THE weird and wonderful history of an East Oxford cinema is about to be turned into a film.

Philip Hind, 38, is producing a documentary to mark the centenary of the Ultimate Picture Palace – one of Europe’s oldest surviving cinemas.

The Jeune Street Picture Palace opened its doors to the public on February 25, 1911, and Mr Hind wants to show his documentary at the cinema on the anniversary.

The website manager, who works for the Oxford Diocese, wants film-goers to contact him with their memories of the cinema over the years so he can include them in the documentary.

Mr Hind, of Annersley Road, East Oxford, said: “I went to Oxford Brookes University and when I was a student I used to go to the cinema a lot.

“I’ve got very happy memories of the place.

“The building has quite an unusual history so it should make an interesting documentary.

“I’m talking to Oxford Inspires and the city council to see if I can get some help with the funding.

“Over the years, the cinema has been used, abused and, at times, disused.

“It has survived neglect, squatters, threats of demolition and a myriad of owners. As well as being an intriguing remnant of Oxford’s past, it remains an active and much-loved feature of Oxford’s cultural scene.”

Mr Hind added he hoped owners and staff, a squatter, regular cinema goers and a number of celebrities would appear in the documentary, with filming due to take place in October and November.

He said: “The Picture Palace nears this anniversary under new and enthusiastic management, so it’s a perfect opportunity to present these reflections on the past and an optimistic view of the future.”

Philippa Farrow, who runs the cinema with Jane Derricott, said: “We think this documentary is a lovely idea and we look forward to hosting the premiere.

“There are so many people who have enjoyed their first date at this cinema.

“Lots of people have happy memories of the place.” To take part in the project, email or call 07786 098151.

TIMELINE The cinema opened in February 1911 but closed in 1920.

The cinema remained closed, with the building eventually becoming derelict.

In the 1970s, it was taken over and restored by entrepreneur-turned radio presenter Bill Heine, who reopened the cinema as the Penultimate Picture Palace in 1976.

Mr Heine commissioned sculptor John Buckley, best known for the Headington Shark, to create a pair of giant Al Jolson hands which adorned the frontage The cinema closed again in 1994 In 1997, Saied Marham reopened it It was taken over by Philippa Farrow and Jane Derricott last year.