Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of FORMER ANGEL CINEMA
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Islington (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 31425 83185



TQ3164SW ISLINGTON HIGH STREET 635-1/64/524 (West side) 31/01/91 No.7 Former Angel Cinema


Campanile-type tower of former purpose-built cinema (Angel Picture Theatre). 1913; remainder of cinema demolished c. 1973. By H. Courtenay Constantine for Social Service Educative Entertainment Co. Ltd., patron. Stone and brick rendered in plaster and stucco; copper roof to dome and lantern, other roofs obscured. Main foyer entrance originally in White Lion Street; the Islington High Street entrance at the base of tower contained grand entrance for circle seats only. (Large auditorium was at right angles to High Street). Edwardian Mannerist classical style. Tower is 100 feet high; composed of 3 stages, one bay in width, surmounted by drum and dome with small lantern. Ground-floor stage with full-height round-arched architraved entrance with console-bracketed keystone and half-column and half-pier jambs; door and glazing removed from entrance and partially replaced by temporary hoarding; Corinthian pilasters flank entrance and support entablature to ground-floor stage. 1st-floor stage lined as ashlar: empty round-headed niche (small C20 sash inserted to centre) with half-columns supporting segmental pediment and flanked by banded rustication up to entablature and pediment. Bull's eye window flanked by foliated relief decoration to centre of tympanum. At 3rd stage tower rises dramatically above skyline with 4 faces: each with sash window to centre, above that a heavy entablature which springs up over a bull's eye window; banded rustication to corners. The whole is topped by arcaded octagonal drum, pedimented on alternate faces, a copper dome with bull's eyes to each face and a small lantern. INTERIOR: : little original interior fabric survives although some plaster work and classical detail is indicated on the ground-floor level; the splendid stained glass windows and entrance doors have been removed. Rear ground-floor is totally open to the weather; a portion of the roof has also been removed. This tower is all that remains of the 1,463 seat Angel cinema. It opened in March 1913. Its name was subsequently shortened to 'Angel'; in 1929 it was one of two cinemas to first bring 'talkies' to Islington. (Constantine also designed the Scala cinema in King's Cross, 1920). This building makes an important contribution to the townscape, notably in conjunction with the former Angel pub at no. 1 Islington High Street (q.v.) it forms the 'gateway to Islington'. Islington was one of the earliest centres of moving picture entertainment in Britain. The tower is a striking remnant of the most luxurious cinema built in Islington during this period, when it was thought to be 'the aristocrat of local cinemas'. (Draper, Chris: Islington's Cinemas and Film Studios: Islington: 1989-: 54-56; Historians File, English Heritage, London Division: 1990-).

Listing NGR: TQ3142583185


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Draper, C, Islington's Cinemas and Film Studios, (1989), 54-56


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

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Date: 18 Jul 2000
Reference: IOE01/02801/07
Rights: Copyright IoE Peter Fuller. Source Historic England Archive
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