Gate Picturehouse

87 Notting Hill Gate,
London, W11 3JZ

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Related Websites

Picturehouse Cinemas UK (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Picturehouse Cinemas UK

Previously operated by: Classic Cinemas (UK)

Architects: William Hancock

Functions: Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Styles: Baroque

Previous Names: Electric Palace, Embassy News and Interest Theatre, Embassy Cinema, Classic Cinema, Gate Cinema

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 440871.704.2058
Manager: 440870.755.0063

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

 3 Nov 2013

Located in the west London inner city district of Notting Hill. The building dates from 1861, when the ground floor room (the current cinema) was known as the North End and Harvey Dining Room. In 1879, the building became the Golden Bells Hotel, and the ground floor room became the Golden Bells Coffee Palace and Restaurant. The hotel upstairs operated as a brothel.

The ground floor room was converted into a cinema by architect William Hancock, opening in April 1911 as the 450-seat Electric Palace. It has a lot of Edwardian plaster-work on the ceiling and walls and is very comfortable, with all seating on a single floor. The exterior and tiny foyer is now of little merit having been rebuilt in the mid-1950’s after the original decorative fa├žade and entrance was badly damaged by bombing during World War II.

By 1934 it was the Embassy News and Interest Theatre, when seating had been reduced to 314. By 1944, it had been taken over by the Capitol & Provincial News Theatres Ltd. (a forunner of the Classic Cinemas chain) and re-named Embassy Cinema. They re-named it Classic Cinema in 1957. The Classic Cinema was a popular revival house, screening many classic Hollywood films for many years until September 1974 when the Classic chain ceased to exist. It then became the Gate Cinema, operated by an independent operator Cinegate. It was closed in 1985, but re-opened in 1986.

The Gate Cinema survives today as a popular art house cinema and is now operated by the Picturehouse Cinemas chain.

In 1994, the Gate Cinema was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.

Contributed by Ian Grundy, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

rroberts on April 3, 2006 at 4:02 am

Are there plans to keep it open for any other purpose other than for cinema?

HowardBHaas on April 21, 2007 at 6:53 am

Visiting London, last Friday eve, I enjoyed “Lives with Others” with live Q & A with the German director. The sold out audience was thrilled with his interesting, entertaining answers.
Here’s a photo I took of the beautiful auditorium:
View link

willis on January 4, 2009 at 9:10 am

That photo reminds me of Le Ranelagh in Paris. Is there any relationship?

jay1607 on December 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm

It’s great to see this wonderful old cinema being talked about.
As The Gate’s ex (and last!) chief projectionist, I know the building inside out. I have lost sleep, blood, sweat and tears in that place but wouldnt change my time there for anything!

TLSLOEWS on February 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm

You could not tell from the redone outside that this nice theatre was inside.Very cool looking.

woody on June 15, 2010 at 2:14 am

press ad from dec 1979 for late shows at The Gate (and the Gate Two – now the Curzon Renoir)
View link

Gate_Cinema on January 2, 2012 at 3:15 am

Hi, we’re looking to do some work to celebrate the Gate’s 101st this year. Any old photos/listings/clippings or stories would be much appreciated!

andrewknowlesbaker on September 2, 2015 at 12:25 pm

I have just visited the Gate over Carnival and it brought back some happy memories. I was , between being Assistant and then Manager of the Classic Baker Street, Manager here in 1970. The entrance has changed – the chocolate shop is now a cafe-but the original classic film spool handles remain. So too are the display frames- one of which once had my name on it as ‘your host’ (somewhere I have a picture of me next to it in a very trendy suit). It was the only cinema to have daily late night screenings. Also an Indian film club on a Sunday Morning. Despite the best efforts of the projectionist the reels often arrived in poor condition and it was not unusual for them to be run out-of-sequence and if it was a particularly long movie missed out completely- to ensure the regular programme run on time. My belated apologies to those concerned!

popcorn_pete on May 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm

David and Barbara Stone bought the business in 1974 renaming it the Gate. More recently it was with the Oasis art-house chain but became part of the Picturehouse family in 2003. Martin Scorcese used the auditorium in his adventure “Hugo” and the cinema will also feature in the upcoming Paddington 2. In regards to the brothel, the hotel’s register often listed around 150 gentlemen a day for a mere 15 rooms which were rented by the hour.

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