It started as a weekly movie review in the era of silent films, then evolved into a weekly listing of films showing at UK cinemas when talkies became popular. Eventually it became a bi-weekly movie magazine featuring the screen's biggest stars that was sold at all movie theaters. Clark Gable, Laurence Olivier, Bette Davis, Paulette Goddard, Petula Clark, Fred Astaire, and Richard Burton were among the hundreds of celebrities to grace its covers.
After World War II, it found itself competing with periodicals published by the Rank Organisation, Odeon Cinemas, and Associated British Cinemas, which replaced Picturegoer with their own magazines at their theater kiosks. As a result, Picturegoer became more sensational in the 1950s, with covers featuring cheesecake and beefcake-style artwork.
It eventually merged with the pop music magazine Disc Date. Shortly after the Picturegoer name was dropped and the publication concentrated solely on music. The last issue of Picturegoer was published on April 23, 1960 with a cover showcasing Jackie Rae and Janette Scott .