“Perfect for doing dark deeds, independent cinemas offer a way to escape and unwind in your own world away from the city.”
If intimacy is what you’re after, head to The Aubin Cinema, a cosy 47-seat theatre with velvet chairs and sofas, plumped up with Aubin & Wills cushions. Or relax in the subterranean theatre at the Sanctum Soho Hotel where you can enjoy films on state of the art equipment in luxurious surroundings. Screenings at The Exhibit are viewed from inviting leather sofas for two. With showings for mums and babies in the afternoon, this theatre also offers The Big Break on a monthly basis which screens films and documentaries submitted by the general public. Afterwards enjoy a “networking session”, no doubt oiled by lychee martinis.
The Rich Mix in Bethnal Green hums on an eclectic cultural vibe, hosting a variety of events, many of which benefit local communities. Relax in one of three luxury cinemas and pop to the cafe for a refreshing drink afterwards. Ciné Lumière was founded in 1910 and is one of the 150 French Institutes worldwide (and one of the oldest). Speakers from both sides of the Channel meet regularly in discussion, and screenings of films from all corners of the world are held. If you prefer your film traditions to be rooted in British soil, be inspired by the world-renowned archives, cinemas, festivals and films at the BFI (British Film Institute). The BFI IMAX on London’s South Bank boasts the largest cinema screen in the UK and the BFI Southbank (previously National Film Theatre) screens over 1,000 films a year.
For those who prefer their films (or anything else in life) to be accompanied by champagne, head to One Aldwych where for £30 per adult, viewers can enjoy Sunday brunch followed by an afternoon of family friendly film. The Electric Cinema's film programme comprises a broad range of quality mainstream and art house films. Enjoy leather seating, footstools and tables for food and drink to make your viewing experience that much more enjoyable.
The moment you step into the expansive reception area of The Hospital Club, funkiness, creativity and interactivity ooze from every corner. This private members’ club comes with distinctive perks including access to the plush screening room. The screening rooms at The Soho Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel and Charlotte Street Hotel can be used for private screenings or corporate presentations and all offer sumptuous leather seating and provide excellent equipment.
If you’re intrigued by secrets (who isn’t?), Secret Cinema is an exciting variation of a “night at the movies”. The cinema is so secretive that you only find out where the screening will take place on the morning of the event. Venues range from derelict theatres to rooftops to children’s playgrounds. The taste of the unknown is worthy of a movie in itself, let alone the cost of entry.
Sanctum Soho Hotel
Electric Brasserie & Cinema
The Hospital Club
The Soho Hotel
Covent Garden Hotel
Charlotte Street Hotel