If you’re fed up of paying over £10 to see a film, sick of venues with no character, and bored of the same old Hollywood blockbusters, then look no further. Here are a few of my favorite independent cinemas in London.
Curzon cinema Soho, London
Curzon cinemas are classy arthouse affairs that are great for a first date or a quirky evening. Curzon in Soho is just opposite China town on Shaftesbury Avenue and offers a great mix of popular films, screen classics and arthouse delights. Make sure you get there early to sample the Konditor and Cook cafes delicious cake selection, and make the most of the licensed bar. With a warm, dark and enticing atmosphere, the theme here is meringues and coffee as oppose to popcorn and coke.
Rio cinema on Kingsland Road
Rio Cinema on Kingsland High street in the east end of London is an unusual cinema of both architectural merit and community value. Opened in 1915 as Kingsland Empire, the building has enjoyed many great years as a cinema in the heart of a vibrant community. Refurbished in 1999, the Rio has developed into a cinema that is responsive to the interests of sections of the community often ignored by mainstream commercial cinema.
Screen on the green
Screen on the green at Angel on Upper Street is a small but perfectly formed cinema specializing in British films and classic cults. The 1950s venue reeks of independent film cinema, with an old theater backdrop and only one screen. Make sure you get there early at the weekend however as there are often queues. For £8.50 a ticket however, its not cheap, but what it lacks in price it makes up for in character.
Nestled in amongst the big kids of the Cinema world in Leceister square is a cheap and cheerful alternative for your viewing pleasure. With films starting at just £1.50 a go, you really cant go wrong. The only disadvantage is that they rarely show new and upcoming films, but there are old classics to be found here as well as the plain unusual. Built in 1961 as a theater and once a porn cinema venue, Prince Charles is a tongue in cheek independent – keep an eye out for naughty messages on the canopy!
Rich Mix is a multi functional community arts venue in the heart of Shoreditch, with a great cinema to add to the compliment. Situated at the top of Brick Lane, the former garment factory promotes the growth and exploration of creative talent, and seeks to establish links in marginalized communities. The cinema is beautifully designed and always features a great film selection as well as a range of film festivals throughout the year. Its a particularly good place to go if you fancy seeing the latest popular films at a local independent as oppose to your typical Vue or Odeon.
The Horse Hospital
This avantgarde underground cinema and arts space situated near Russell Square tube in central London is great for when you’re feeling arty and in need of inspiration. Situated in an old horse hospital (yep you’ve guessed it), there are many original features to admire including a horse ramp entrance and cobbled floor. With an ever changing events list including rare films, exhibitions and raw musical talent, lots of this is free or reasonably priced.