Wednesday, 11 December 2013

My Top 5 London Cinemas

I bloody love the cinema. Everything about it! The first film I saw was the 20th Century Fox animated picture "Anastasia". I used to think TV and VHS were my great loves, until I was taken to a dark room with a huge screen and surround sound, and I mercilessly threw aside the small screen for a bigger and better version.

If it was up to me, I'd see a new film every week. Unfortunately, ticket prices are a wee bit expensive nowadays... but if you know where to go you can find a good bargain and a hidden gem. Here are my faves:

5.  The No-Fuss Chain - Cineworld.

Standard Tickets from £8. 

My local Cineworld is in Hammersmith and offers the cheapest tickets I've found for mainstream films. It's not particularly pretty, the service is below average and there's a standard fare of popcorn and hotdogs on offer. I'm really selling it to you aren't I? It does the job nicely - after all what really matters is the film you're seeing, and when it's good you forget all about your surroundings anyway.

4. The Show-Off - Electric Cinema.

Standard Tickets for Armchairs £18, for a Sofa for two £40 and a front row Bed £30.

Yep you read right - beds, sofas and armchairs are what's on offer at the beautiful Electric Cinema in Portobello. This cinema and its price range are for very special occasions. I'm dying to go and try the beds - which came about when they struggled to sell the front row and introduced comfy beds so you can lean back and gaze up at the screen. Very cool for dates - but be warned, I've heard stories of staff having to eject many a couple for getting too frisky! They show a mix of new releases, old classics and some independents.

3. The Movie-Event-of-the-Year Cinema - BFI Imax.

Peak time adult tickets from £17.

A little pricey, but a film experience like no other just across from the London Eye and Waterloo. The BFI boasts the largest screen in Britain (I'm talking about 2 double-decker buses in height) and is worth the money for big movie events. I saw the Dark Knight films, Inception, Harry Potter 7 and Star Trek 2 there because I'd been dying of anticipation and I wanted the biggest experience possible. They also do film marathon nights for sagas such as Back to the Future and Lord of the Rings. Students tickets are about £10 so make the most of the discount - but book in advance as the big releases sell out fast!

2. The Champion of Independent Films - Curzon Soho.

Peak tickets from £13.

Curzon have several cinemas around London but the one in Soho has a really great atmosphere. It's always buzzing, with a great cafe and bar offering amazing cakes, cocktails and snacks. Plus you feel a bit like you're in with the uber cool industry crowd. They show the biggest variety of independent films I know of, a lot of which won't appear in the big mainstream chains and are really worth checking out. Curzon does show the big blockbusters too but their championing of independent cinema is really noteworthy.

1. The Golden Oldie - The Coronet.

Adult tickets from £3.50 on Tuesdays, £7.50 regular

Apart from being very reasonably priced, The Coronet in Notting Hill is a darling and dainty traditional cinema with tiers and beautiful decor. It only has 2 screens so it has a small list of films, mostly current, mainstream releases with a few classic specials. I can't get over how charming it is and £3.50 on a Tuesday is the cheapest ticket you'll find. It's my number 1 cinema for character, value and experience. If you live in London, you have to go!

So, am I missing out on any other fantastic cinemas in London?