Unique and unusual cinemas in London
About This Event
Grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy alternative films at these atmospheric London cinemas.
From independent picturehouses showing arthouse films to luxury London cinemas with sofas, there are many stand-out places in the capital to watch a film.
Here's our pick of the best cinemas in London, including outdoor screens, immersive pop-up experiences and historic movie theatres.
Independent cinemas in London
Get cultural at Rich Mix, a thriving community arts space in Shoreditch. Alongside three screens showcasing the latest blockbusters and independent films, the creative hub is home to three bars and has a programme of spoken word, theatre and live music.
The Lexi Cinema
Feel good knowing your ticket money goes to charity at The Lexi Cinema. This community-run cinema is great for discovering independent films, as well as watching screenings of theatre and opera performances from around the globe.
The Prince Charles Cinema
Find cheap tickets and vocal audiences at The Prince Charles Cinema, an independent cinema just moments from Leicester Square. Sing along to favourite musicals, including Dirty Dancing and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, or put on your pyjamas for one of its all-night movie marathons.
Discover films from the UK and further afield at BFI Southbank. The flagship venue for the British Film Institute hosts exciting film festivals, featuring classic, contemporary and avant garde films, alongside talks with some of the world's top filmmakers.
Electric Cinema Portobello
Snuggle up under cashmere blankets on a luxurious front-row bed, armchair or sofa at Electric Cinema Portobello. This Edwardian cinema is one of the oldest in London and is the perfect place for a romantic date, offering beautiful decor and a bar stocked with champagne and other tipples.
Electric Cinema Shoreditch
Revel in the luxury of velvet armchairs and soft blankets at the cosy Electric Cinema Shoreditch. The venue also features a cafe filled with Instagrammable details including neon signs, mismatched furniture and potted plants, plus a salon for some post-movie pampering.
Everyman Screen on the Green
Enjoy cinema dining at Everyman Screen on the Green, where you can order food to your chair while watching the big screen. Opened in 1913, this iconic cinema shows a mixture of mainstream movies and arthouse films, and often attracts top directors for Q&As.
London cinemas steeped in history
Head to the Phoenix Cinema for independent, foreign-language and specialist films, plus a repertoire of old and new classics. Built in 1910, this is one of the oldest continuously running cinemas in the UK and features a stunning auditorium with art deco panels.
Regent Street Cinema
Make a pilgrimage to Regent Street Cinema, known as "the birthplace of British cinema". It was the first cinema in the UK to show moving pictures, when it screened the Lumière brothers’ show in 1896. Admire the beautiful auditorium, before watching an alternative film.
Soak up more than 100 years of history as you watch a film at the Rio Cinema in Dalston. Annual film festivals showcase the work of Turkish and Kurdish filmmakers, plus there's often anniversary screenings of cult films.
Watch the latest films, world movies and documentaries at the unique Ritzy Cinema. This historic cinema opened in 1911 and retains its original proscenium arch. After catching a film, head to Upstairs at The Ritzy for live music, comedy festivals and dance workshops.
Outdoor cinemas in London
Sit back in a deckchair while enjoying great films, new and old, under starry summer skies with the Rooftop Film Club. Choose between three Insta-worthy rooftop cinemas in Peckham, Shoreditch and Stratford; each with stunning views and a fully stocked bar. Keep an eye out for special sing-a-long musical dates too.
Floating Film Festival
Snuggle up on a beanbag and watch a film in the picture-pretty surroundings of St Katharine Docks. The Floating Film Festival screens a wide variety of movies on a floating pontoon during summer, as well as in the lead up to Christmas in London.
The Luna Cinema
Take to the great outdoors during the summer months and watch film favourites in spectacular locations with The Luna Cinema. Be thrilled by Jaws at an open-air swimming pool and experience the magic of Harry Potter in the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace.
Film4 Summer Screen
Relax on a comfy blanket and take in the grand surroundings of Somerset House as Film4 Summer Screen takes over the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court. Arrive early to enjoy themed DJ sets and special introductions, before watching a mixture of cult classics and award-winning films at the pop-up outdoor cinema.
Immersive cinema experiences
Find themed sets and drinks at Backyard Cinema's film events in London. Past showcases include screenings of Romeo and Juliet at a beautiful church with a live choir and Christmas films in a magical winter garden.
Enter the world of your favourite flicks with Secret Cinema. Merging film, theatre, art, music and dance, the immersive experience allows you to be part of the movie, with fantastic sets in secret locations across London. Past films to be brought to life include Moulin Rouge, Star Wars and Ghostbusters.