Situated on Chiswick High Road (and just a couple minutes from the pizzeria Franco Manca), the Old Cinema is an unexpected treat amongst the coffee shops and chain restaurants. From the outside, it looks like an old-fashioned cinema that may have once showed silent films (in fact, the building was previously a picture palace dating back over 100 years). Instead of cinema seating and the smell of buttery popcorn, this quirky department store holds a collection of retro furniture and vintage gifts to please the designer in each of us.
Wandering around the Old Cinema is like walking around the back set of a Hollywood movie studio. Rather than decorate rooms with the precision of an IKEA room display, the store groups items loosely in the showrooms and allows customers to explore the treasures individually. The Old Cinema sources items from all time periods and from a large number of countries, so a clock that looks like it might come from a 50s roadside American diner can sit above a delicate Edwardian writing desk.
In 2012 the popular BBC programme ‘The Apprentice‘ filmed here as part of a task. Perhaps even Lord Sugar is a fan of the shop?
Although I cannot readily afford most items here, I enjoy imagining how I would decorate my own flat if I ever won the lottery. I have my eye on old signs from the London Underground; I just need to buy a place big enough to fit them all in!