The Cinema Museum History
The Cinema Museum includes everything connected with the cinema – the organization, film clubs, community cinemas, and societies of people interested in filming. The private collection of the Cinema Museum in London (it is located in Kennington area) is among the ten best collections of South London, selected in 2011 by the popular British newspaper The Guardian. Those, who will come to this unique place, will be shown the photographs, equipment, signage and furnishings of the old cinemas, the special library keeping industry periodicals and films. The Cinema Museum photo archive includes portraits of actors and film directors, film stills and the working moments from film sets since 1896 to the present. In addition, the museum keeps posters in different languages, and video archives, revealing the secrets of makeup, special effects and stunts, including the earliest films and the latest blockbusters.
The museum was founded in 1986. The collection of Ronald Grant was the base of the exposition. Being a disciple of a projectionist, Ronald Grant became interested in everything, which was connected with the cinema. Grant’s Archive is placed in a former Lambeth Workhouse, where Charlie Chaplin, being a child, lived with his mother. Most of the guides in this museum today are volunteers. During the excursions, they wear uniforms of the past.
The richest collection of the museum features lenses, sound systems, projectors and everything, which was used to demonstrate the audience a film. As a visitor, each one can see professional projectors (16 and 35mm). The Museum stores today over a million of photos, a unique collection of original posters and artwork, amateur and professional projectors, the old uniforms used by cinema staff, millions of films’ meters. A unique archive has a collection of old magazines, books on cinema and music from films.
The museum collection features original plans for cinema interiors and architecture. The Museum keeps the collection of publications including “The Kinematograph Weekly” ( 1889-1971), “Property Gazette” (1912 – 180s)“The Cinema News” ,“Screen International” and many other absolutely unique publications. Museum library stores thousands of books on actors, film directors, music from films, documents and everything which referrers to the cinema production and its history.
The Cinema Museum really stores many millions of old films meters. However, the visitors come here to see the main exhibition, which recreates the spirit and atmosphere of the old theater: posters, tickets, projectors, audience seats, and elegant uniforms of people working there. Each one, who is curious about the cinema history, wants to feel the difference between the old “miracle” called cinema and the new cinema halls, should inform about his visit in advance. The staff of the enthusiasts, working in the Cinema Museum, will organize any thematic excursion for private tourists and for groups.
Cinema Museum Shop
Those, who want to buy posters from films and books on the cinema history, are welcome to visit the Cinema Museum Shop. Besides these units you can buy official museum T-shirts, mugs with the logo of the place. The best gift for a real fan of films can become an original poster, printed in 1960, 1975, 1980, etc.
Each season has its own “time-table”. Something new is demonstrated in this unique place every day. The price of a visit is £8.50 for adults and £6.50 for students, unemployed people and retired. You can also request an invitation by Email and visit the Kennington Bioscope event. It will be interesting for you if you love silent cinema. The Cinema Museum often invites writers, actors and other popular people and organizes special evenings for those, who are interested in meeting with them. The lovers of documentary films will also find the events on their favorite theme there.