Electric Cinema - Notting Hill
Our first project for Soho House. The Electric Cinema in Portobello Road, Notting Hill was in a very sad state when we were asked to come up with long term solutions in 1998. In collaboration with local groups and RBKC planners we devised a scheme incorporating the site next door to create the mix still prevailing; Cinema, Ground Floor Brasserie and Members Club above linked to the film/media industries. After a Land Registry search we discovered that the owner of the adjoining site was Peter Simon of Monsoon, who acquired the Cinema and enthusiastically backed our scheme.
On completion of the ‘shell and core’ the search was on for an operator with the skills to manage all three elements. We already had a long association with Working Title Films and we knew that Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner were involved with Soho House, so I approached them with the result that Soho House took a long lease on the whole building and asked us to work with them on the fit out, which was completed in 2002.
By 2012 the interiors were in need of an overhaul, and Soho House were already talking to Brendan Sodikoff about bringing Au Cheval to the Brasserie element. Fate intervened in the form of an extensive but slow burning fire that spread through large parts of the building from kitchen ductwork. Fortunately the original auditorium was not damaged except by smoke, but the rest of the building required complete refurbishment. This was also the opportunity to revisit some elements of the fabric, so we introduced roof lights over the 1st floor club and relocated lavatories and AC plant to make the space wider as well as creating a roof garden over the front of the cinema.