Manpower. Not much of it left these days if you ask me. Industry in the western world is disappearing, leaving behind all of its tools of the trade, quite literally. In the early part of the 20th century, factory labor was abundant and therefore multitudes of steel pieces of furniture were created: tanker desks, pigeon holes, storage units, etc. Even medical and dental offices had heavy steel storage units.

     The Old Cinema regularly carries all types of industrial furniture from all over Europe and the United States, and most of it is unmarked with no makers label. However, there are times when we do get some pieces in that were made by a specific design firm for industrial and commercial purposes. I present to you three industrial items that carry important makers labels on them, and each have a story to tell, even if it's a small one.

First we have a late 1950s desk by Dutch company Ahrend-Oda, a steelworks which began in the 1930s and specialised in making ovens. The company still exists, however its furniture is now very conservative and uninspiring.  The desk looks very much like it belonged in a factory somewhere, and it may well have been used in one, however, its described as a 'Directors' desk which leads me to belive it was used in a corporate office. Ours has been stripped and professionally repainted and looks stunning in person. Its all about details, and the aluminium 'horseshoe' feet really set it off.

     These cafe tables look unassuming, but they were actually made by legendary furniture craftsmen Thonet in the 1940s. Thonet is famous for being the first to create bentwood furniture in the 1830s, which has been copied and reproduced the world over. The company is still going today. 

 An original Thonet bentwood chair.
The detail on the feet of the tables is particularly stunning.

And finally, we have a single pedestal desk by Art Metal. I did a search for this companies history, and they are no longer in business. I dont have much history on them, but I think they were at their peak between the 1930s and 50s.  Their name is so idealistic and shows that they were trying to create artwork out of a piece of office furniture. As far as I know, this company imported to the United States as well.

Although this extrordinarlily rare steel roll top desk isn't for sale in our shop, it too, was made by Art Metal and is located in the United States. I found it to be too cool not to post.

I hope you found this post to be inspiring and informative, and you should also know that we just got another shipment of cool steel pigeon hole shelving, trolleys and industrial racks to go along with your designer industrial goods.

See you in the shop,



Spring will finally be here on March 20th, at least on the calendars. The weather here in London has been very temperamental, and while we can be glad there is no snow, we have been putting up with any combination of sun, rain, wind and even hail (yes, today there was hail about two hours ago). Dreadful.

Nevermind that though, The Old Cinema is determined to have a good time with or without the good weather, so we have started stocking up on furniture ready for the warmth and sun, when they finally arrive for the party.

To start, we have these lovely retro metal deck chairs painted in three bright colors and one dull one (hey, every party has at least one dude sitting in the corner with his arms folded, right?), and priced at £55 each, they cant be missed.

These vintage french cafe style pieces would look great in your back garden under the awning (hmm is that a British word? Its the same thing as a canopy to provide shade). Not pictured is a high backed chair in the same wicker material. Prices per piece range from £55-175.

I guarantee you won't get a better bargain than this set here. £68 for the table and the chairs for £28 each! If you do your maths thats less than £200 for the whole kit!

On the more industrial end of things, we have two 80s steel framed chairs with canvas seat and back. Theyre very rough and tumble looking, which I think only adds to their appeal. £28 each.

      Next to those chairs is a piece that ought to be glued to the floor since it's been in the shop for so long. Here we have a rather stout looking chair that looks like it would rather eat you than be sat on, it's actually quite special. Im a huge Bogey fan (thats Humphrey, not the mucous kind... grow up!) and have almost all of his films on DVD, naturally one of those being Casablanca. If you havent seen the film, Bogarts character is an American guy named Rick who owns a restaurant in the city. Out on the patio of the restaurant are some metal chairs, THE EXACT SAME as the one we have here in the shop! It's a genuine 1940s chair and is actually very comfy when you sit on it. Have a look at the film still to compare.

For my last trick, I present to you an amazing 1950s/60s French foosball table. This one is a real treat to play, and would be perfect inside your house or out in the garden on a hot evening when you have friends over for a BBQ. The men are cast metal and have a great feel to them when you strike the ball. Team-wise, you've got the Stamford Bridge boys vs. the Gunners. Take your pick!

Until next time, get those shorts on!

-Adam Yankee.

Hello again!

My last post about the wishlist has worked out well! We are getting more requests than ever on the website for items, which is always a good thing, so keep it up!

We havent had a party here in a few months (the last one being the hugely successful performance of A Christmas Carol with local OC resident actor Paul Ham with his Define Choice crew), and we are definitely due for one! I mentioned in an earlier post about an upcoming art exhibition with local artist Suz Hartman, and it's officially on! Suz's new work reminds me of paintings created by artists in New York from the 1950s- 1980s.

 'Secret Embrace' Suz Hartman

 Jean Michael Basquiat (New York Neo-Expressionist)

She seems inspired by the softness of  Willem DeKooning,  the bright colours of Jean Michael Basquiat, and the thick bold lines of Franz Kline, whilst creating paintings that are entirely her own. Hartman's new work has a hard edge yet is very delicate and feminine somehow, which is great to see since the genres of Abstract Expressionism and Neo-Expressionism were almost entirely male dominated. It's fantastic that she can combine the two strengths to make her work so impacting. It would look great in front of your steel tanker desk, or next to your french painted plank top table. Fantastic!

'Take Me To The Stars' Suz Hartman

'Waking Up In The Morning' Suz Hartman

The Private View will be on Thursday 22nd April 2010 6-9pm.
Exhibition continues 23rd April to 2nd May 2010.

I hope you can make it out! 
For more info about Suz, click here 

Until next time,

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