The Old Cinema is the perfect destination for anyone interested in vintage and antique furniture. Fittingly, the history of the very building itself is as complex as some of the beautiful items it sells.
As the name suggests, this old Edwardian building had originally been Chiswick’s local picture house. In the 1930s it fell empty for almost twenty years, before finally re-opening its doors as a furniture shop. The owners decided to jump on the current fashion in the export market for British Victorian pieces, which were rapidly becoming more popular in Europe, America and Japan.
During the 1970s, the shop was then nearly demolished to become a supermarket chain — but was luckily saved by two local antique dealers who managed to obtain the freehold. They refurbished the entire building, and in doing so uncovered some of the few remaining features of the original cinema, including the magnificent gilded dome ceiling.
The Old Cinema as we know it today, opened in 1979, and has been one of the London’s favourite antique, vintage and retro stores ever since. It sells everything from Italian mid-century sideboards to merchants’ trunks from Rajasthan and Victorian copper jelly moulds, and works alongside furniture specialists such as Ines Cole. Despite its international footing and 10,000 square feet of showroom, it remains a family run business with a friendly and informal approach.