Known as the birthplace of British cinema, and situated in the heart of London’s West End, the University of Westminster’s Regent Street Cinema is where the first ever screening of moving images took place to a paying British audience.
Built in 1848, housed within the Polytechnic Institution on London’s Regent Street (predecessor to the University of Westminster), the cinema was the first in the country to show moving pictures. In 1896, the cinema showcased the Lumière brothers’ Cinématographe, and as the curtain fell, British cinema was born.
The reinstated Regent Street Cinema and state-of-the-art auditorium will offer the best repertory programming, serving as a unique arts venue for quality world cinema as well as lectures, screenings, workshops and events. Above all, the cinema will bring together students and industry professionals, nurturing future talent and providing a platform for the University of Westminster’s outstanding film students and faculty members to showcase their award-winning work.
Shira MacLeod, Director of Regent Street Cinema, said: “We are very excited to open the doors to Regent Street Cinema, the only UK cinema to show all moving image media from 16mm and 35mm to Super 8 film, to the latest in 4K digital film.
“In addition, the cinema will offer a distinctive and highly-informed programming style combining cutting-edge British and World cinema, retrospectives and classic repertory titles documentaries, non-Western cinema, artists cinema, experimental moving image and animation as well as masterclasses, film industry events, premieres, retrospectives, touring guest programmes and annual and biennial festivals.”
Since the first degree course in moving image production started at the University of Westminster in 1971, a long-list of award-winning graduates have emerged including BAFTA-winning director Asif Kapadia for Best Documentary and Best Editing for Senna (2012), Bond screenwriter Neal Purvis for Outstanding British Film for Skyfall (2013), Adam Wimpenny, Director of The Revolution Will Be Televised (2000) which won BAFTA for Best Television Comedy, and Oscar nominee Seamus McGarvey. Jivitesh Mazumdar, a recent alumnus of the Animation BA Honours course, won the Public Choice award at the British Animation Awards, and BAFTA for Best Animation. His short film Stranger within me was selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. It is not only those post-university who are being recognised: for example, current film students recently scooped six out of 15 awards at the 2014 Kodak student commercial awards.
For a full list of films showing at the Regent Street Cinema, visit the official Regent Street Cinema website.