As the rain tips down on London for another day, it’s safe to say: this summer’s going to be a washout.
Bad news for anyone heading down to this weekend’s sure-to-be-squelchy Hackney Weekender, but good news for the UK’s female population, who have just been granted another month’s free pass to Tightsville. HOLLA!
Anyway, aside from being able to shield the world from my paley legs, the weather also means I’ve been going to the cinema rather a lot lately. Seriously, I’ll pretty much watch anything these days, as long as it doesn’t mean chucking £20 up the arse end of a Vue or Odeon cash cow. In short, it’s all about the independents.
My current film obsession even stretches to last Saturday’s afternoon screening of Toy Story 2, for which the audience was me, my companion and around 20 children all under the age of five. (“They weren’t even alive when this film first came out” I whimpered half way through.)
So in the interests of spreading the independent film love, here are three bloody good cinemas you should probably go to when the weather’s crap.
Or even if it’s not.
The Prince Charles
Tucked away round the back of everyone’s favourite tourist trap, Leicester Square, is this absolutely lovely little place, the Prince Charles. It’s where film nuts gather to sing along to Team America, attend Labyrinth themed masked balls hosted by David Bowie look-a-likes, and hunker down in the back row to watch an afternoon screening of films that have just left the multiplex round the corner. From breakfast clubs and bacon sarnies on Sundays to double bills, Wes Anderson all nighters and documentaries such as Buck and Being Elmo, this place is hands down one of my favourite places to spend an afternoon in London. It’s cheap anyway, but I highly recommend becoming a member for an even better deal (£10 for the year, £50 life), then you can expect to watch a film from about £4.50. Oh, and they’ve also got one of the most helpful and altogether brilliant Twitter accounts going. Cult film fans, you’re in good company here. Get involved.
The Electric, Notting Hill
It’s a little more expensive than my beloved PCC, and it will require you to brave Portobello Road, but any cinema that results in you enjoying the steaming pile of culture Tippex that is Breaking Dawn Part 1 (yeah, I know, I know) is worth a shout in my book. Seriously, there’s a bar at the back of the room so if the film’s bad, just make use of the wine holder between the seats. It’s all about the little features in this place, like the old skool ticket booth, and forget flip seats – we’re talking armchairs and footrests. Basically, this is one of the comfiest cinemas I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch a crap film in. Also, pro tip for the gents, hire one of the sofas at the back and prepare to hit First. Date. Gold. You’re welcome.
The Everyman, Baker Street
Hiding out next to Boots on Baker Street is this little gem, part of the Everyman mini-chain dotted around London and surrounds. I was well impressed with this one. We went to see Moonrise Kingdom – 5 second review: Go see it. Go. Now! Now! – and found comfortable seats complete with little tables to rest your posh-o glass bottles of water on, in a nice small screening room. It all felt so swish that I even bought popcorn (I never buy popcorn). It wasn’t just any popcorn, though. They had some mad Worcester Sauce and sun dried tomato concoction going on, which we devoured an entire box of before the film had even started. Now that’s popcorn.
Rio, Ritzy, Curzon, Screen on the Green…I’m coming for you this summer.
If you know of a good cinema I’m missing out on, please educate me below. Or on the SLL Facebook page. I’m bloody everywhere.