In a vacant shop, located at number 83 Upper Street, the Pesaresi brothers started a bit of a revelation. Running their innovative animated picture show to much acclaim, they enlisted financial help from their neighbouring shop and snapped up number 84 – 86 respectively. Designed by celebrated architects, Boreham & Gladding, little has changed since its opening in October 1913. Three name changes in, and a couple of refurbishments to the interior, the Screen On The Green Still Stands, nearly 100 years since its commencement.
Hosting a full size bar behind the seating area, it is easy to see why this cinema remains popular amongst the locals. With plush red velvet chairs (footrests included), and a food menu consisting of gourmet burgers and pittas with hummus and olives, all brought over by welcoming staff, you can wrap your evening into one neat package. It really is like spending an evening in, out. It is funny to think you will find more home comforts here than you will in your own house.
There is something about N1, where you can spend a night out, in a place undeniably at the peak of modern times, in fitting with a bohemian lifestyle, yet feel as if you are in the 1930s. This is most certainly one of the charms about Screen On The Green. Still holding its original barrel vault ceiling and the iconic red curtain, you can be safe to take a date there without feeling hideously clichéd.
Aesthetics and service aside, all would be pointless if the films on offer were that of Hollywood churn outs and typical family affair picture shows. Showing only the crème of the cinematic crop, they never disappoint in the films they select. From underground British indie flicks through to European art house, this is a place to go and see the unexpected. A real movie buff’s cinema if you will. It doesn’t just end at movies though. They hold monthly live events, ranging from Q & A sessions with some seriously high rolling industry professionals, comedy shows including the likes of Stewart Lee and Stephen K Amos, to intimate acoustic sessions from musical greats. They have innovated the humble cinema, refashioning the whole affair, giving back its charm and reminding us why we liked it in the first place. They have returned us to the golden age of the silver screen. Some say cinema is dead, well not in N1.