About Company

The main part of this pub (fronting onto Charing Cross Road) was built in 1911 by Montagu Pyke as his 16th (and last) cinema.

The building was the site of the 16th, and last, of Montague Pyke’s cinematic circuit around London, and opened 26th August 1911. Montague Alexander Pyke was a pioneer of cinema circuit building in London. This spy cartoon shows him in the same year as the last of his cinemas opened, at the summit of his success. Disaster was looming. In 1915 Pyke was storing a ton of waste film in the basement here, when an employee accidentally set it alight. The employee died in the flames, and Pyke was prosecuted for manslaughter. Pyke’s troubles were compounded by bankruptcy and material difficulties. On one terrible morning in 1915 Montagu Pyke was due to appear at the old bailey on a manslaughter charge, to apply for a discharge at the Bankruptcy Court and to appear before Mr Justice Deane in the Divorce Court.

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