London: A Cheapo night out at the movies
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
Tel: 020 7494 3654
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
Tel: 020 7407 4057
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.
The Mucky Pup
39 Queen’s Head Street
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.