Kentish Town Poster Sale event

Poster Sale! pop-up market to bring Kentish Town’s cinema space back to life

It's the latest twist in the story of NW5's iconic former Polytechnic

Today we’re very happy to announce an exciting development in the long-running saga of Kentish Town Road’s promised community cinema.

For one weekend only, a unique pop-up market celebrating the best movie, music and games poster art will take over the space, running from 23rd to 26th November.

Poster Sale! will be the first time the public have been able to be inside the historic former North Western Polytechnic assembly hall since the giant branch of Pizza Express closed its doors there back in May 2023, (barring a few lively squat parties held in the months after 😉).

The free four day pop-up will also include a series of workshops hosted by the poster artists themselves, and film screenings projected onto the walls – the closest yet that the space will have come to fulfilling those long-held cinematic dreams.

Following our partnership with the building owners Vabel earlier this year, including this exclusive update on their efforts to find a suitable cinema operator to take on the space, the Camdenist team have been working tirelessly to see if we could put on something creative for the community in the meantime.

Happily, Vabel have shared our desire to activate the space rather than see it sitting unused, so we’re chuffed to say that, while the difficult search for a permanent cinema operator continues, you’ll be able to join us inside this beloved building for an exciting pilot pop-up weekend (register for free tickets below, or just turn up on the day). 

Come down, buy a poster or two, support and meet the artists and make sure it’s all a roaring success, which we hope will mean it points the way for future ‘meanwhile’ events and pop-ups in the neighbourhood in 2024.

Poster Sale! is the latest project from Lynden Campbell, founder of music for movies and games consultancy Cinetronica. “I’ve worked for more than 20 years in copyright licensing across film, TV and games, which has inadvertently led to a passion for graphic design and the poster community,” she tells us.

“Poster Sale! is a love-letter to those real people, a nod to the fresher’s week sales of old, and a tear in the eye for long-lost poster sections of Athena and Woolies.”

Lynden’s mission is to support real graphic designers at a time when generated AI is threatening their entire profession. By selling their physical work and inviting the public to meet the artists in person and participate in workshops across the weekend, she hopes to celebrate all that’s special about posters and the human who create them.

“We want to use this as an opportunity to gather art adjacent communities in our UK high streets and together celebrate art, film, video games and music,” she continues, hinting towards how the event might build upon this first edition.

Camdenist founder Tom Kihl has a personal relationship to this project, too. “I’ve been following and writing about NW5’s cinema saga for more than a decade,” he says. “It was an idea that snowballed from a single reader comment on our story back when I was working on the Kentishtowner newspaper, was then incorporated into the ‘luxury flats’ planning application to appease the community, saw various developers quit or go bust, but has somehow endured. While the economics of the site might mean the original cherished idea may prove never to be a viable option, we’re excited to be able to put on an event in the space that’s at least very much in the spirit of this long-running cinema epic.” 

Sign up here for free tickets to the private view event on Thursday 23rd Nov, 6pm-8pm

Sign up here for free guaranteed entry to attend Poster Sale! and associated workshops at time slots across the weekend. We’re open:

Friday 24th Nov, 11am – 6pm
Sat 25th Nov, 11am – 6pm
Sun 26th Nov, Midday – 5pm

Additional late events and workshops TBC

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