Page last updated at 00:40 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 01:40 UK

Longest running cinema wins funds

Inside Phoenix cinema
The cinema was one of the first in London to show talking films

Britain's oldest continuously working cinema, based in north London, will be given an art deco restoration following a £600,000 grant.

The Phoenix cinema in East Finchley has operated for 99 years and will be transformed to its art deco look dating from 1938.

It remained open during wartime and was one of the first cinemas in London to show "talkies" in 1929.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £606,800 to the cinema.

The venue has attracted a host of patrons from the film and showbusiness world, including Michael Palin, Maureen Lipman, Bill Paterson, Victoria Wood, Mike Leigh and Ken Loach.

Mr Palin said of the grant: "This is terrific news. As the years go by and the old cinemas fall by the wayside, the Phoenix has indeed lived up to its name."


Work on the art deco Phoenix Cinema will start next year

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