Editor’s comment: Phoenix hasn’t risen quite yet

PUBLISHED: 08:30 08 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:07 12 November 2018

Locals are campaigning to save the Phoenix Cinema. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

Locals are campaigning to save the Phoenix Cinema. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK


There is little that local newspapers love more than a successful public campaign to save a heritage asset.

When I took over editing the Ham&High, I was told time and again that the communities in my new patch prided themselves on fighting for public resources and assets and often beating, against the odds, larger and more powerful organisations. Even in my short time here I’ve seen it in the binning of the Ryhurst partnership at the Whittington Hospital and the blocking of CS11 work at Swiss Cottage, and I know there are countless other examples – the A&E at that same hospital and the protection of the Heath over a period of decades being among the most famous.

It now appears we can add the independence of the Phoenix Cinema to a list of things the community has fought for and won.

But the hard work has only begun for East Finchley’s iconic indie screen: now the trustees (and I’m curious as to whether there will be any changes at the top table in light of this U-turn) and the community must do all they can to ensure the cinema is actually profitable and can turn its fortunes around.

That doesn’t just mean the fundraising that has been curiously absent from its past business plans, notwithstanding the Friends packages it offers, but all of us actually patronising the Phoenix in favour of what might be more convenient or modern venues elsewhere in north London.

Wouldn’t it be great to see the auditorium sold out not just for crisis meetings about its future, but for every screening?

Perhaps this isn’t realistic, but no viable model can exist for it that doesn’t involve improved footfall – not without losing some of the assets that made it worth fighting for in the first place.

This campaign has won the Phoenix an enormous amount of publicity both locally and nationally. The board must now capitalise on that, or we could find outselves back here sooner than we think.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

10 minutes ago

Eric Dier is ready to finally return to Portugal in what will be a “very special” occasion when England play in the Nations League Finals next summer.


Harry Redknapp is currently taking part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!


Two goals from Hazuki Nagai helped Japan come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Great Britain at the FIH Champions Trophy in China.

24 minutes ago

With Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe expecting to spend her third Christmas in Evin prison, the foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt used a visit to Iran to slam the middle-eastern nation’s imprisonment of UK dual nationals including the West Hampstead mum.

42 minutes ago

Police want the public’s help to identify a man wanted over two Golders Green burglaries.


Arsenal Women’s Jordan Nobbs has been ruled out of the rest of the WSL season and could miss next summer’s World Cup in France after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament, writes Joshua Bunting.


Bostik Premier Division: Haringey Borough 3 Dorking Wanderers 2


Jessica Naz netted her first goal for Tottenham Ladies in a 1-0 win over old rivals Charlton Athletic Women as her side returned to winning ways, writes Rosie Bonass.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate stories

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now