Visiting the Coronet Cinema in Notting Hill is like taking a step back in time. A time long before giant multiplexes began appearing in out-of-town shopping centres. A time before every cinema interior looked exactly the same. A time before audiences applauded at the end of a movie even though no one in the film can actually hear it. Because it's a film.
The Coronet Cinema actually began life as a theatre, way back in 1898. People from far and wide were drawn to the Coronet by talk of its exquisitely styled interior, and it quickly made a name for itself.
Movies began to grow in popularity in the 1920s and it was because of this that the Coronet switched from being a theatre to a cinema.
In 1950 the Coronet was given a new name - the Gaumont - having been bought by Gaumont British Cinemas.
The Gaumont was almost reduced to rubble in the early 1970s when the building came close to being demolished soon after being bought by the Rank Organisation.
Thankfully, local residents came to the rescue, preventing the elegant structure from being destroyed. It would have been a huge loss.
Then in 1977, Rank sold it and it became an independent cinema. One of the first moves was to give it its old name back – the Coronet.
Since then, the interior has undergone refurbishment, been classified as a Grade II listed building, and even starred in a movie itself – why Notting Hill of course!
In the late 1990s, a new screen (Screen 2) was added, with seating for 151 people. The main screen (Screen 1) features three tiers of seating holding up to 400 people. The beautiful interior of the main screen is a sight to really savour, so be sure to get there before the lights go down.
The box office opens at one o'clock every day and prices are more than reasonable, with an adult ticket costing just £7.50 – excellent value when you consider what's being charged just down the road in the centre of town.
Even better value can be had on Tuesdays with tickets costing a mere £3.50 all day. OAPs can get concessionary prices every day for shows starting before 6.30pm, and Monday nights are great value for students with tickets costing £3.50.
Films screened at the Coronet cover a wide variety of types and genres, including independent movies, blockbusters, and classics. Visit their website to see what's showing now.
It's common knowledge that the Coronet Cinema could do with another lick of paint, and the seats might become a little testing if it's a lengthy movie you're watching, but the sumptuous interior is still to be enjoyed, and as local cinemas go, there are few quite as charming as this one.