Coolest Cinemas in the UK
With Oscar season now approaching full swing, chances are you’ll be heading to the cinema at some point over the next couple of months. But if you’re fed up with identikit screens, below par customer service and injuries to your neck thanks to taking in the full IMAX experience, why not go to the pictures in style at some of the coolest cinemas in the UK.
Location: 14-18 Broad Street, NG1 3AL.
The site of Nottingham’s Broadway cinema previously belonged to a church, but it’s quickly become the go-to place of worship for film fans in the city. Showing a mixture of indie, blockbuster, documentary, classic and world films, the design of Broadway is striking enough with a glass front giving a view into the three-storey building, but the real winner is the Paul Smith-designed auditorium which means you can watch your flicks in genuine style.
The Station, North Yorkshire
Location: Station Yard, Richmond, DL10 4LD.
The most remotely located picturehouse on our list, The Station cinema is located in Richmond, North Yorkshire. Situated within a restored Georgian railway station, complete with original cobbles and wrought iron features, the cinema plays everything from blockbusters to classic films in its two intimate 100 seat screens. There’s also a restaurant, an art gallery, a heritage centre and a plethora of artisan food-producers on site if you want to make a real afternoon/evening of proceedings.
Film Theatre, Glasgow
Location: 12 Rose Street, G3 6RB.
The Glasgow Film Theatre is probably the best thing to come out of the city since deep-fried Mars bars. With a real commitment to showing the best films and documentaries from across the globe, what began as a single screen cinema has grown to a three screen complex offering screenings, lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops, industry support and the chance to see films and meet filmmakers from Scotland and around the world. The GFT (as the kids on the street call it) are also famed for their special screenings which more often than not involve fancy dress.
The Rex, Berkhamsted
Location: Three Close Lane, HP4 2FG.
The Rex in Hertfordshire’s Berkhamsted may only have one screen, but boy what a screen. Set in a glorious 1938 art-deco proscenium with the sharpest film projection and clearest non-booming sound anywhere in the world, the cinema offers a more refined cinematic experience to discerning Joes and Janes. The Rex is pretty much choker every night thanks to its mix of small indie films, blockbusters and old school classics. There’s no popcorn or flacid hotdogs but you can have a drink anywhere in the auditorium and there is also table service. It’s also the biggest bargain on our list. A must-visit.
Prince Charles, London
Location: 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7NY.
The Prince Charles Cinema in Soho is quite probably the most famous of the independent cinema in the UK, an important feat considering it’s the last of the independents still operating in London’s cine-famous West End. To put it plainly; they screen everything. But we’d highly recommend joining other film-buffs at one of their special events such as their world famous SING-A-LONG-A presentations or their all-night movie marathons, where you won’t find a better atmosphere in the UK.
Location: Dove Street South, BS2 8JD.
If you’re fed up of the multiplex experience, why not go smaller and try out Cube Cinema’s ‘Microplex’ for size? The self-proclaimed ‘arts venue, adult creche and progressive social wellbeing enterprise in Central Bristol’ offers Joes and Janes the cinema experience with a difference with most screen time taken up screen by documentaries, world cinema and cult classics. Every job needed to run this venue is carried out by devoted volunteers who give up their time for the love of it. They also take pride in banning the big boys and only serving what they consider ethical products, to the point where you’ll even get their homemade recipe of cola.
The Electric, Birmingham
Location: 47–49 Station Street, B5 4DY.
The final cinema in our list is the oldest running cinema in England. Having opened in 1909, The Electric is a Birmingham icon. Home to sofas, a bar and waiter service, The Electric has two digital screens and shows a mixture of the latest quality mainstream, independent, foreign and classic films. It’s also one of the most refined cinemas in the country too. It doesn’t serve popcorn, and it’s one of only a handful of establishments in the country to serve Absinthe Parisienne using a traditional fountain.