Marlborough Theatre

Marlborough Theatre

Opened: Theatre 1903, films 1907, cinema 1918
Closed: 1957
Address: 397 Holloway Road
Demoloished: Yes
Now: City and Islington College

The Marlborough Theatre was designed by Frank Matcham a well-known London theatre architect. Films were first shown in this Marlborough theatre as part of its Sunday variety programme.

In 1918 the building was refurbished and it opened as a cinema. The decoration was lavish. In addition to the refurbished auditorium there was a tea lounge that was equipped with cane chairs and palm trees. Rumour had it that the ghost of an elegant Edwardian gentleman could be seen walking around the building late at night. The first ‘talking’ picture to be shown at the Marlborough Theatre was Al Jolson’s ‘The Singing Fool’ on 26th August 1929. As other cinemas opened in the area competition grew and the Marlborough closed on 31 August 1957, the building was demolished five years later.

Coming soon.

Do you remember this cinema?

Do you or someone you know remember going to ‘the pictures’ at this cinema – was it a ‘palace’ or a ‘flea pit’? Where you there for its closing film? Or was it your regular Saturday night out or maybe you went on a Sunday for the matinee? Why don't you add your voice to this growing archive about Islington's Lost Cinemas.

Maybe you even have an old photo which we could include on the website, if so please email it to, all images will be fully credited.