• Architects Mockup of the Regent Street Cinema once work has been complete

    "This is a historic landmark, but it's so much more than that" Tim Bevan, Co-Chairman, Working Title Films

  • Historic picture of Regent Street Cinema

    "It's not just about a restoration; it's about what we'd miss if we don't do this" Asif Kapadia, Film Director, University of Westminster Alumnus

  • Historic picture of Regent Street Cinema

    "It's where I learnt my trade, where I started, where a lot of us got started" Lucia Zucchetti, Film Editor, University of Westminster Alumnus

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Regent Cinema future

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Regent Cinema future

Project updates

And the award goes to…

Last week we were delighted to attend the opening ceremony of the University’s first student-led short film festival; The Westminster Film Forum. The Film Forum
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Scroll the timeline to discover the history of the prestigious cinema at our Regent Street campus

6 August 1838

Polytechnic Institute open at 309 Regent Street

23 March 1841

First photographic studio in Europe opens on the roof of the building. Dickens is one of its first visitors


Prince Albert becomes patron of the Royal Polytechnic Institution


A new theatre is opened, which becomes famous for its magic lantern shows

25 September 1882

Young Men's Christian Institute opens at 309 Regent Street, soon to become know as the 'Polytechnic'


Hogg's Polytechnic becomes Regent Street Polytechnic

21 February 1896

The Lumière brothers' Cinématographie is demonstrated - the first public showing of moving pictures to a paying audience in Britain


The Olympic Games are held in London. The Polytechnic organises the Marathon and the opening and closing ceremonies of the games

1910 - 12

Old Polytechnic building is rebuilt, but retaining the old theatre behind a new façade


Polytechnic offers the country's frst course in cinematography

April 1935

Compton Organ installed and still working over 75 years later


Polytechnic of Central London formed as one of the 30 new polytechnics and a year later offers the UK's first Honours degree course in film

July 1980

The last cinema company to lease the building vacates, and the space is no longer used as a commercial cinema


PCL gains university status and is renamed the University of Westminster


'The Warrior', directed by Asif Kapadia wins a BAFTA for Best British Film


Michael Winterbottom wins a BAFTA for 'In This World'


Seamus McGarvey wins the Evening Standard British Film Award for 'Atonement'


Westminster film students win the Kodak Student Commercials Awards outright two years running


Tony Grisoni wins a BAFTA TV award for 'The Unloved'


Asif Kapadia directs 'Senna', which goes on to win multiple awards including the Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival


Student production 'The Miserables' is nominated for the Student Academy Award, and wins the Audience Award at the Beijing Film Festival


Sam Care is named one of BAFTA's 'Brits to Watch'


Completion of the project to revive the birthplace of British Cinema: a restored cinema opens to the public

In association with

Regent Cinema past

The University of Westminster is pleased to have the support of the Heritage Lottery fund, Quintin Hogg Trust and MBI Al Jaber Foundation on this project.

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