High 5: UK Cinema

November 8, 2013

There’s nothing quite like sinking into a velvet seat, lights dimmed, with a fresh tub of popcorn in hand and a good film to watch. Here are a few of my favourite UK cinemas:

The Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Brighton
I’ve been visiting the historic Duke of York Picturehouse in Brighton since I was a teenager and first found out about it because my mum used to go as a school girl.  Set on a crossroads overlooking Preston Circus, this is the oldest purpose-built cinema in the UK and  is an absolute delight.  The cinema opened on 22nd September 1910 and currently shows the very best art house films as well as carefully chosen blockbusters.  The charming bar has its own wine list so you can sip a glass of warming red during the film in winter and, in the summer, there’s a balcony for pre-film drinks.

Outdoor Cinema
If you love watching films in some of Britain’s most beautiful al fresco locations, then get yourself on to The Luna Cinema’s mailing list.  State-of-the-art pop-up screenings have included Aliens at Pinewood Studios, Dirty Dancing at Warwick Castle and Life of Pi at London Zoo.

The Rex, Dorset
Tucked away on Wareham’s timeless high street, The Rex has plush velvet drapes and its original gas lamps are still on display.  The cinema’s bar serves local beer and wine that you can take to your seat and, if you visit during October, you might catch the annual Purbeck Film Festival – the UK’s longest running film festival – with many independent films being shown both at The Rex and in various castles across Dorset.

Sing-a-long cinema, Prince Charles, London
I used to head to London’s Prince Charles Cinema just off Leicester Square as a student. The tickets were cheap then, and are still great value now. The last time I went, I saw the rather gritty Gary Oldman debut Nil by Mouth with Ray Winstone but things have clearly become a little more light-hearted since then with regular sing-a-long cinema events, including films such as Grease and The Sound of Music.

The Aubin, Shoreditch
Last month I was lucky enough to be invited to a private screening of the 80s classic The Breakfast Club at The Aubin in Shoreditch for a friend’s birthday, and what an indulgence it was!  The screening room seats 45 on roomy grey velvet seats that are swathed in cosy blankets and cushions – so cosy, in fact, that it was tempting to nod off.  The bar serves drinks such as chilled prosecco and delicious snacks including Jude’s ice cream, wasabi peas and vanilla walnut organic cookies.

Julia Farish