Essential! Cinema


Ever heard of the Essential! cinema in Wardour Street, London? No, neither had we, that is until we found these two vintage programmes from it dating back to July & September 1981. A quick trip over to the always amazing Cinema Treasures website reveals its history as a screen that changed hands and styles many times during the 1970s and into the 80s. From a preview theatre, to a porn cinema and then in 1976 is turned into the Essential, which is what we’re interested in. These two programmes both date from 1981 and show that the programming there leaned heavily towards the cult, arthouse and music film side of things. In fact you could still programme all of these films today and have a very credible line up of films to show people. What’s great though is at the time a lot of these films were then fairly recent, especially the punk documentaries which they played in September, quite remarkable to think that we’re now so far away from this time. PLUS you know all of this would have been screened on 35 or 16MM, let’s hope one of two of the prints screened here still live on out in the wild somewhere!