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London: A Cheapo night out at the movies

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Prince Charles Cinema London
Cheap seats and memorable movies at the Prince Charles Cinema. Photo: Craig Grobler

By Lara Kavanagh in London—

Central London cinema prices are enough to put off even the seasoned local, often reaching £12 to £14 per person, and even more if you go to a really upmarket joint. But there is some relief in sight. If you’re on vacation and able to catch a mid-week movie, then check out the Prince Charles cinema or the Roxy Bar and Screen; alternatively, you can get your cult fix at an independent cinema club instead.

Prince Charles Cinema
7 Leicester Place
WC2H 7BY
Tel: 020 7494 3654
Web site
Screenings daily

A long-time favorite for film fans in the capital, the Prince Charles shows a program of new releases, oldies, cult classics and even showings of musicals accompanied by lyrics to inspire raucous in-house singalongs. The non-member week-day matinee price for new releases is £8, with evening and weekend shows rising to £10. For other film showings you can see a matinee for as little as £5.50, rising to just £6.50 on evenings and weekends.

Grease fans, please note that you’ll still have to fork out £15 for the singalong version. If you’re planning on an extended stay in London, the membership is well worth the investment for the discounts you get.

Roxy Bar and Screen
128-132 Borough High Street
SE1 1LB
Tel: 020 7407 4057
Web site
Screenings Sunday to Wednesday

South of the river, the Roxy is a great low-cost option for bagging a cheap new release, with evening showings costing as little as £3 per person. Movies are shown on a large screen at the back of the Roxy bar in a relaxed area with sofas and candlelit tables. Just before the film starts, a heavy curtain is pulled across to minimize bar noise; it’s an imperfect system, but you can eat, drink and lounge on a sofa as well as take in quality new releases, all at a low price.

The Roxy also hosts the excellent Film Bar 70, a monthly celebration of cult films, including screenings of shorts and retro musical interludes.

Cigarette Burns
The Mucky Pup
39 Queen’s Head Street
N1 8NQ
Web site
First Monday of the month; see website for further details

For a film date with a quirkier bent, try Cigarette Burns, a movie night held in an Islington boozer every first Monday of the month. It showcases little-viewed cult movies, and you might come across off-beat documentaries, sci-fi and horror films, starring anything from giant killer rabbits to zombie bikers. Amazingly, entry is free–get there around 7 p.m. to bag a seat.

Cigarette Burns also runs a sister event (roughly every second Saturday) at the Rio cinema, running late showings (11.30 p.m.) for £7.50 per person.

About the author

Lara Kavanagh

About the author: Lara Kavanagh is a travel editor and freelance writer based in London, and has also had the great pleasure of living in and writing about Paris. Top vintage shopping, great food and quirky nightlife are her favourite things about London.

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One thought on “London: A Cheapo night out at the movies”

  1. I am always on the lookout for authentic places in the British capital, and it doesn’t get much better than the Prince Charles cinema. What’s better than a room singing along a musical?

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