'We prayed for light, and God sent us Lumière'
- Cecil Hepworth, Early 20th century film director
Take one look at Regent Street and it's easy to see this iconic London landmark is steeped in history. A renowned shopping hot spot, Regent Street is known for its architecture, great restaurants, flagship stores and exclusive boutiques. It may come of a surprise to learn that Regent Street was home to the first ever moving picture show.
On 21 February 1896, 54 people gathered in the Great Hall at the Polytechnic Institution at 309 Regent Street - now the University of Westminster. The Lumière brothers projected their moving images onto a large screen and wowed audience's for the very first time. 309 Regent Street is arguably the birthplace of cinema, a worthy reason to restore this piece of the street to its former glory.
Retaining an air of authenticity, the cinema at the University of Westminster will evoke its 19th century heritage while also looking to the future. As the birthplace of cinema, this will become a site for innovation in filmmaking once more. Students at the University of Westminster will screen their films at the cinema, while school programmes and hands on learning at the cinema will help to connect the iconic spot with the ever-changing community that surrounds it.
Fundraising for the development of the cinema has started. For more information and to give a donation, simply and find out more click here. Pop corn at ready ladies and gents!