Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of PHOENIX
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Statutory Address:

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

Greater London Authority
Barnet (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 27311 89336



TQ2789 HIGH ROAD 31/23/10363 East Finchley 05-OCT-00 Phoenix


Also Known As: Picturedrome, HIGH ROAD, East Finchley

Built in 1910-11 as the Picturedrome for H.E. Barley. Architect: S. Birdwood. The cinema was given a new facade and internally remodelled (including the re-orientation of the auditorium) in 1938, as the Rex, by Howes and Jackman. Rendered facade and left return wall, the visible auditorium walls in stock brick. Three-storey entrance block, with low auditorium behind, which has no balcony.

EXTERIOR: Moderne facade, with a simple concrete cornice. The entrance doors in the centre of the frontage are approached by two steps, becoming three on the right due to the fall in the ground. A canopy at first floor level runs the full width of the building. Three horizontal windows in the centre of the first floor under a hood mould. The top floor is left bare except for three vertical slits in the render. There is a narrow vertical window on the right of the facade and two similar windows, one above the other, in the left return. The black vertical feature to carry the name of the cinema is original.

INTERIOR: Small foyer with door on the right to a double-height inner foyer, from whence the auditorium is gained by a flight of stairs, again on the right. Long tunnel-like auditorium with a raked floor. The barrel ceiling, divided into fields by bands of plaster, dates from the earlier construction period of 1910-11, while the arch-topped proscenium and Art Deco relief panels on the side walls (and in the angle between the latter and the proscenium) date from the 1938 remodelling. The relief panels represent foliage and are in the style of Eugene Mollo and Michael Egan. Heavy moulded cornice which, in the far corners, rises to meet the proscenium.

ANALYSIS: An example of an early purpose-built cinema which has been in continuous operation. The interior contains Art Deco panels in fibrous plaster relief of high quality and the auditorium remains complete and unaltered since 1938.

SOURCES: Malcolm Webb: Greater London s Suburban Cinemas 1946-1986, Amber Valley Typesetting Services, Birmingham 1986, page 109. Richard Gray: Cinemas in Britain, Lund Humphries, London 1996, page 139. Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner: The Buildings of England, London 4: North, Penguin Books, London 1998, page 126. Allen Eyles: Granada Theatres, Cinema Theatre Association, London 1998, page 249. Martin Tapsell: `The Oldest Cinema', in Picture House, the magazine of the Cinema Theatre Association, No 24, Autumn 1999, page 7.


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

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Books and journals
Cherry, B, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: London 4, North, (1998 revised 2001), 126
Eyles, A, The Granada Theatres, (1998), 249
Gray, R, Cinemas in Britain: One Hundred Years of Cinema Architecture, (1996), 139
Webb, M, Greater London's Suburban Cinemas 1946-1986, (1986), 109
Tapsell, M, 'Picture House' in 24, (1999), 7


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: 05 Sep 2007
Reference: IOE01/16975/35
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Anthony Rau. Source Historic England Archive
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