored, nothing remains of the auditorium (on view at least)

woody on May 22, 2007 at 7:21 am

interior shots of the stairs and lobby and the former auditorium
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scott99 on October 16, 2008 at 2:40 am

Man, this place was an oddity. Can’t remember what i saw there, but I went a couple of times. the auditorium used to shake as the trains went past, and the auditoria were really narrow. Used to show some very weird stuff as well.

SethLewis on April 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Saw The Conformist, and Slackers here in the early 90’s…not a great experience but at the same time a testament to London offering the chance to see some classic films in theatres

jncohen on June 21, 2015 at 7:04 pm

This cinema (amongst others) was owned by my family business Jacey Cinemas Ltd. that no longer exists. Anyone interested in learning more can find my webpage devoted to the ‘History of the Jacey Group’ that included Jacey Cinemas, this was created by my late Grandfather Joseph Cohen (I am the last surviving Director) Please have a look at my website: –

Simon on August 31, 2018 at 9:48 pm

I went here to see a double-bill of Russ Meyer films when I first moved to London to attend university. I was 19. I naively thought this place was an arthouse cinema. But then I noticed that the all-male customers kept changing seats throughout the film. One guy sat next to me and started feeling me up. The penny then dropped as to what kind of a cinema it actually was :)

rivest266 on May 22, 2021 at 7:52 pm

November 4th, 1934 grand opening ad as Montseigner News Theatre posted.

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