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Visit London: Unique Cinemas

21 Sep 2010  We love London!
5.0 of 5 bubbles based on 5 votes

Tired of souless megaplexes with overpriced popcorn and mainstream movies? London has a whole host of independent cinemas oozing charm and screening a diverse range of films. From arty foreign flicks to adrenlin-fuelled 3D movies, there's something for everyone.

  • Category: Best of
  • 1. Prince Charles Cinema

    Since 1991 this brilliant cinema has been entertaining film buffs with low price tickets. The Prince Charles is the UK's only independent repertory cinema. This is the place to come to see the classic films you missed out on. Brush up on your Bergman or catch up with the Coen brothers. If you're feeling particularly keen (or lazy!) you can enjoy one of the regular double bills. For the ultimate cheesy celluloid experience, croon along to the Sound of Music at a Sing-a-long-a.

  • 2. BFI Imax

    Just behind the Southbank, a stone's throw away from Waterloo station, stands the mighty BFI Imax. For those looking for the ultimate cinematic experience this is place for you. The screen is the biggest in the UK and equates to five double-decker buses stacked on top of each other! Powerful visuals are coupled with a state-of-the-art digital surround-system which make you feel you're actually part of the action. Otherwise you can don a pair of silly-looking glasses and experience a 3D film.

  • 3. Rio Cinema

    Originally an auctioneer's shop on Kingsland High Street, the Rio has a lengthy history. It's changed names and undergone numerous refurbishments yet it still oozes period charm. In 1999 the Grade 2 listed building reopened with an improved auditorium, better acoustics and a cute new cafe. Come here to see films that they won't be showing at your local megaplex such as foreign flicks and small budgets movies. For fledgling film fans, there is also a new parent and baby matinee.

  • 4. Rich Mix

    Located in London's hip Shoreditch, the Rich Mix combines a cool cinema with an exciting venue space. There are three screens, all recently refurbished with funky interiors. Buy yourself a drink at the extensively stocked non-alcoholic cafe bar and you can take it through to the auditorium. The cafe bar also has a yummy selection of salads and hot dishes if you need to refuel before engaging your brain! The programme is a mixture of mainstream releases and themed film seasons.

  • 5. Himalaya Palace

    Southall, West London is the place to go for some Bollywood movie action. The hugely successful Bollywood film industry is rapidly growing and now enjoys much larger audiences than its Hollywood counterpart. Hit this three screen cinema to catch the latest and greatest releases. The Grade II listed building was built in 1929 but closed in 1975 when it was converted into a shopping centre. In 2001 it reopened as the Himalaya Palace after being restorated in conjunction with English Heritage.

  • 6. The Phoenix

    Originally opened as 'The East Finchley Picturedrome' in 1910, this is one of the oldest cinemas in the UK. It was also one of the first cinemas in London to introduce sound films in 1929. Lurking behind the deceptively modern foyer, is an antique auditorium complete with fabulous art deco features. Enjoy new releases, independent flicks, foreign movies and old classics. An eclectic programme is complemented by the kids club, school workshops and film talks.

  • 7. Cine Lumiere

    The Cine Lumiere is a Gallic jewel in South Kensington's crown. Located at the Institut francais du Royaume, the cinema specialises in the very best of French, European and World cinema. Don't worry if your French isn't up to scratch - all the films are screened with English subtitles. When the screen re-opens in January 2009 it should benefit from improved image and sound quality along with a more comfortable auditorium. Swanky!

  • 8. BFI Southbank

    Nestled under Waterloo Bridge you will find a real powerhouse of British cinema. The BFI Southbank is the place to head for movie masterpieces and international screenings. There are regular movie seasons which showcase the work of celebrated actors and directors. Hang out in the slick cafe with the other culture vultures. The annual highlight is the BFI London Film Festival which celebrates emerging British talent.