Where to Get the Ultimate Film Fix in London

  • 01 of 08

    London's Coolest Cinemas

    Audience wearing 3-D glasses in movie theater, arms reaching out
    PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier/Getty Images

    There's no shortage of London cinemas in which to watch a blockbuster and grab a bucket of popcorn but if you're looking for movies and more, we've put the spotlight on London's coolest cinemas. From London's oldest cinema to Europe's widest 3D screen, the city is home to an A-list selection of movie theaters for the ultimate film fix. 

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  • 02 of 08

    Best for First Dates: Electric Cinema, Notting Hill

    Electric Cinema Notting Hill
    Soho House Group

    Dating to 1911, the Electric in Notting Hill is one of London's oldest cinemas and one of its classiest. Owned by the Soho House group (the team behind hip hotels, restaurants, and private members clubs), there are luxury touches everywhere, from the cozy cashmere blankets on the seats to the champagne served at the bar. It's an impressive spot for a first date, whether you sink into one of the armchairs, cuddle up in a back row sofa or splash out on one of the front row velvet-lined double beds. The bar serves booze and hot snacks and waiter service is available.

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  • 03 of 08

    Best for Film Buffs: BFI Southbank

    BFI Cinema Southbank

    For serious film fans, the four-screen British Film Institute (BFI) is hard to beat. Alongside screenings of new releases, foreign language films, and classic British flicks, there are regular events and festivals that celebrate all things film. Delve into the Mediatheque archive to watch free British films and TV shows or browse the Reuben library for books, journals, and digitized material. If you're under 25 you can grab last-minute tickets up to 45 minutes before a film starts for just £3.

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  • 04 of 08

    Best for Cheap Tickets: PeckhamPlex, Peckham

    PeckhamPlex Cinema
    Tea Che/Tea Was Here

    Popular with students and southeast Londoners, the ​PeckhamPlex is something of a Peckham institution. Set back from the high street and a little rough around the edges, this cinema screens the big releases for a small price: Tickets are just £4.99 all day, every day (+£1 for 3D films). It's nearly always full on the weekends so it's best to book tickets in advance. And what you save on tickets you can spend on post-film cocktails at Frank's bar just next door, which sits atop a multi-story parking lot and offers stunning views of the London skyline.

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  • 05 of 08

    Best for Fun Films: The Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square

    Prince Charles Cinema
    Prince Charles Cinema

    Leicester Square may be famous for hosting A-list studded film premiers but the Prince Charles Cinema, just ​around the corner from the Odeon and Cineworld, puts the emphasis on fun rather than fame. Its Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music screening is a legendary London event and it regularly hosts all-night screenings, iconic film double bills, and themed parties. Annual membership costs just £10 and there are weekly £1 screenings for members.

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  • 06 of 08

    Best for History Buffs: The Phoenix, East Finchley

    The Phoenix Cinema East Finchley
    The Phoenix

    Built in 1910, the Phoenix in East Finchley is London's oldest independent cinema. Its beautiful Art Deco facade was added in the 1930s and the Grade II listed building is protected by English Heritage. The single-screen cinema shows an eclectic mix of foreign films and arthouse productions and often hosts special events and Q&As. It's set up as a registered charity and its starry list of patrons includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Palin and film director, Mike Leigh. The cinema has appeared on the big screen in several films including Interview with the Vampire, Nowhere Boy and My Week with Marilyn.

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  • 07 of 08

    Best for Blockbusters: Cineworld at the 02

    O2 Arena London
    Vladimir Zakharov/Getty Images

    This mega multiplex at the 02 Arena in north Greenwich offers something for everyone from blockbusters to Bollywood screenings to family matinees and special events. It's home to Europe's widest 3D cinema screen and is fitted with D-Box seats which simulate movements in action movies for a 4D cinema experience.

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  • 08 of 08

    Best for Arthouse Films: The Barbican

    Barbican Centre London
    Chris Jackson/Getty Images

    The Barbican is Europe's largest performing arts center, and many of the films shown at this three-screen cinema tie in with events, gigs, and exhibitions taking place elsewhere in the complex. Expect an eclectic program of current films, indie productions, documentaries and art house classics supported by a regular line up of talks, workshops, and Q&A sessions. Screen One's auditorium-style set up is your best bet for current films; the two smaller screens are kitted out with comfy seats and bars serving beer, wine, pizza, and cake.