Nothing quite beats a Sunday spent free to brunch, window shop and roam around Columbia Road Flower Market to cloud any incoming pre-Monday stress. But the crème de la crème of all weekend plans? A trip to your local cinema. And with pretty much every movie worth seeing out now, there is no better time to plan a movie night out. Though picking your flick of choice is the fun part, deciding on a venue can be tricky, to say the least. Whether it’s a date night, a screening with your hashtag squad or going solo (FYI: this is actually the best) you want to indulge in style if you're forking out fifteen quid a ticket (Pause while we remember when it was a mere fiver in the ‘00s to watch Finding Nemo). From Kate Moss-approved theatres to boutique haunts you’ve never heard of, here’s Grazia’s edit of the best cinemas in London…
The Screen On The Green
Why? Date night this weekend? This is The One. Think comfy seats for two, a bar and quirky film screenings throughout the month at one of the oldest continuously running (indoor) cinemas in the UK, which opened in 1913.
Rooftop Film Club Peckham
Where? Bussey Building, South London
Why? Our #1 favourite activity come SUN? Two words: Rooftop Cinema. Sure, there are certainly more than a handful to choose from in the capital, but our personal favourite is the charming (and Insta-friendly, obvs) haunt on top of the Bussey Bulding in SE15. The best panoramic views over the city? A mix of cult, classic and new releases under the twinkling lights? Good company permitting (choose your plus one wisely, peeps) it’s the most romantic summer eve option. Oh yes, there’s a love seat for two option as well. The venue is even hosting an exclusive discounted screening for Bumble app users this month, in association with MUBI, showing the critically acclaimed flick ‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki' on the 18th May. Movie date night, sorted.
Why? If your perfect Sunday involves an afternoon watching Jules et Jim, Ciné Lumière is your new best friend. Belle du Jour actress Catherine Deneuve reopened one of London’s top repertory cinemas in 2009, with a particular emphasis on French, European and World cinema. Its programme combines new releases, previews and exclusive on-stage events attended by top directors, actors and costume designers. The sartorial inspo a big bonus.
Where? Barnes, South West London
Why? Though situated in London’s ‘hippest village’ aka Barnes, this cinema has a rock ‘n’ roll history. It opened as a cinema in 1906, before reinventing itself as a recording studio in the 1960s (Spice Girls’ Wannabe and The Beatles’All You Need Is Love were both recorded there). Now converted back to its original use – with comfy reclining seats from Norway, bespoke brass tables (to perch your bottle of wine and popcorn) and optional ‘love seats’ for those who want to cuddle up on the cinema FROW.
Prince Charles Cinema
Where? Leicester Square
Why? After a Central London venue with character? It doesn’t get better than the Prince Charles…even Kate Moss is a fan. It even operated as a porn cinema for a short while in the '60s (seriously). From box-office hits to arthouse flicks, there is something for everyone. Oh yeah and you can even sing-along to your favourite musicals downstairs (Buys tickets to Moulin! Rouge* immediately).
Where? Notting Hill
Why? Once you’ve finished perusing the vintage clothes on Portobello Market, make your way down to West London’s iconic cinema. For those who want to really relax, The Electric will fulfil your needs with actual sofa’s (with foot stools and side tables, naturally), cashmere blankets, cult classics, delicious cocktails. Yep, they had us at cashmere blanket too.
The Lexi Cinema
Where? Kensal Rise
Why? ‘I AM CINEMA. PLEASE LOVE ME,’ is scrawled across a red-brick building, that also happens the be the coolest indie cinema. As well as new releases, The Lexi also runs a monthly cult movie screening for the night owls of NW10. Better yet? It’s the UK’s first ever ‘social enterprise’ cinema, donating its profits to The Sustainability Institute. Win, win.
Why? Plush velvet armchairs? Private royal boxes? Award-winning art house films? Luxe moviegoers heaven.
The Ritzy Picturehouse
Why? Brixton is fast becoming the next hipster hub for those finding they’ve done Shoreditch. And as any true South Londoner will know, the best cinema in town is of course the Ritzy. £7 tickets on Mondays? Board games and live music afterwards in the Upstairs Bar? Evening plans sorted.
Where? The Mall, South West London
Why? The one for film buffs. The cinema programme at the Institute of Contemporary Art offers a mix of feature film, documentaries and experimental moving image and regular talks with arists and filmakers. For an extra culture fix, you can also roam around the gallery free of charge after the credits roll.