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EXPLORING THE COLLECTIONS

The collections held within the archive include photographs, drawings, architectural plans, newspaper cuttings, magazine articles, books, programmes, industry periodicals, audio and video recordings, operational records, artefacts and cinema ephemera of every kind.Material has been collected for over 50 years and continues to grow. As the collections are so extensive, it has not been possible to create a comprehensive catalogue to allow for independent searching.

This page is intended as a brief snapshot of a small part of the material available within the archive and provides pdf copies of some of the collections that have been listed. You are encouraged to make an enquiry using the enquiry form to establish if we can help in your research project or perhaps find that elusive photograph you seek.

C.T.A Bulletin and Picture House indexes.

The C.T.A. has published a newsletter magazine quarterly since 1967. Containing news of cinemas around the U.K., short articles on cinema history along with news of meetings and events of the C.T.A. Since 1982 the annual Picture House has also been published containing detailed and well-illustrated articles on all aspects of cinema history. These indexes will help find information within these publications from 1967 to 2006.

Introduction [here]
Index [here]

C.T.A. Visit Notes.

The C.T.A has organised visits to cinemas since 1967 often tours over several days of various buildings in an area or city. Visit Notes are produced alongside each visit containing information on the cinemas visited.

A list of the Visit Notes held in the Archive can be found here

Architectural Plans

The Archive holds a vast number of cinema plans both original, reproductions and plans associated with planning applications for alterations. Key collections include the original plans for leading architects George Coles and Alister MacDonald.

A full list of Plans held in the Archive can be found [here]

Photographic Portfolios

The Archive holds tens of thousands of images of cinemas across the U.K. including the unparalleled Tony Moss Photographic Collection, an album belonging to Union Cinemas and the three portfolios of photographs owned by leading Architect George Coles. This list includes the George Coles portfolios and other mounted high-quality images.


A list of the picture Portfolios can be found [here]


Kinematograph (Kine) Yearbooks

A vital starting point for so many much cinema research these annuals contains information on every cinema in the U.K., leading Circuits, cinema suppliers, films released and much more. This list includes other similar publications including the later B.F.I. Yearbooks.Many of these have been scanned and are available online. For further information please contact us.

For a full list of Kine Yearbooks [see here]

Kinematograph Weekly/Ideal Kinema/The Cinema/Cinema & TV Today, Screen International and other trade papers.

The Archive contains many trade papers covering the films on release and the exploitation of these films by cinemas, plus features on the latest cinemas and technical innovations. These are being catalogued and the lists will be updated periodically.


A.B.C. Opening Programmes

The Archive contains hundreds of programmes created as souvenirs for first night audiences. Here is a list of the ABC opening programmes held.

South London Press

Bound copies of complete years of the South London Press containing weekly advertisements for cinemas showing what was on. Here is a complete list

David E. Nye Collection

The papers relating to the architectural practice of the leading Architect covering his post war works on existing cinemas. Here is a complete list of the collection

Archive Library

The Archive contains an extensive library of books and pamphlets covering all aspects of cinemas and the exhibition industry. Here is a list of all the titles currently held.

Maurice Cheepin Collection

This vast collection accumulated over a lifetime in cinema management contains wonderful examples of cinema showmanship and publicity stunts, many while manager of the Troxy Stepney. The photographs showing the East End of London in the decades following World War 2, are fascinating.

A full list of the collection is coming soon

Audio Visual Collection

Video and cassette recordings have been digitised recently and are now available on DVD and CD at the Archive.

Here is a full list of the Audio Visual collection

Mercia Cinema Society

Although no longer active the back issues of the Mercia Bioscope magazine contain many fascinating articles

Mercia Archive index can be found here

Indexes of the Mercia Bioscope are coming soon

Cinema Organ – Journal of the Cinema Organ Society

can be found here

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