Secret cinema unlocked

Olympia is to unlock the doors to a secret Vcitoria cinema inside the complex for Open House weekend.

The Pillar Hall’s first floor, where one of the earliest systems of projecting moving images onto a screen once entertained Victorian audiences, will be open for discovery. Normally closed to the public, the decommissioned cinema space will be open as part of Open House on Saturday, September 20.

Visitors will see evidence of the original cinema, created in 1895 just as moving image fever was taking off – the Lumiere brothers would record first footage with their cinématographe in the same year – and the original screen, on which audiences are thought to have watched films including, A Shoeblack at Work in a London Street and A Rough Sea at Dover.

Tom Lambregts, Head of Marketing at Olympia London, said: “The Pillar Hall’s first floor is one of Olympia London’s lesser known spaces, which happens to have a fascinating history as an early cinema.”

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