Brighton is great for vintage shopping but I’ve just found out about The Old Cinema, a four-storey vintage department store on London. It sells all kinds of vintage furniture and accessories across 35 rooms in Chiswick, West London. I heard about it through the owners of my London crash pad and thought we could go window shopping together.
It all started in 1908 when The Old Cinema was… just that, a local picture house until 1934 when it suddenly closed, remaining dark and empty for 20 years, except for a spell as a former parachute storage warehouse during the Second World War.
The building reopened in the 1950s selling Victorian furniture which became fashionable with exporters around Europe, America and Japan, narrowly avoiding demolition were it not for a couple of passionate local antique dealers who bought the freehold, refurbished the building and created The Old Cinema department store we know today.
Each day, a treasure trove of cargo from around the world arrives at The Old Cinema, from kitsch Americana to period antiques, Mad Men-style rosewood to industrial arts and French decadence. These dazzling finds have even been featured in the 007 film, Skyfall, to kit out my London crash pad and a local Chiswick bakery, as well as plenty of bars, boutiques, celebrity homes… But despite its city-wide fame, the people at The Old Cinema haven’t let their success go to their heads. This is a family-run business, that retains its unique character and charm.
There are so many rooms to rummage around in, you could easily lose yourself for a whole day – this great little video celebrating The Old Cinema should help you get a feel for the place…
Until I find time to visit, I’ve also scoured the entire online shop and picked out 10 Ellie & Co favourites (although this was a truly impossible task)
1. A beautiful mahogany Victorian sewing cabinet.
2. ‘Coty’ Paris powder compact, circa 1930.
3. Wooden hat blocks.
4. I have a thing for vintage globes, especially this one.
5. A one-arm bandit!
6. A 1950s hostess trolley.
7. A musical football cigarette holder from the 60s/70s?
8. Hand-painted vintage American oar.
9. 1960s table lamp with a gold shade and brass stand.
10. Carstens Ankara vase, circa 60s/70s.
You’ll find The Old Cinema at 160 Chiswick High Road, London W4 1PR.