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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Harlesden Picture Palace, Harlesden


Opened in 1912 when the year's silent movies included The Conquest Of The Pole; The Musketeers Of Pig Alley; and The Water Nymph, by the 1980s, The Harlesden Picture Palace was reduced to screening blue movies - Musketeer Pigs' Poles' Conquest Of The Water Nympho's Alley among them, no doubt. Latterly, the old flea pit's fate was to host a Wetherspoon's pub. Fortunately, the curtain has fallen on that turkey and The Picture Palace can once again expect a full house in its new incarnation as funky bar, a feature attraction in up-and-coming (I'm told) Harlesden. Owners Antic - whose stable of quirky suburban socials include Deptford Job Centre, Balham Bowls and Farr’s School of Dancing in Dalston - have restored the place to something like its Edwardian prime, with a liberal sprinkle of 50s styling and fascinating film memorabilia. Set under the original balcony, lit by art nouveau crystal chandeliers, a long rosewood bar’s hand-pulls dispense Ladbroke Grove microbrewer Moncada’s Notting Hill Amber, great stuff from from Redemption and the owners’ own craft beer, The Full Monty Volden. Democratically priced wine includes the ubiquitous Picpoul de Pinet at just shy of £20. DJs play until 1.30 am at weekends when funk, jazz, ska, soul and popcorn (obscure, cult 1960s pop as played in Belgian dance-halls) are in the mix. Burgers and sandwiches will be served whilst a full kitchen is installed, planned for autumn 2015. Another silver screen star idolised by the flea pits original customers was Mary Pickford who starred in over 30 films in 1912 alone. No sign here of the classic rum and pineapple cocktail created for her when she visited the Hotel Nacional in Havana with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, sadly
26 Manor Park Road NW10 4JJ 8965 4410www.harlesdenpicturepalace.com

adapted from my review for www.squaremeal.co.uk