BBC Radio 4 journalist taken on journey to past and future in Regent Street Cinema
11 December 2014
The five-minute section on the Regent Street Cinema included a number of treasures from the cinema’s rich heritage that Manel experienced while visiting the site. One of those was a real-life Cinematographe that David Cleveland, cinematographer, film archivist and expert, brought from his own private collection of historical equipment to the Cinema stage, and screened the same Lumière films that were shown on 21 February 1896 when it all began.
Anna McNally of University of Westminster Archive discussed the Cinema’s history as ‘the birthplace of British cinema’, showing off her expertise on the history and heritage of this important venue. Anna is a member of the Archives team that co-ordinates the production of an upcoming publication about the Cinema’s history which will be the fourth in a series about the University’s history. The publication will coincide with the opening of the restored Cinema and will be richly illustrated with images from the University’s archive.
Finally Simon Boyd read the full eyewitness account written by his grandmother, Lady Sybil Grey, in a letter to her father. In it she describes a visit she made in 1896, aged 14, to the Polytechnic Institute to see the Lumière Brothers’ films and describes them as "the photographs that move you know like real life, it was delightful." She remained very interested in cinema all her life and took classes in amateur film from 1927 onwards.
You can listen to the show on BBC iPlayer.
About the University of Westminster:
The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.
We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.
Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.
Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.