About us

Oxford’s only independent cinema

We are a locally 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.

The cinema is currently investigating the possibility of becoming a community-owned business. To find out more information about this, please sign-up to our e-newsletter. 

Our history

The Ultimate Picture Palace is Oxford’s oldest purpose-built cinema and one of the oldest cinemas in the UK. Built in 1911, it has a rich and varied history.

Community ownership

The UPP is planning to become a community-owned business. It’s a unique opportunity – and we need your help to make it happen.

Meet the team

Micaela Tuckwell
Micaela Tuckwell

Executive Director

I joined 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 also a member of the Film Hub South East Advisory Group, part of the BFI Film Audience Network, which works to support cinemas, film festivals, film societies and community groups across the region. My favourite thing about working here are the post-film chats with volunteers as most have been at the cinema for years. They know the cinema’s history back to front, have great new ideas for events and promotions, and importantly know where that spare box of KitKats is hidden. 
 
Twitter: micaelatuckwell
Letterboxd: micaelatuckwell
Tom Jowett
Tom Jowett

Programming, Marketing & Events Manager

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. Films I can watch again and again include Eraserhead, Stop Making Sense, Hausu, and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

Email: tom@uppcinema.com 

 

Martina Bani
Martina Bani

Duty Manager and Projectionist

I joined UPP in 2021 and as a Duty Manager and Projectionist. I welcome visitors, operate the projector, love chatting about the films showing and bring creative input into the next film programme. My favourite thing about working at the UPP is the moment when I press play and watch the audience being enchanted by the wonder of cinema. There’s nothing quite like it!

Letterboxd: @hypatiathinks
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: kit@uppcinema.com

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
 Johanna Huyg

Johanna Huyg

Duty Manager

I am a new member of staff at the UPP and one of the duty managers and projectionists. 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: jo@uppcinema.com

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 (Monday 17th January)

18:15

The 400 Blows PG
1h 40m | French w/ English subtitles
Francois Truffaut's highly influential coming-of-age story about a young boy seeking refuge in truancy, petty crime, and cinema.

Book here

20:30

The Humans 15
Socially Distanced
1h 48m
Psychological drama, adapted from the Tony Award-winning play, about a family coming together for a tense Thanksgiving dinner.

Book here


Tomorrow (Tuesday 18th January)

17:30

West Side Story 12A
Deaf/HOH Subtitles
2h 36m
Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the much-loved Oscar-winning original from 1961, starring Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler.

Book here

20:45

The 400 Blows PG
1h 40m | French w/ English subtitles
Francois Truffaut's highly influential coming-of-age story about a young boy seeking refuge in truancy, petty crime, and cinema.

Book here