Nothing prepares the passer-by on the King’s Road for the majestic grandeur of Curzon Chelsea. Atop a distinctive staircase that hosts a collection of vintage film posters stands one of London’s most imposing cinemas, boasting the biggest screen outside of the West End.
Built on the grounds of the laboratory in which film pioneer William Edward Friese-Greene conducted the experiments in motion picture photography that led to the invention of the celluloid projector, Curzon Chelsea started its life as music hall before becoming a cinema in the 1930s.
Often used as film location, the 700-strong auditorium is ideal for large-scale conventions, festival premieres and gala screenings. The foyer includes a fully licensed cafe and bar.
206 King’s Road, London, SW3 5XP
Tube: Sloane Square (District and Circle Lines)
Buses: 11, 19, 22, 49, 211, 319
Chelsea is regrettably, currently not accessible to wheelchair users. We endeavour to help wheelchair users who are able to take the stairs assisted, or unassisted, as much as we can but we ask that customers who require assistance up and down the stairs kindly get in touch with us prior to their visit so we can discuss their specific needs and make their visit to Curzon Chelsea as comfortable as possible.
SCREEN TECHNICAL INFO
713 seats. 35mm film projection, 4K Sony digital projection, Beta SP and digibeta, Blu-ray, DVD, Data, Mini DV. All aspect ratios. Microphones. Dolby 5.1 Digital sound. 3D available. Luxurious Pullman seats with superior leg room.
The cinema is ideal for big meetings or festival and gala screenings.
The foyer and bar area can hold up to 150 people for pre or post-screening receptions. The bar and auditorium are fully licensed.
Contact our Private Hires team for more information.
GIANTS OF FILM
Despite its modern appearance, Chelsea’s roots in film history go back to the birth of cinema. The studios and laboratory of film pioneer William Friese-Greene were on the original site and a bas relief of his image can still be seen of the façade of the building.
By 1934, the studio had made way for a huge behemoth of a cinema, the Gaumont Palace. Designed by architects William E. Trent and Ernest F. Tully, it had a seating capacity of 2,502 and was equipped with a Compton theatre organ. It had a fully equipped stage with flytower, rehearsal room and eight dressing rooms. There was also a 150-seat cafe which had its own entrance whilst the exterior of the building boasted Art Deco panels. The cinema became the Gaumont Theatre from 1937 and was eventually modernised in 1960. Re-named the Odeon in 1963, the cinema finally closed its main doors in 1972.
The foyer and stalls area were converted into the Habitat store while the former stage area was converted into flats and offices. A new Odeon Cinema seating 739 was created in the former balcony area, opening in September 1973. This Odeon closed in November 1981 with a Midnight Movie double-bill of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Young Frankenstein.
The cinema was left vacant for almost two years until the arthouse film distributors Artificial Eye took it over and re-named it the Chelsea Cinema. It re-opened on 15th September 1983 with Gerard Depardieu in Andrzej Wajda’s Danton. Along with its sister site, Renoir, Chelsea joined Curzon Cinemas in 2006 when it had a makeover, delivering a fabulous new bar and even more luxurious Pullman seats.
In 2014, Curzon Chelsea once again made history by hosting the first ever live broadcast in Sony 4K of War Horse from the National Theatre in London. The two giant horse puppets from the show appeared on the cinema stage to introduce the performance.
Curzon Chelsea has also been the home of groundbreaking cinema events such as a marathon double bill screening of Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 and 2 plus Q&A with the stars, which was broadcast live to cinemas nationwide on 22 February 2014.
Our gigantic cinema regularly pays host to high profile Q&As with international talent, such as Oscar winner Julianne Moore and star actor Ryan Gosling upon his directorial debut, as well as Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay (for their award-winning film 45 Years).