Cowley Road, Oxford • 01865 245288 •

History of the UPP

UPP 1911

Oxford Picture Palace, 1911

Cowley Road 1911

Cowley Road and Oxford Picture Palace, 1911

UPP 1976

Penultimate Picture Palace, 1976

UPP 1980s

Inside the cinema, 1980s

UPP 1994

Section 6 squat, 1994

UPP 2005

Ultimate Picture Palace, 2005

UPP 2011

Ultimate Picture Palace, 2011

Cinema, 2012

Ultimate Picture Palace, 2012

24 February, 1911 - The Oxford Picture Palace, as it was first known, is built and opened by Frank Stuart.

1917  - The Oxford Picture Palace closes when the manager is called up for war service.

The building lays abandoned for many years before being taken over as a furniture warehouse.

1976 -  Cinema reopens as the Penultimate Picture Palace by Bill Heine and Pablo Butcher and gains a reputation for showing eclectic and provocative films that set the cinema apart from other mainstream theatres.

1994 - Penultimate Picture Palace closes and the cinema is briefly squatted and run as a free cinema by the Oxford Freedom Network.

1997 - Having spent over £40,000 restoring the facade, Saied Marham and his brother Zaid reopen the cinema as the Ultimate Picture Palace.

2009 - Cinema is taken over by Jane and Philippa who made some much needed improvements, including adding a bar at the back of the auditorium.

April 2011 - Cinema is bought by Becky Hallsmith, who sets about restoring the cinema to its former glory.

May 2014 - After a successful Kickstarter Campaign, helped greatly by the local community, the cinema gets brand new seats.

In 2011 (the cinema’s centenary year) local filmmaker Philip Hind made an excellent documentary about the history of the cinema. Head over to his website to watch: The Ultimate Survivor