Notting Hill Coronet

Opened in 1898 as a theatre, the Coronet in Notting Hill feels like an old patriarch of the cinema world. Even if you didn’t know King Edward VII was among past audiences (perhaps he took in a 1910 showing of Frankenstein), the red decor and narrow corridors, leading to a vast auditorium, make you feel as if you’ve passed through the space-time continuum and are back in an Edwardian stately home.  Yes, there is something crumbling about the place but, like a limp on a war-veteran, this confers a dusky romance. And if you’re too pragmatic for dusky romance, perhaps £3.50 Tuesday will tempt you. Continue reading

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BFI Southbank

The BFI national archive has outlets in Wrexham, Newcastle, Cambridge and Derby but its central operating base is in London’s Southbank. If someone were to renounce the outside world in favour of solid and varied film-watching, the BFI Southbank is where they should start their new life. Continue reading

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Art Of The Deal – London cinema on a budget

Okay, so this arthouse stuff is all very well. Yes, the Curzon is elegant and hip and lovely, yes the Everyman is charming and homey and has armchairs, for god’s sake, and yes, the experience of visiting these cinemas is a joyous one for any discerning film lover. Continue reading

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Curzon Soho

Self-described as London’s “leading arthouse cinema chain”, the Curzon family take the art of film-showing pretty darn seriously. Across their six outlets in Soho, Mayfair, Bloomsbury, Chelsea, Richmond and Millbank, the Curzon show easily the widest range of arthouse and world cinema releases – if you’ve got a hankering for the latest Haneke or that slightly obscure Palme d’Or winner nobody can quite remember the name of, odds are you’ll find it here. Continue reading

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Arthouse cinema is dead, long live arthouse cinema

In a 2008 article for the New Statesman, Yo Zushi lamented the metamorphosis of affordable arthouse cinemas into luxury cinemas that charge £4 for a pot of chocolate raisins. It is a shame that the price of entrance prohibits cinema enthusiasts from indulging their passion to the fullest however I would like to argue for the merit of all independent cinemas, even the Everyman, scene of the over-priced raisins. Continue reading

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Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds

Never let it be said that we’re London-centric here at The Cinema Experience.

Well, okay. Maybe it wouldn’t be unfair to let that be said. But never let it be said that we don’t realise stuff exists north of Watford. We love that stuff. We wish we had the time and financial capital to cover more of that stuff. And so, this weekend, Mr and Mrs Cinema Experience took themselves off to Leeds and took in a screening of Black Swan.

The Hyde Park Picturehouse, a popular haunt for students and arthouse types, proudly bills itself as “the cosiest in Leeds”. It’s a beautiful little building, tucked away within a maze of quiet residential streets in the leafy Hyde Park area. The original fittings – including swishy red curtains, gas lamps and an ornate Edwardian balcony in the foyer – lend an authentic old world charm to the experience once you get inside. Continue reading

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The Phoenix, East Finchley

The well-to-do suburb of East Finchley does not sing its cinematic credentials yet it’s definitely worth hopping on the Northern Line to visit the the Phoenix, located a mere two minutes from the station. This charity-owned one-screener is not the place to bring twelve football teams but if you like films served with a side of friendly staff surrounded by a mix of art deco and Edwardian architecture, this could be your spiritual home. Continue reading

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