The best cinemas in London

March 10, 2023Bea Squires0

The beautiful, talented people of Hollywood will be attending the 95th Academy Awards this Sunday 12 March for the chance to receive an Oscar. Fancy watching some nominations on the big screen? Well, there are plenty of fantastic options for the ultimate escapism experience. Read on for the best cinemas in London.


Best for Luxury


One of London’s oldest cinemas, The Electric, in Notting Hill, is the place to go if you’re after a treat. It’s been lovingly restored by the Soho House group and features sumptuous leather armchairs, footstools, cashmere blankets and waiter service. There are even double beds on the front row so you can lie back and sip on cocktails to your heart’s delight.

For another plush place to get lost in the pictures visit Everyman Screen on the Green. Expect comfortable seats, sofas and food service (pizzas, platters and snacks can be brought to your seat).

Curzon Soho is arguably one of the coolest outposts of the cinema chain, yet it doesn’t feel pretentious. There’s a great café and bar, it’s super-comfortable and it has a brilliant programme of independent releases and documentaries, often introduced by their respective directors.

The four-screen Crouch End Picturehouse is popular with locals for its great selection of mainstream and arthouse films. There’s also a sophisticated bar, restaurant and comfortable seating.

Best for Art House Indy Films


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Just a stone’s throw away from the Picturehouse in Crouch End, you’ll find ArtHouse. As the name suggests, it’s dedicated to showcasing arty films, and focuses on those that are independent and foreign. The bar and café offers a selection of food and drink, while the popcorn is cheaper than most other cinemas. Plus, it has ‘cheap days’ on Mondays and Thursdays, with tickets just £7 per adult. What’s not to love?

If it’s a wide range of choice you’re after, the BFI Southbank is the cinema for you. The films are always carefully curated: You can expect everything from mainstream movies to specific genres and foreign films. It’s also the flagship venue of the British Film Institute, and showcases their seasons and festivals each year. Catch one of their regular top filmmaker Q&As, before checking out one of the two bar-restaurants, the bookshop and the library.


Best for Old-School Vibes


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Dating back to 1911 and nestled in the heart of Notting Hill, The Gate is a gem of a picturehouse. The single-screen space has enticing ornate red and gold ceilings and velvet seats, while the bar offers a range of snacks and drinks.

Also harking back to 1911 is The Ritzy in Brixton. This elegant building, which survived the Blitz bombings, really stands out from the crowd. Aside from having five screens, a bar, café and restaurant, this cultural hub also has ‘Upstairs at the Ritzy’ – an events space hosting regular events such as ‘Brixton Rare Soul’ and ‘Queenstown Sessions’.

Another golden oldie is the The Phoenix in Finchley. It opened its doors in 1912 as has since become a London institution. The interior is Art Deco, with swathes of gold, a domed ceiling and gilded elements. You can watch both big blockbusters and lesser-known films here, and there’s also live theatre, ballet and opera.


Best for Sound & Special Effects


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If it’s a guaranteed larger-than-life, high-quality visual and audio experience that you want, you can’t go wrong with Vue cinemas. Vue Islington has a whopping 10 screens and the best thing is, you can buy cinema tickets online for as little as £6.99.

For the ultimate epic movie-going experience, you can’t get more in-your-face than the Odeon IMAX. Located in the heart of Waterloo, it is the biggest cinema screen in the UK at an incredible 20-metres-high and 26-metres-wide. Expect the finest quality digital display, surround sound, and numerous Visual Effects performances.


These cinemas are currently showing the following Academy Award-nominated films: Living; Close; Puss in Boots: The Last Wish; Women Talking; The Fablemans; Nostalgia; Tár; Aftersun; Avatar: The Way of Water; Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin; The Whale; Everything Everywhere All At Once.


Please like, share and comment below and see if we have anything else to inspire your next visit to London


Bea Squires

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