- GENESIS CINEMA, STEPNEY GREEN
NEAREST TUBE(S): STEPNEY GREEN, WHITECHAPEL – PRICE:£ (cheapest £4 on Monday & Wednesday).
This cinema is my favourite, not that I am biased…BUT my University was a walk down the road. So naturally it became my local go to for all things film. Genesis cinema is a lively and atmospheric place to watch a movie, they have one amazingly large screen and four small intimate screens. They also have studio 5; a luxurious screen with sofa’s and foot stools…If I had my loan in my account I would definitely always pick this one for just £12! I began dragging my boyfriend along when we decided to move to Whitechapel, and surprisingly we were shocked to discover that on a Monday and Wednesday the price was £3.50! However, as more and more people began to visit they upped the price by 50p! Bummer! I would often visit Genesis for talks about films and Q&A’s which helped with my film essays for university. There is a small coffee shop on the ground floor where people often relax. If you venture up the winding staircase you will find a secretive and busy bar and kitchen. If you wanted to go on a date, as my friends often do, I always recommend this cinema. They show a variety of old, new, foreign and documentary films which really gets a film buff going but there’s also a great atmosphere and drinks on tap.
2. CLAPHAM PICTURE HOUSE
NEAREST TUBE: CLAPHAM COMMON – PRICE: ££
I really believe you pay for the atmosphere with this cinema. It is very twee and the building itself is relatively small. The cinema shows a variety of films and Louis Theroux even did his Q&A for his Scientology movie there! So you get the idea, it’s a pretty “cool” cinema. The Picture House cinema’s are a large chain of independent cinemas often occupying unusual buildings. This one, in particular, is the prettiest in my opinion. The road trailing up to the cinema itself is cobbled and next door you can find a lively bar and opposite an Honest Burger (which have a cinema deal with a meal for £16). I noticed lots of friends and couples were taking wine into the screens which can be bought at the bar downstairs. Like most cinema’s in London now they provide coffee, booze and the random vegan Scotched egg that is pretty overpriced but all apart of the “independent” vibe! This cinema is the type of cinema you could go to on a Friday night but you don’t feel like you’re completely missing out on being on a night out as the atmosphere in and around the cinema has a party-esque atmosphere.
3. SHORTWAVE, BERMONDSEY SQUARE
NEAREST TUBE: LONDON BRIDGE/BERMONDSEY – PRICE: ££
This cinema is hard to find, you walk through the bar/cafe to find a randomly placed door that leads you to the one screen cinema. It is literally like being in Narnia. The cinema screen must have around 20-30 seats at most! You really get the feeling that your watching the film in an intimate setting which makes the experience all the more satisfying. Again, as with most independent cinema’s now, you can buy alcohol and an expensive Panini at the cafe/bar. I would recommend this cinema if you don’t want the hustle and bustle usually found in most central London cinemas that appear cool. When I visited it was quiet as I am sure many movie buffs don’t realise it’s there! My boyfriend took me here on one of our first dates so take this as you will… I was pretty impressed by his finding of this cinema minus the typical TimeOut guide usage.
4. BFI SOUTHBANK
NEAREST TUBE: WATERLOO – PRICE: £££
OK. This may be a little cliché… and obvious… but this cinema is one of the best places to watch a film. Firstly, the price is really high but if you book on off-peak times I have found it’s not too bad! The cinema itself is architecturally beautiful and it sits right by the Southbank on a roundabout. The quirky element of this cinema experience is the moment that a commentator enters the screen, introduces the film and makes a joke or two as though you are sitting in a theatre. The cinema’s Dolby sound system is mind-blowing and you truly become immersed in the world of the film. Although if you need the toilet midway through, it can be a bit awkward as the auditorium is so large! The cinema shows blockbuster films rather than independent/documentary films. They also have regular showings of theatrical plays which I am sure feel as though you are actually attending the play. This cinema would be a great gift for a fellow film or a marvel film fanatic buff as it really is a captivating and unique experience.
5. EVERYMAN, BELSIZE PARK
NEAREST TUBE: BELSIZE PARK – PRICE:££
This cinema exudes luxury. You definitely notice the stereotypical lady drinking Prosecco. Everyman cinema’s are a small chain of independent cinemas, similar to Picture House cinemas but on a smaller and more lavish scale. The cinemas have a lot of interesting events taking place within the venues, however, “the everyman baby club” made me laugh a little as it is pretty evident the type of people you may find in the Everyman cinema’s. They show a variety of films including anime, foreign, classics, TV series premiers and the mainstream blockbusters. The best part about this cinema is the tunnel feature screen room that has comfy leather seats providing you with a cushion. Again, like all other independents, the food is as good as the films. At Everyman (Belsize Park) you can make your own ice-cream Sundae! or why not order the deli platter… yes they have a deli platter. This would be a great cinema to take your snobby friend and show her that going to the cinema can as luxurious as going to Soho House!