We’re in the midst of award season. With the BAFTAs having been and gone and the Oscars looming, we’re itching to sit down in front of the big screen. And what better way to do it than at some of the most chilled out, comfortable and stylish cinema venues in London?
1. The Phoenix, Finchley
This cinema first opened in 1912 and has a rich filmography history. The Phoenix have a cafe and fully licensed bar (success!), so you can enjoy a glass of wine while you watch a movie. You can also pre-order food if you wish to eat during a live screening. Heavenly. Tickets range between £7.50 and £9 (depending on whether you have a membership, which allows you discounted prices). Check out the website for film listings and more info.
2. Electric Cinema, Shoreditch & Notting Hill
These cinemas combine style with absolute comfort. For an ultra relaxing experience you can book the front row double beds – they seat 2 people for £25-30 (which, at around £12.50 each, isn’t too bad for London prices!). Electric Cinemas screen both mainstream and art films, serve drinks and food.
3. Drive in Cinema at Alexandra Palace
For those of you who have cars in London (we salute you for braving the roads!), you’ll soon be able to cruise on down to Alexandra Palace’s drive in cinema. Kicking off on the 10th March with a Grease Sing-A-Long, their retro Drive In Film Club, run by outdoor cinema experts Rooftop Film Club, will be back in business. Get ready to watch your favourite movies in true Grease Lightening style. Rest assured, as well as old classics they’ll also be showing some of the latest Oscar-nominated releases, including Creed, The Martian and Brooklyn. For further info and to book your tickets, go to www.experiencecinema.com.
4. Cine Lumiere, South Kensington
This Art Deco cinema is located within the L’Institut Français du Royaume-Uni (the French Cultural Institute for English speakers). It screens a mixture of foreign and independent films, with an obvious focus on French-speaking screenplays. It has a gorgeous bar and lobby to chill out in before or after movies, events and talks. Cine Lumiere is highly recommended if you wish to broaden your cultural mind… For the latest info and film screenings, see their website.
5. Everyman Cinema, Various locations
The original Everyman cinema is located in Hampstead, but there are numerous locations across London, which includes Esher, Canary Wharf, Islington, Belsize Park, Maida Vale and Baker Street. Although a chain of cinemas, each venue retains a boutique and independent feel. The auditoriums are quirky and lack the sterile, plastic vibe you get with most cinema chains. Tickets aren’t the cheapest, however – they start at £15. For the latest film listing, go to their website.
6. Curzon, Various Locations
Curzon venues, particularly the Mayfair and Soho branches, are London’s answer to higher-quality large cinemas, perfect for movie fanatics. They also have locations in Chelsea, Wimbledon and Victoria, most of which date back to the early 1900’s (bar Victoria, which is the newest venue). Other than showing the latest blockbusters, they run other alternative events, including Q&As with the latest filmmaking talent and live HD streaming of NYC’s Met Opera. Their website lists latest screenings, ticket prices and events.
Odeon may be one of the UK’s biggest cinema companies, but there’s still something amazing about the size and contemporary history of the venue in Leicester Square. (Think of all the red carpet premieres that have been hosted there). What’s more, if you fancy watching a movie but can’t be bother to spend more than a tenner on a ticket, you can download Fever to purchase Odeon tickets for only £7.50! Think of all the popcorn you can chomp on with the extra cash…
8. Mondrian Hotel
Faaarncy. Curzon opened the ultimate luxury 56-seat cinema within the Mondrian Hotel. Members of the public are welcome to watch a mixture of latest releases and classics on Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. tickets for this luxury experience aren’t as pricey as you might expect – an adult pays £14.50 for a ticket. If you do want to splash out, however, you and a partner or pal can get tickets, popcorn and wine for £50. For more information, check out the website.
9. Genisis, Whitechapel
Genesis, located on Mile End Road, is one cool cinema. Not only do they provide numerous areas to chill and re-energise (both their Grindhouse Cafe – pictured above – and Bar Paragon are opening daily), but they also sell unbelievable cheap cinema tickets. On Mondays and Wednesdays, an adult only has to pay £4.50! It’s depressing to think that about 5 years ago, this was standard. If you want to splurge, try out STUDIO 5 – Genesis’ 50-seated screening room complete with sofas and armchairs. Check out their website for info and tickets.