Alhambra Cinema

36 St. John's Street,
Keswick, CA12 5AG

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Alhambra Cinema (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Graves Cinemas Ltd.

Functions: Movies (Classic), Movies (Film Festivals), Movies (First Run)

Styles: Art Nouveau

Previous Names: Alhambra Picture Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 440176.877.2195

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Alhambra Cinema

One of my favourite cinemas in which to see a film, the 600-seat Keswick Alhambra Cinema has been entertaining audiences since around 1913. By 1969 it was operated by the Graves Cinemas Ltd. chain. Until the mid-1980’s it was still lit by gas.

Wonderful ornate red brick façade with Edwardian swags of fruit decorating the two story building.

Inside the screen has been brought forward to accommodate CinemaScope but the traditional stalls and single balcony remains with decorative bands across the flattened barrel vault ceiling.

Often threatened with closure, the Alhambra Cinema keeps surviving and has been updated with new seating and Dolby stereo. A film society arranges vintage/classic screenings on selected dates through the winter months.

Still run by the small Cumbrian circuit of Graves & Son. Following closure and refurbishment during the Covid-19 pandemic, it reopened on 15th November 2021 having gained a second screen with 29 seats, located under the balcony.

If you visit the Lake District a visit to the Alhambra Cinema is a must!

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 28, 2005 at 4:57 pm

The original seating capacity of the Alhambra Cinema was 600.

ajtowers on November 21, 2006 at 10:13 pm

The cinema is now operated by R. J. Towers & Partners on a ten-year lease.

It has been refurbished with new seating and Dolby Digital sound.

New photos from 2006 can be seen on

Ian on August 19, 2007 at 7:47 am

An old image from 1973 here:

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Ian on February 3, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Three more images (including interiors) here, from 1997:–

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Ian on February 29, 2008 at 8:25 am

A 1978 view here:–

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Ampex175 on February 4, 2009 at 6:35 pm

There’s an amazing Cinema of the same name at Penrith, Cumbria. It’s a very friendly and welcoming venue which I highly recommend.

They still run Fedi XT (70/35mm) projector in their biggest screen.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 5, 2009 at 4:28 am

Ampex175; The Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema, Penrith has its own page on Cinema Treasures: /theaters/23497/

NThomson on September 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I can remember seeing a film around 1973/4 with my family..
at the Alhambra and to my astonishment had gas lighting !!!!

KitGreen on September 18, 2011 at 11:57 am

I saw a film here in the early 70s (cannot remember what) and was surprised both by the auditorium gas lights and the oversize seats at the end of rows (known as courting seats?) or am I thinking of somewhere else?

popcorn_pete on February 6, 2022 at 7:40 am

Keswick Alhambra was one of 925 recipients of the latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund announced last November. The £86,782 will go towards the recent £300,000 upgrade to the family-run venue which delayed its reopening post-lockdown. This included a second screen under the balcony of the 108-year-old building.More here:

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