What’s better than feeling your body sink into a comfy cinema seat, switching your phone to silent and forgetting about your hectic day for a few hours? We’ve hand picked for you some of the best cinemas across the UK to take full advantage of the amazing experience of the silver screen.
1: Industry Cinema of the year 2018: Picture House Uckfield
Promoting themselves as “more than just a cinema” The Picture House Uckfield scooped the award for “Cinema of the Year” at the industry Screen Awards in 2018. After major refurbishments every decade, an award-winning restaurant, over £70k spent on technology last year and being a cinema that prides itself on the personal touch this prestigious accolade was well deserved. If you are heading down make sure you book yourself in for their “Movie Meal Deal” and if it’s your birthday let them know and you might even see your face on the big screen!
2: Most historic cinema: Regent Street Cinema, London
Opened in 1848 and regarded as “the birthplace of British cinema”, this cinema featured the first motion picture shown in the UK in 1896 by the Lumiere Brothers. Closed for 35 years and utilised as part of the Westminster University campus, it then reopened its doors in 2015 after an extensive restoration, to be used once again as a public cinema. With beautifully restored Art Deco features, an organ and a dome-like ceiling, there is no doubt that relaxing into the vintage seats, waiting for the lights to turn off will provide you with an experience of cinema history.
3: Most iconic, retro cinema: Prince Charles, London
Tarantino himself gratified The Prince Charles Cinema as “everything an independent movie theatre should be” and further described it as London’s “Queen jewel”. The PCC started out as a Theatre in London’s West End in 1962 but it wasn’t till the early 90’s that The PCC evolved into what it is today. Famed for their dedicated seasons, movie marathon all-nighters, world-famous sing-a-longs and double and triple features Prince Charles truly has the requests and demand of its audience at its heart. As they say themselves “a place dedicated to showing cinemas every corner” whilst placing the utmost importance on their loyal audience.
4: Rock’n’roll is not dead: Olympic Studios, London
From the Stones, and Hendrix to Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, this legendary studio, now converted cinema has recorded most of the biggest rock and pop stars on earth. For this reason, and in line with its audio tradition, Olympic cinema is London’s premiere Dolby Atmos surround sound site and also boasts a stunning bar, restaurant and private members club. It will rock your ears.
5: Eco-friendly cinema: Lewes Depot, East Sussex
With its refurbished space, screening independent & foreign films, cosy café, courtyard & art gallery, pay Lewes Depot visit. Ensure you take advantage of the restaurant which also offers a quality selection of vegan options. Placing sustainability at the top of their agenda at the point of design with priority given to using sustainable energy sources and environmentally responsible principles they try to achieve the lowest possible environmental impact across all aspects of the organisation. Make sure you look up and check out the cinema’s Living Roof that not only provides fantastic heat and sound insulation but also boasts 12 varieties of plants and helps keep the view aesthetically pleasing for the surrounding buildings.
6: THE Premiere destination: ODEON Luxe Leicester Square
ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, the UK’s first Dolby cinema and one of Europe’s most well known, is famed as the destination for London film premieres, attracting the biggest film stars and an abundance of glitz and glamour to their red carpet. Having recently been closed for an 11 month, multi-million-pound refurb, the “home of the premiere” has once again reopened it’s doors to the public. The restoration provides a mix of old-world ambiance and modern luxury touches and has ensured that many of the features that date back over its 80-year history have been retained (including its iconic Compton organ). With its Dolby Atmos sound and audio system and handmade Luxe recliners, it offers luxurious space and comfort, the perfect way to forget everything around you and dive into the story of the film, perhaps with a cocktail in hand.
7: Luxury: Zeffirellis, Ambleside Manor
Zeffirellis cinema is a must: this luxurious 5 screen independent cinema in Ambleside has been a favourite haunt of local cinemagoers for over 38 years. Zeffirellis has been winning many prestigious awards for both its vegetarian culinary expertise and hospitality, stylish decorations, and their widely acclaimed jazz bar which has welcomed famous artists such as Egberto Gismonti and John Tailor.
8: Artistic: Cube Microplex, Bristol
Entirely run by volunteers, this social art experiment existing in the form of a cinema and event venue operates as a non-profit cooperative. Since opening in 1998 it has hosted artistic and cultural events including films and music performances as well as providing a focal point for the local artistic community. A great place to hang out and much, much, more than just a cinema!
9: The best for a film and pizza on the sofa with 4K: Ilkley Cinema, Ilkley
By blending relaxed modern design and the very latest in projection and audio technology with the age-old values of customer service and attention to detail: if you go to Ilkley Cinema you will enjoy truly unique viewing experience while being served your drinks and food directly to your seat before watching. The way it auto defines itself “like no other”, with comfort and relaxation at its heart, we can only approve.
10: The stylish revamp: Picturehouse Central, London
Welcome to one of London’s most stylish cinemas, where once stood the Trocadero. Seven screens play a mix of quality mainstream, indie, foreign language, documentaries and live Q & As as well as a huge fan base for documentaries and old movies. Famous for Sunday afternoons classics screenings: from Casablanca to Hitchcock’s masterpieces, there is no doubt that here you will find what you’re in the mood for. This new “old school” cinema attracts people of all ages from older crowds to after work crowds as well as existing as a great meeting spot to take advantage of its ground floor cafe, restaurant and bar, members bar or rooftop terrace providing great views of the West End.
11: Great design: Curzon Sea Containers, London
Situated on the banks of the River Thames in the famed Sea Containers building and styled and furnished by iconic British designer Tom Dixon, this cinema is a must. Visitors will discover a wall inspired by the hull of a ship, running from outside the building through to the lobby and on to the river side of the hotel. The intimate 56 seater cinema delivers an incredible experience. If you are tempted to order food and wine for your seat make sure you arrive 30 mins early!
12: A hospitable experience: Everyman Baker Street, London
What makes the Everyman cinemas interesting is that despite the fact that it’s a cinema chain, each site has unique characteristics often in keeping with the historic relevance of the building while promoting the Everyman core value: hospitality. If there is one thing they are not going to skimp on, it’s comfort. At Baker Street the service is excellent, the surroundings comfortable, the screens intimate and cosy. Create your own sundae and the bar or enjoy a delicious pizza.
13: An unforgettable experience: The Grosvenor, Glasgow
Simply the comfiest cinema you will find in Glasgow. The Grosvenor is Glasgow’s favourite contemporary cinema: the two screened cinema shows the latest blockbusters, art-house films, and special film festivals. You can just relax in the leather seats, or snuggle up in the leather couches. The Boozy Brunch events are the perfect excuse to get the gang together for a film followed by brunch and prosecco in the Grosvenor Café. Want to try the Gardener restaurant held by a botanist family just next door? If you’ve booked into see a film at The Grosvenor Cinema they will serve great food & drink to take in with you and an additional 20% off your food bill when you order.
14: The Cabaret style cinema: The Rex, Berkhamsted
Craving an experience that differs from what you’ve been used to? Try the Rex in Berkhamsted. This intimate cinema is housed in a beautiful art deco building in Hertfordshire that plays out a full and varied programme of film from around the world on its single screen. Order wine to your cabaret style table, dress up in your best and make a night of it. Booking in advance is strongly recommended, as queues form around the block one day each month as they release the latest programme and most tickets will sell out almost instantaneously. Don’t worry a handful of tickets will be held back for each screening for walk-ins on the day which are sold in a raffle type format so you have a chance to get in.
15: A piece of cinema history: The Electric, Birmingham
Opened in 1909, The Electric, Birmingham, was one of the first cinemas in the UK. It has been called a variety of names over the years, including The Tatler and The Tivoli, but reverted to its original Electric name in 1993. Showing a wide variety of indie, mainstream, and world cinema, plus known to host a few weddings, the Electric is a definite cultural hub in Birmingham. It is considered as a cinema treasure: indeed, the sound and screen are fantastic and, part of the beauty of this cinema is its absence of buckets of sticky popcorn that are replaced with delicious cakes and coffee.