Queen’s cinema, which had been operating at the time of the death of her mother Queen Elizabeth I, opened for business in June 1859, the same month that she was born.
It was an ambitious undertaking for the Queen to run such a cinema, and it took a long time to complete, with the building itself having been abandoned after the Queen’s death.
The cinema opened on the day of her coronation, June 21, 1859.
The Queen, her sister Margaret and Prince Albert had attended a coronation party at St George’s Church in Leicester, which the newspaper The Daily Telegraph described as “a place of mass festivity”.
It was at this party that the Queen had the idea for a cinema which would showcase her works of art, and which was to be built by a group of craftsmen.
The coronation was held on June 28, 1858.
“The Queen had a great deal to say about her coronations, especially to the Queen herself.
Her thoughts were taken up with the making of the coronation day celebration, a festival of arts and crafts which was inaugurated at St. George’s church by a very distinguished host,” The Daily Mail reported.
“As soon as the coronations were finished, she went off to the coronet of St. Georges in Leicester and thence to Westminster Abbey.
There she stayed until the next day, when she went into the King’s Chapel for the coronational ceremony.
Then she proceeded to the cinema, where she was present at the coronave, where the coronacration took place, with her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, as her host.”
The Queen had planned to watch the coronax play on a large screen behind the curtain, but when she returned to the theatre she found the cinema had been left in ruins, its projector broken.
The only survivors of the cinema were a couple of friends who were on the premises, and when the building was rebuilt in 1860, it was completed again.
The theatre was not officially dedicated until 1873.
The building was converted to theatre facilities in 1898 and later renamed The Queen Elizabeth Cinema in honour of the Queen.
The film was the first of its kind and was produced in a budget of £5,000.
It featured a cast of well-known actors, including Henry Fonda, William Wyler, and John Ford, among others.