About us

Oxford’s only independent cinema

We are a community-owned independent cinema just off East Oxford’s Cowley Road with a single screen in a cosy auditorium. We show an eclectic mix of independent, mainstream, foreign language, and classic films.

Our beautiful historic art deco building dates from 1911 and still has the original box office window that opens onto the street. The cinema is run by a small but passionate team of staff and volunteers.

Inside the auditorium we have a small bar that serves a range of drinks and snacks before the film. We don’t show adverts, just a couple of trailers, so the film itself starts very close to the advertised time.

In 2022, the UPP became a community-owned business after a successful campaign in which over 1,200 local investors bought shares in The Ultimate Picture Palace Community Cinema.

Our community

In 2022, the Ultimate Picture Palace became a community-owned cinema after being purchased by over 1,200 dedicated film lovers.

Read more about our vision, our aims, and meet the committee currently elected to help run the business and to serve our community shareholder members.

Our history

The Ultimate Picture Palace is Oxford’s oldest cinema and one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in the UK. Read more about our rich and varied histruy which dates back to 1911.

Meet the team

Micaela Tuckwell
Micaela Tuckwell

Executive Director

I joined the UPP in 2019 and as Executive Director I manage the business and work with creative partners, industry and funders both locally and nationally to champion the cinema and arts accessibility. I am currently a BAFTA Connect Member as well as a Trustee of Oxford Playhouse. I previously served on the Film Hub South East Advisory Board, part of the BFI Film Audience Network, which works to support cinemas, film festivals, film societies and community groups across the region.

I started my career at Jacari, a local educational charity that supports children with English as a second language from disadvantaged backgrounds and founded the charity’s first branch in a new location (Bristol) which is still going strong today. Subsequent roles have deepened my understanding of Oxford, it’s diverse communities and the power of art to transform lives — these include over a decade of leadership and fundraising experience at local cultural organisations including The Story Museum, The Ark-T Centre, and Cowley Road Works.

 

Twitter: micaelatuckwell
Letterboxd: micaelatuckwell
Tom Jowett
Tom Jowett

Head of Programming and Marketing

I came to Oxford in 2006 to study History at Oxford Brookes and I have been here ever since. Prior to joining the UPP as Marketing Manager in 2016, I worked at the Ashmolean Museum and I also ran a small independent record label for a couple of years. While I am now mainly responsible for booking the films and organising events, I can occasionally be found in the cinema’s Box Office selling tickets or behind the bar selling cups of tea.

A few of my favourite films: Eraserhead, Stop Making Sense, Cabaret, A Serious ManHausu, and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

Email: [email protected] 

 

Kit Finnie
Kit Finnie

Lead Projectionist and Duty Manager

I joined UPP in 2021 as Duty Manager and Projection Room Lead. Working with projectors is something I’ve wanted to do since I was little, visiting my local independent cinema in Lincolnshire. I am still excited by even the most basic processes of ingesting and testing films. As well as working at the UPP, I am a freelance poet and artist. My favourite film is probably La Dolce Vita, though Grease 2 is a close second.

Email: [email protected]

Johanna Huyg

Johanna Huyg

Site Manager and Duty Manager

I joined the UPP in 2021 as one of the duty managers and projectionists and also the Site Manager. Before joining the team I was a youth and community worker and am hoping to bring some of those skills to the world of cinema. My favourite thing about working here is talking to customers about the films as they leave and being part of the UPP family!

Email: [email protected]

Ash Verjee

Ash Verjee

Duty Manager

I joined UPP in 2015 and work twice a week as Duty Manager. Outside of UPP, I am a composer, writer, and Drama teacher. As well as facilitating ticket sales and projection when on shift, I am available for chats at the box office window about (but not limited to): film composers, Sci-Fi and Horror, cinematic television, Vincent Gallo, Denis Villeneuve, and why Alien³ is the best Alien movie.

Twitter: thefilmexciter
Ella Dawson-Gorton

Ella Dawson-Gorton

Duty Manager

After volunteering on Friday nights for almost a year, I’m now the UPP’s newest recruit! Outside the cinema you can find me working or reading in Oxford’s best cafes and libraries, where I’m always available to talk about why Jennifer’s Body deserves to be part of the Criterion Collection.

Letterboxd: ellaisdrowning

Our commitment to anti-racism

The UPP is proud to support the Oxford Cultural Anti-Racism Alliance, whose Anti-Racism manifesto was launched in Spring 2021. 

Over the last year, long-standing inequalities in the arts and cultural industries have been exposed more than ever – change is overdue. The cultural community in the city has come together as the Oxford Cultural Anti-Racism Alliance, creating a manifesto and action plan for the forthcoming months and years.

The manifesto shows commitment to change systems, practices and cultures in order to remove racial discrimination, and to address inequalities in representation: Oxford should be a place where ethnically diverse young people can see positive role models in creative leadership roles, find a route into a career in the arts, and establish a strong base for growth and development alongside and within the cultural organisations established here.

Together, twenty one arts and cultural organisations have signed up to the manifesto and pledged collective radical change to ensure a sustainable and diverse arts sector in the city.

 

What's on

Today (Tuesday 18th June)

20:30

The Beast 15
2h 27m | French w/ English subtitles
As a woman (Léa Seydoux) undergoes a procedure to rid her DNA of all feelings, she crosses paths with a man from her past lives. An ambitious dystopian sci-fi from acclaimed French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello.

Book here


Tomorrow (Wednesday 19th June)

15:30

The Beast 15
2h 27m | French w/ English subtitles
As a woman (Léa Seydoux) undergoes a procedure to rid her DNA of all feelings, she crosses paths with a man from her past lives. An ambitious dystopian sci-fi from acclaimed French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello.

Book here

18:30

Bye Bye Tiberias Cert-TBC
1h 22m | Arabic w/ English subtitles
Palestinian documentary following actress Hiam Abbass as she returns to her hometown and reconnects with the women in her family. Showing as part of the 2024 SAFAR Film Festival.

Book here

18:00

SAFAR Film Festival Pass

Book here