There’ll be plenty of curling up on the sofa to be done between Christmas and New Years Eve, so pre-December 25, we’re all about getting out and about… and curling up somewhere just a little more fancy than our own front room. London’s Christmas movie showings are in abundance this year, after bubbles and tiers made everything a little more difficult in 2020. Between rooftop cinemas, royal residences and rocking churches, you’ll easily get your festive film fix over the next month or so. And, that’s before you even switch on your own TV.
1. Luna Cinema, Kensington or Battersea
The welcoming royal residence, Kensington Palace, and iconic Battersea Arts Centre will both play host to 11 days of charming Christmas movies, with multiple showings each day. Cosy up at the Luna Winter Cinema between December 13–24 for Christmas classics, such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, and Elf (the latter two are nearly 20 years old – I know, we can’t believe it either) and more modern favourites, like The Snowman and The Snowdog, and Last Christmas. There’ll be plenty of festive food and drinks on offer too. Check out the full schedule and book your ticket for Kensington or Battersea.
2. Skylight, Wapping
Forget watching films on the sofa in your ‘home clothes’, Christmas movies just got an upgrade – up being the operative word. Skylight‘s rooftop cinema in Tobacco Dock means city skylines, festive cocktails and gourmet snacks are the name of the game this winter. Nestle into luxurious seating, with a complementary mug of mulled wine, on selected dates between November 26–December 16. The choice is yours, with festive faves like The Holiday and Elf, and not-so-festive-but-have-wintery-scenes ones, like Bridget Jones’ Diary and Frozen. Which category does Die Hard fall in, again? Check out the full schedule and book your ticket here.
3. Backyard Cinema, Limehouse
This Christmas show will bring three festive favourites to life. Backyard Cinema are taking over the famed Troxy for their Christmas Movie Spectacular, adding a little extra sparkle (and tinsel) to the Art Deco theatre. Alongside viewings of Love Actually, Elf and Home Alone, you’ll be able to sing along to performances from a live choir, plus hear an original story from award-winning wordsmith, George the Poet. Experience the golden age of cinema with a modern twist. Find out more and book your tickets here.
4. Film & Fizz, Covent Garden
Five-star hotel, One Aldwych, boasts not only a brilliant location, fancy interiors and a fabulous restaurant, but also an intimate 30-seat cinema for the ultimate in luxury film watching. Their Film & Fizz viewings, in partnership with Curzon Cinemas, offer popcorn, a glass of Henners sparkling wine, and three-course meal at their restaurant. Talk about a treat! On December 2, 3 and 5, the cinema is showing Love Actually; on December 9, 10 and 12, it’s The Holiday; December 16, 17 and 19, you’ll catch Elf; and finally, on December 22, 23 and 24, it’ll be It’s A Wonderful Life. Find out more here.
5. Crofton Park Pictures Pop Up, Crofton Park
Two to three nights a month, Crofton Park Pictures hosts a pop-up cinema at South East London’s Rivoli Ballroom – and December is no different. On December 16–17, catch a showing of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Love Actually, Elf or Die Hard. Tickets start at just £6, and with two Christmas movies showing a day, it wouldn’t be totally crazy to watch both. There’ll be a bar and food stall to keep you going if you do… Fun fact: Rivoli Ballroom is home to the only intact 1950s ballroom remaining in the capital, and is renowned for its original features, which include deep red velvet, flock wallpaper, and grand chandeliers. Find out more here.
6. North London Cares Christmas Pop Up, Islington
They say charity starts at home, but actually, next month, it’ll start at Islington’s St James’ Church. Charity, North London Cares, is hosting a pop-up cinema in the 19th-century parish, screening The Muppet Christmas Carol on December 15. Not content with just putting on a movie, there’ll host plenty of festive fun, including mulled wine, mince pies, a raffle, and a prize for the best Christmas jumper. All proceeds raised will be donated to the charity’s winter programme, which will help keep older people across Camden and Islington connected during the colder months. Find out more about the charity here.
7. The Exhibit, Balham
The Exhibit is an entertainment hub that offers something for everyone. A boozy brunch? An intimate dinner? A work meeting? There’s a space for it across the venue’s three floors. Nestled away within the building, you’ll also find a laid-back cinema, ideal for some cosy viewing. On the agenda for adults this festive season is Bad Santa, Love Actually, The Holiday, and A Bad Mom’s Christmas. For new parents, there are screenings of the latter three Christmas movies specifically for parents and babies too. And, if your kid is old enough to know Bill Nighy just said a bad word (or several) in Love Actually, then there are more family-friendly viewings too. Frozen II, Nativity Rocks, and Jingle Jangle will all be shown. Ticket options with a two-course meal are on offer too. Find out more here.