Archive Enquiry

Welcome to the Cinema Theatre Association Archive.

The Cinema Theatre Association maintains an extensive collection of material, built up over many years, charting the history and development of cinemas in Britain. From the earliest picture houses to the multiplexes of today, the archive is a unique resource of both changing architectural and social history.

The collection includes photographs, drawings, architectural plans, newspaper cuttings, articles and books, programmes, industry documents and periodicals. Within the holdings are special collections relating to leading architects and cinema companies as well as personal research collections.

Visiting the archive or making an enquiry

The archive can be visited, by appointment only, but you will need to complete the archive enquiry form first as the archive is presently in storage in East London. As a result, not all the collection is accessible. The location can be reached by public transport. To make an appointment to visit, please contact the Archivist.

If you are unable to visit the archive in person you can make an enquiry using the archive enquiry form. An enquiry will usually be handled within one month comprising a list of material we have found relating to your enquiry from which you can order digital scans. Alternatively, you can use our Express Service to request us to scan and send you suitable material as soon as possible. We regret that we are unable to provide a research service.


To contribute to the upkeep of this unique archive it is necessary to levy fees for certain services. All moneys are used in the upkeep of the archive, preservation of the material and to improve the archive and its services.

Material is provided in the form of digital scans in 96-dpi-jpeg format (suitable for personal research purposes but not for publication) emailed to you or posted on a CD-ROM. Individual photographs or pages are counted as 1 copy, except newspaper cuttings where as many as can be fitted onto an A4 scan will be counted as 1 copy. Requests greater than 20 items will not be emailed but posted on a CD-ROM.

Personal Research Charges for not-for-profit organisations and individuals

Visiting the archive - No Charge

Making an enquiry - No Charge

Copies of material for personal research, per item or A4 page - £1.50 (members) £3.00 (non-members)

CD-ROM (compulsory for more than 20 copies) - £5.00 including postage and packaging


Material is copied and provided on the understanding that it is for personal research purposes only and not for publication in any way. Not-for-profit organisations and individuals wishing higher resolution scans or to publish any material provided from the CTA Archive must first obtain consent from the Archivist and a facilitation charge may be levied and paid before delivery. Copies are provided to a specification to suit your needs.

Commercial organisations should contact the Archivist direct with any enquiries.


We cannot give permission for publication of material that is not under our copyright. You cannot assume that because you have obtained material from the CTA Archive, this allows you to publish it.

We can advise you on copyright and how to go about obtaining permission for publication of copyright material.

Contact the Archivist

Clive Polden
14 Ivychurch Gardens, Palm Bay, Margate, CT9 3YG