Phoenix Cinema

Phoenix Cinema

53 High Rd., London, England N2 9PJ

Original Debut: The Art Deco–style, 255-seat Phoenix originally opened as the East Finchley Picturedrome, with the tagline, “the world’s finest picture plays.” It has shown films nonstop ever since, even during WWII, when it was used as a makeshift home for evacuees from coastal towns (among them were 80 schoolchildren, whom county inspectors were aghast to find filling the front rows for a screening of a horror movie).

Now Showing: Owned by a North London charitable trust, the Phoenix shows independent films and the occasional classic (1963’s Le Mépris, featuring Brigitte Bardot, is forthcoming). The concession still serves locally baked lemon-poppyseed cakes; and in-house projectionist Peter Bayley, who’s worked in the theater since 1960, recently received an MBE (Members of the Order of the British Empire) for his service to the film industry.

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