Movie lovers around the world get a huge thrill out of visiting cinemas and enjoying blockbuster movies they’ve been waiting for. The top 10 cinemas in London screen everything from big budget Hollywood movies to smaller independent and foreign films. There are dozens of cinemas all over London and among them there are a few highly luxurious ones, however most of them are high end but run of the mill cinemas where everyone can come and watch a good movie. Watching flicks at home can be fun but nothing can beat a visit to your local cinema and watching your favorite movie playing on the big screen. It’s a perfect way to start a date with your girlfriend and some cinemas have bars or restaurants attached to them as well. Ever since the introduction of 3D movies many cinemas have adopted the technology. Buy some popcorn, take a seat by your girlfriend, and watch the blockbuster movie you’ve been waiting for ever since first seeing the trailer. Movie buffs will have an absolute blast in London that’s for sure. There’s not much missing here. Seeing as there are numerous films that are made in London perhaps you could even witness the making of a movie. Here are our picks for the best ten cinemas in London.
People from this part of town are very lucky to have the Genesis and call it their local cinema. Ticket prices are fairly cheap and so are the snacks and beverages when compared to others. In 2012 it underwent a renovation which was led by a couple of movie set designers. There’s an upstairs bar that’s the perfect place for a drink before or after the movie. We suggest that you don’t have too many drinks before a screening.
Visiting address: 93-95 Mile End Road, London, E1 4UJ
The Electric cinema in Portobello Road is one of London’s oldest cinemas and has a reputation for being the most romantic one. In recent times it has been astonishingly renovated and now it boasts super comfortable leather armchairs, posh cashmere (yes, cashmere) blankets, and believe it or not guests have waiter service in the cinema. The whole front row of seats have been changed with lush double beds that are the perfect spots for a make out session with the ladies.
Visiting address: 191 Portobello Road, London, W11 2ED
We often hear the expression “big screen” when talking about cinemas but at BFI IMAX they’ve taken this saying quite literally so they decided to put up the biggest cinema screen in the UK. It’s a massive 540 square meters! The sound quality is absolutely fantastic and the designers put great thought into how they’ll angle the seats so everyone can see the movie and not the bald person’s head in front of them. Tickets can be pricey for the best seats and they’ll cost you up to twenty quid.
Visiting address: 1 Charlie Chaplin Walk, London, SE1 8XR
- The Odeon Cinema on Leicester Square
The Odeon cinema is the most popular cinema venue for high class red carpet movie premieres. That’s mostly due to the massive blockbuster movies that are often played here. The capacity is also kind of astonishing as the cinema can seat 1683 people. If this cinema is too ostentatious for you, maybe you should check out the Odeon mini studios that’s located right next to its big brother. Screenings here are much more intimate as the capacity of each screening room is about 50 to 60 seats.
This cinema is the exact opposite of a modern multiplex venue. It’s run by a charitable foundation and the local community has since become very involved in its operations and they are highly motivated to keep it running as long as possible. The Phoenix cinema is a one screen cinema but don’t let that scare you away. It makes it up with charm and warmth. They mostly show independent works and foreign films. Up and coming directors often introduce their latest works in the Phoenix Cinema and they host a variety of different events.
Visiting address: 52 High Road, East Finchley, London, N2 9PJ
The Ritzy isn’t just your run of the mill cinema, it’s a true Brixton institution that’s beloved by the locals. The Ritzy first opened its doors in 1911 which makes it one of the oldest cinemas in South London. If you love multiplex cinemas that you will hate the Ritzy. They are pretty much the exact opposite. The program boasts both blockbuster Hollywood movies and smaller independent productions. It also has a bar that serves classic straight up pub foods if you get hungry.
Visiting address: Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW2 1JG
The now very popular BFI Southbank opened in 2007 and before that it was known as the National Film Theatre that was beloved by many Londoners. It’s arguably the British Film Institute’s flagship cinema venue in London. The stunning BFI Southbank often hosts Q&A evenings and sessions with world class directors and filmmakers. It boasts two wonderful restaurant-bars and one of them overlooks the iconic river Thames.
Visiting address: Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XT
The Lexi Cinema doesn’t care for big name cinemas that are run by big corporations. This friendly single screen cinema is managed by a group of local volunteers who are passionate about movies and cinemas. Hence the profit motive for them doesn’t really exist. Well that’s not completely true because the profit this little cinema makes goes to a charity located in South Africa. Artistic small productions are regulars on their program, however they are known to play blockbuster movies as well. The seats are more than comfortable and the sound system is superb!
Visiting address: Pinkham Lighthouse, 194 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, NW10 3JU
Only in London is it possible for such a quirky cinema to exist. This isn’t the kind of cinema where anyone is going to hush you for whispering. In fact audience participation is welcome! Spontaneous sing-alongs are not an uncommon sight at the Price Charles Cinema. When it first opened it was a porn cinema believe it or not. While today it isn’t as sleazy and dirty, it retains the fun and exciting aspect of going to the cinema. No movie lover should miss out on this place!
Visiting address: 7 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BP
The ArtHouse is an independent cinema that is beloved by Londoners and for damn good reasons as well. It opened just recently in 2014 and quickly made a name for itself among the locals in Couch End and close by areas. They take great pride in the fact that this isn’t a cinema, it’s a theatre, a music venue. They definitely lean towards showing foreign and independent movies, which is expected of such a cinema.
Visiting address: 159A Tottenham Lane, London, N8 9BT