Publications

The Magic Screen

History of Regent Street Cinema

Playing host to invention and wonder

To celebrate the renovation and re-opening of the Regent Street Cinema, its long and fascinating history has been told for the first time.

Built in 1848 for showcasing ‘optical exhibitions’, in 1896 the theatre was the site of the first UK public performance of the Lumière’s Cinématographe. It evolved into a cinema specialising in travelogues and nature films in the 1920s, becoming the Cameo-Poly after the Second World War. Regularly hosting premieres of continental films, the cinema achieved another first with its screening of La Vie Commence Demain in 1951, the first X-certificate film in the UK. After mixed fortunes in the 1970s, the cinema closed to the public in 1980.

This multi-authored volume tells the cinema’s history from architectural, educational, legal and cinematic perspectives, and is richly illustrated throughout with images from the University of Westminster Archive.

Price: £20. Staff, students and alumni can claim a 20% discount on this price.

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The book is also available to purchase at the Box Office of Regent Street Cinema.

Other University of Westminster history publications still available:

175 anniversary booklet

Celebrating 175 years of the University of Westminster

The University of Westminster arrived at a major milestone in 2013, as we reached our 175th anniversary. We were proud to celebrate 175 years of world-leading research, pioneering teaching, and providing education for all, regardless of background or financial status.

Download the 175 anniversary booklet

Educating Mind, Body and Spirit

The legacy of Quintin Hogg and the Polytechnic, 1864-1992

In February 1864 the nineteen year old Quintin Hogg began his work amongst the ‘ragged’ boys of Covent Garden. He could never have anticipated that within 20 years he would be running an educational, social and sporting institute for 1,000 young men on Regent Street, or that some 130 years later the same institution would be awarding its own degrees as the University of Westminster. Drawing on the extensive and previously unexplored archives of the University of Westminster, Educating Mind, Body and Spirit presents a series of essays on the origins and development of the Polytechnic movement, and the formidable legacy of its founder, Quintin Hogg. It tells the story of Hogg’s institution and its founder, from Victorian London, through two world wars and the social upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s, to the creation of the University of Westminster in 1992.

Richly illustrated throughout with images from the University’s Archive, Educating Mind, Body and Spirit is a fitting tribute to the life and legacy of Quintin Hogg and the institute he created. Although the name polytechnic is no longer in use in UK higher education, its heritage is still a celebrated part of the University of Westminster’s ethos and mission today.

Price: £25.00

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Please note that there is a 20% discount for staff, students and alumni. Staff wishing to obtain copies for use as corporate gifts should also contact Archive Services.

Also available as a Kindle ebook compatible with Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle for iPad, Kindle for PC and Kindle for Android via via amazon.co.uk

An Education in Sport

Competition, communities and identities at the University of Westminster since 1864

In 1882 the noted educator, philanthropist and businessman, Quintin Hogg, brought his Young Men’s Christian Institute from Covent Garden to 309 Regent Street, London. It soon became known as the Regent Street Polytechnic (or, more usually, the Poly). A strong believer in the health-giving properties of sports, Hogg financed a new gymnasium and swimming pool in the Regent Street building, while in the suburbs of London he purchased tennis courts and sports pitches, and built a boathouse at Chiswick. By the time of Hogg’s death in 1903, athletics, boxing, cricket, cycling, fencing, football, hockey, tennis, rowing, rugby and swimming were among many sports at the Poly and Hogg’s sporting legacy has continued to thrive.

Dr Mark Clapson, Reader in History at the University of Westminster, draws upon the University’s extensive archives to celebrate a unique and ground-breaking sporting heritage that began in the nineteenth century, and is still very much alive today. His previous publications include A Bit of a Flutter: Popular Gambling and English Society, 1823-1961 (Manchester University Press, 1992) and Working-Class Suburb: Social Change on an English Council Estate, 1930-2010 (Manchester University Press, 2012).

Price: £20.00 

Order now

Please note that there is a 20% discount for staff, students and alumni. Staff wishing to obtain copies for use as corporate gifts should also contact Archive Services.

Also available as a Kindle ebook compatible with Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle for iPad, Kindle for PC and Kindle for Android via amazon.co.uk

The Education of the Eye

The History of the Royal Polytechnic Institution 1838-1881 by Brenda Weeden

When the University’s predecessor, the Polytechnic Institution opened to the public in the newly fashionable Regent Street in August 1838, it was committed to the promotion of science. It achieved this aim by visual means, exploring innovative ways of demonstrating practical science and new technologies to a general audience. The Royal Polytechnic Institution became a major Victorian tourist attraction.Visitors could be submerged in the diving bell, have their photograph taken in Europe’s first photographic studio, see the new industrial machines in motion, or watch a spectacular lantern show in the Polytechnic Theatre.

The Education of the Eye tells this exciting story for the first time, drawing on an extensive range of primary and secondary sources. In keeping with the Polytechnic's reputation for visual spectacle, it is lavishly illustrated with more than 70 contemporary images, many of which have not been previously published.

Price: £20.00

Order now

Please note that there is a 20% discount for staff, students and alumni. Staff wishing to obtain copies for use as corporate gifts should also contact Archive Services.

Also available as a Kindle ebook compatible with Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle for iPad, Kindle for PC and Kindle for Android via amazon.co.uk.

Old photo of the polytechnic institution

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Archive Services collects, preserves, and provides access to records of the University and its predecessors.

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