The Holloway Cinematograph Theatre was opened in 1911 by the cinema ‘king’ Montagu Pyke. At his peak Pyke owned 14 cinemas across central London. The Holloway Cinematograph Theatre (which was affectionately known as ‘Pykes’) had a narrow frontage and ran down the side of Axminster Road (then called Devonshire Road). As well as screening other people’s films, the cinema management would make their own local interest films and show them to a packed-out house. Pyke’s empire did not last and within 4 years he had lost all his cinemas, including the one in Holloway. Even though the cinema’s name changed to the ‘Palace’ with new ownership it was always known locally as ‘Pykes’.
In 1930 the well-known cinema architect George Cole was involved in refurbishing the cinema but its days were numbered and by the summer of 1937 it had closed. The building was soon demolished and the site incorporated into the North London Drapery Store. Today it has mixed use as a retail unit and an apartment blocked called ‘The Drapery’.