As a city of art and culture, London is home to a huge variety of independent cinemas where you can catch the latest blockbuster in style or broaden your mind with an arty or foreign-language film.
Independent cinemas ooze coolness and make for a wonderful nightlife option from your base at one of our 5-star hotels in London. Pick up one of the incredible Montcalm spa deals and add some retro movie glamour to your weekend in London!
If you fancy indulging in film night, we’ve compiled a guide to the coolest independent cinemas in London to choose from.
Lights, camera, action – here’s the list.
ArtHouse Crouch End
159a Tottenham Lane, Crouch End N8 9BT
The former Salvation Army base in Crouch End is now one of London’s most dynamic independent arts and film centres. As you can no doubt guess, their programme is biased towards arthouse productions and they also show a lot of foreign-language flicks. There is a chilled bar in their foyer, perfect to wind down pre or post-film. This little all-rounder also put on music, comedy and theatre acts!
British Film Institute (BFI) South Bank
Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XT
Host of the BFI London Film Festival in October, the venue also has the largest year-round film programme. Their four screens show a huge selection of classic and contemporary films including all the new releases, re-releases, themed film seasons as well as director and actor retrospectives. Film buffs can browse hundreds of films in their National Archive or hang out in their drop-in studio cinema.
2 Goodman’s Fields, Whitechapel E1 8PS
This contemporary cinema is one of the latest ventures from the Curzon group; a small independent chain which prides itself on the atmosphere, comfort and location of its cinemas. The Curzon group received the award Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema at the 2017 British Academy Film Awards!
Catch the latest releases here, a short walk distance from the 5 star hotels of east London.
191 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill W11 2ED
If you’re planning a date night at the movies, the plush Electric Cinema is your winner. This is one of the oldest cinemas in the UK – it opened its doors over one hundred years ago and survived two World Wars. Sink into a red leather armchair or book one of the luxurious velvet beds draped in cashmere blankets to really impress. Side tables with vintage lamps are the perfect place to sit your bottle of wine. This vintage cinema shows new releases.
If you’re staying in one of the luxury hotels in London, why not make film night a 5-star experience, too?
96-98 Baker Street, Marylebone W1U 6TJ
Everyman Cinemas is a boutique independent chain of nine cinemas throughout London. Their mission is to reinvigorate old sites and breath fresh life into derelict cinemas, so these are usually housed in architectural gems. Everyman strives for the highest standards possible in terms of comfort and entertainment, and offer a diverse programme.
93-95 Mile End Road, Bethnal Green E1 4UJ
Pair a spa day with afternoon tea and finish with a night at this arthouse cinema, housed in a renovated 19th-century building. Genesis shows new releases and has themed seasons such as Women in Film and Doc’n Roll as well as Halloween and Christmas.
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)
The Mall, St. James’s SW1Y 5AH
The two small cinema screens at this art gallery typically screen arthouse films and experimental filmmaking. The program often includes investigative documentaries about political events or real people. They also collaborate with film festivals, such as the London Korean Film Festival and national events like Black History Month. There is a bar on-site for a post-film debrief.
194B Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Green NW10 3JU
‘I am a cinema. Love me’ commands the facade of this adorable cinema! All proceeds go to The Sustainability Institute, a charity which pioneers sustainable living and runs a learning centre based in rural Stellenbosch, South Africa. The organisation is committed to improving the lives of local children. Lexi Cinema is staffed by a fleet of volunteers. Their programme includes family films, new releases and showings of classics.
Prince Charles Cinema
7 Leicester Place, Covent Garden WC2H 7BY
The last remaining independent cinema in the West End, the Prince Charles Cinema shows blockbusters, classics, arthouse and cult movies as well as retrospectives. It puts on special seasons such as Christmas and Halloween themed programmes, the NT Live series, movie marathons and pyjama parties. They also host sing-alongs for the likes of Mama Mia!, Grease and The Greatest Showman.
You’ll struggle to find a cinema as spirited as this one!
Ritzy Picture House
Brixton Oval, Brixton SW2 1JG
The Ritzy is a restored 1911 cinema in south London with cafe and bar. They show a varied programme across multiple screens. They also host Q&As and previews and collaborate with film festivals. Vintage Sundays are dedicated to classics from the Golden Age of Hollywood or the likes of Studio Ghibli and Disney, and it only costs £8 a ticket – bargain! Use the rest of your Sunday to explore the city – after all, you’re perfectly placed for it!
The Phoenix Cinema
52 High Road, East Finchley N2 9PJ
Neon-lit cinema The Phoenix is London’s longest-running cinema which has been opened continuously since 1912. The cinema was built in 1910 so it caught the tail-end of the Edwardian era. As such, its lush interiors will make you swoon even if Marlon Brando doesn’t!
This single-screen complex shows new releases as well as steaming various theatrical and dance shows such as the NT Live and ROH Live programmes. Preen yourself at the Versace Spa London, then head here for a dose of culture.