High-end shoppers and film-goers will be able to combine both pursuits at Selfridges when it opens a permanent three-screen movie theater inside its flagship London store later this year.
The iconic department store has hitherto been known as a destination for shoppers in search of upmarket fashion. It has now partnered with independent boutique exhibitor Olympic Studios on what will be known as The Cinema at Selfridges.
Claiming to be the first department store in the world to offer such a facility, Selfridges said the theater will be outfitted with the latest state-of-the-art sound and vision technology. But it is not the first time the upmarket store has had a movie theater on its premises: It partnered with Everyman to open a 75-seat in-store theater that was open for six months, until spring 2015.
For the new theater, there will be a street entrance and one from within the store. The screens will be programmed with new movies, including both blockbusters and indie fare. The cinema opens in November.
Selfridges’ flagship store opened in 1908, and its story, and that of its founder, was told in ITV and PBS drama “Mr. Selfridge,” starring Jeremy Piven as Harry Gordon Selfridge. The store has changed hands several times since and is now under Canadian ownership.
“We are delighted to announce the launch of our very own Selfridges cinema within our London Oxford Street store later this year,” said Selfridges managing director Simon Forster. “For us this is a very exciting yet natural extension to what Selfridges does, which is to provide customers with an extraordinary experience all year round.”
Olympic Studios also has theaters in two other London locations. “We are thrilled to be teaming up with Selfridges to create an amazing new cinema destination,” said Olympic’s Stephen Burdge. “The Selfridges cinema will be our third, and as is the case with each of our locations, it will be unique and one I hope film lovers will love going to.”