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The Best Alternative Cinemas In London

The Best Alternative Cinemas In London

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We've put together a list of the best alternative cinemas in London for your all of your alternative film needs around the city!

Sure you go to the cinema to watch a film, but the atmosphere and the environment also contribute to your overall viewing experience. Instead of heading to the local cinema in your town, why not jump on the train or tube and watch a film in the city? From independent picturehouses to luxury cinemas with sofas, to immersive pop-up screens and historic movie theatres, London has it all. Prepare to have your imagination blown and all of your senses captured by the best alternative cinemas in London that I am about to list below:

1. BFI Southbank.

This flagship venue for the British Film Institute is an alternative cinema in London that you HAVE to check out. At this four-screen cinema, you can expect to view a huge selection of classic and contemporary films throughout the year, including new and re-releases, classic, contemporary and avant garde films. What’s more, this alternative cinema also hosts a number of stimulating film festivals, as well as director and actor talks. Located in the heart of London’s Southbank and nestled on the waterfront by Waterloo, this cinema has over 50 years of unrivalled experience presenting and celebrating films – do you really need any other incentives to go?

2. Everyman Screen on the Green.

The name alone of this alternative London cinema is enough to make me want to visit. The name is derived from the cinema’s location: Islington Green. This intimate (there are only 75 standard seats and a capacity of 125) and quirky cinema comes with sofas made for two, a table service directly to your seats, and a bar at the back of the screen. Its décor is just as distinctive what with its red neon outline and a large canopy advertising current and upcoming films and events. You really do feel as if you have travelled back in time when visiting this edgy cinema. This is one of the best alternative cinemas in London.

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3. Electric Cinema Portobello.

There are several sister Electric cinemas including one in Shoreditch, but the Electric Cinema Portobello, located in Notting Hill is the place to go to experience the cinematic equivalent of ‘fine dining’. You can expect nothing less than leather armchairs, foot stools, side tables, front row-beds (the stuff of dreams I know) and luxurious cashmere blankets. This Edwardian cinema really stands out from its competitors and boasts of an eclectic film programme from current releases, re-runs and cult classics. For something a bit different, book your tickets now for a cinematic experience to remember. PS – this venue is a perfect date day/night idea; I mean what other cinema offers a bar stocked with champagne? This is one of our favourite alternative cinemas in London.

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4. Rich Mix.

Another alternative cinema you can’t afford to walk past is Rich Mix, located on Bethnal Green Road. This three screened cinema showcases the latest blockbusters and independent films; compared to other cinemas on this list, it is reasonably priced and round the corner from hip and trendy Shoreditch with its countless restaurants and bars. This is an alternative cinema that just keeps giving, as well as putting on films, this venue also hosts live music, spoken-word, theatre and comedy events.

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5. Secret Cinema.

The last alternative cinema I want to draw your attention to is ‘Secret Cinema’. Launched in 2017, Secret Cinema specialises in immersive experience where the boundaries between performer and audience, set and reality, are all blurred. Such productions are 360 degrees, meaning you are fully plunged into the world of your favourite film. Different art forms beside film such as music, art, theatre and dance are all incorporated to make your experience truly unforgettable. Previous films that were brought to life beyond the two or three dimensional platform of a screen were Moulin Rouge, Star Wars, Dirty Dancing, Back to the Future, Alien, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Saturday Night Fever. I have wanted to go for years and will make it my mission to go before 2018 ends!

So there you have it, a list of five alternative cinemas in London where you can grab a bag of popcorn and settle down to watch a film. Can you think of any other alternative cinemas in London I have missed off this list? If so, then answer in the comment section below.
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