Holloway Road Station first opened in December 1906 and was the site of a real innovation in the escalator world.A spiral escalator was built here as a experiment when the station was under construction. As you can see from the image of what was built of the structure, it wouldn’t have been the safest of rides and was never put into passenger use. I think it would have taken more than Bumper Harris to convince people to use it!
As well as its unique tiling pattern at platform level, Holloway Road also retains the traditional ticket booth windows in its booking hall. The signage on the Leslie Green station building still reads ‘GNP and B.RY’ – standing for the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway as it then was.
The station is located very close to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. However the station is exit only on matchdays due to it not being deemed to cope with the crowds that would use it if it were open. This is due to the fact the platforms are reached by lifts, rather than escalators. Perhaps those spiral ones would help?
The Pub: The Coronet, 338-346 Holloway Road, N7 6NJ
The Coronet is very easy to find, being located a few minutes north up Holloway Road from the station. You shouldn’t have any problem spotting it, given the large neon sign on the outside of the building!
The Coronet, as the name suggests, used to be a cinema. It originally opened in 1940, closing in the early ’80s before being converted into a pub by Wetherspoons in 1996. It still feels very much like a cinema on the inside. The bar is at the front of the building where the ceiling is quite low, this is due to the old balcony being above this section!
In contrast, the main area of pub has a very high ceiling and feels vast, this must have been the main section of the auditorium. Looking back towards the old balcony, there are black and white photos of old filmstars to hark back to its cinema days. The interior retains many old art-deco features – I particularly liked the lamps which have been decorated with blue fairy lights. The floor in this section remains sloping, as it would have been to accomodate the rows of cinema seats, so if you notice this – don’t worry it isn’t the booze!
As a Wetherspoons, there is the usual decent selection of ales on tap including Doombar and their standard food menu. I know it is a sign of the times but we all found it a little alarming that it now contains a calorie count too! It was fairly busy on our Friday night visit. Given the size of the place, it strikes me that it could be a little depressing to drink in when its too quiet!
Wetherspoons come in for a lot of criticism but I think The Coronet shows them in their best light. This old derelict cinema could have easily been demolished and turned into some soulless ’90s/’00s housing development with a Tesco expresss underneath. Instead it has been preserved with many original features remaining and for that they deserve praise. It’s a fun experience drinking in what used to be a cinema, and for that reason I recommend you check it out!