Zoroastrian Centre for Europe:

The Zoroastrian Centre, the former Ace Cinema in Rayners Lane, adapted by ZTFE (Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe) was selected for a granular-scale exploration of the tangible and intangible heritage of the community and their building. Using the site-integrity methodology the congregation were directly involved in the capture and analysis of their own cultural heritage through a series of co-created film installations.

Working in close collaboration with the congregation and resident priest, a well-defined framework for filming the Jashan and Boi ceremonies was established. As a result, a series of filming devices were constructed that captured the religious and social practices from the perspective of the congregation. These films were then projected back into the site, enabling an exact transfer of scale and time as the image mapped the architectural site. Technically, the context of this research lies in the origins of early cinema, with reference to the Lumière Brothers' Cinématographe (a three-in-one device that could record, develop, and project). Through this fieldwork, site-integrity encouraged the generation of grassroots perspectives and insights by actively involving the faith community in the creative process.

The presentation of these films in site will occur in November 2024 to conclude the Moving Pictures project. The event will also include a workshop with community members and faith leaders to discuss the findings from the overall project.


1936 - The Grosvenor Cinema opened to the public on 12 October.
1937 - The cinema become part of Oscar Deutsch's Odeon cinema chain.
1941 - Renamed Odeon
1950 - Renamed the Gaumont 
1964 - Reverted to the Odeon name.
1981 - Given grade-II listed status
1981 - Reopened as an independent cinema and renamed Ace Cinema.
1984 - Granted Grade-II* listed status.
1986 - Closed as Cinema.
1990 - Converted into the Grosvenor Cine/Bar Experience nightclub, and then the Studio Warehouse nightclub.
Mid 1990’s - closed as a nightclub.
2000 - The building was purchased by Zoroastrian Trust Funds, who restored and renovated the cinema as a place of worship.

Historic England Hertigae listing description: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1079729?section=official-list-entry
Historic images and info from  http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/11167
Contemporary images courtesy of Jonathan Fuller-Rowell