Curzon Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames,
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Curzon Cinemas Ltd. (Official)
Operated by: Curzon Cinemas
In 1987, in Kingston upon Thames, in southwest Greater London, work began on the redevelopment of Bentalls department store, which had opened back in 1935. It took five years to complete, and was undertaken in two phases, allowing the existing department store to trade throughout, albeit on a reduced footprint.
The first phase, the ‘new’ department store, opened in July 1990, while the completed Bentall Centre was opened in November 1992 by Edward Bentall (a descendant of Frank Bentall).
In December 2017 it was announced that Curzon Cinemas would be anchoring a new leisure and dining offer at the Centre. The circuit agreed a deal with Aviva Investors for a 25 year lease which would see a four-screen cinema, with a restaurant and rooftop bar, opening in autumn 2019.
There was then a delay to this project, which was also, no doubt, adversely affected by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and the cinema was next set to open in late-summer 2022.
In the event, the Curzon Cinema opened on Friday 11th November 2022. In a nice touch, the four screens are named after former cinemas in the town: The Coliseum (110 seats), the designated Dolby Atmos auditorium; the Palace (60 seats) [actually the Cinem Palace, later the Regal]; the Century (58 seats) [originally the Elite Picture Theatre, later the Century Elite] and the Electric (55 seats) [Electric Picture Hall/Kingston Kinema/Studio 7]. (See separate Cinema Treasures entries for fuller details of those actual cinemas) An in-Laser projection system is used throughout and all screens have recliner seats.
The opening films included the Marvel Comics sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, the Palme d’Or-winning comedy “Triangle of Sadness” and the detective thriller “Decision to Leave”.
In a further nice touch, several giant images by the Kingston-born photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) are on display.
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