I appreciate that Odeon can be considered a one size fits all when it comes to watching the latest blockbuster on the big screen, but there are times when you want a little bit more from your viewing arena than a a foot-long and some nachos.
The Prince Charles Cinema – Leicester Square
The Prince Charles is anything but your average cinema, with regular sing-a-longs, bitch-alongs, double bills and even all-nighters (featuring six films and starting at 9pm).
Plus, unlike their local contemporaries they screen more that just new releases, meaning on any given day you can treat yourself to the chiseled jaw of Kirk Douglas, unique voice of Judy Garland or the sweet dance moves of Kevin Bacon (before he sold his soul to EE).
And best of all, they offer membership, giving you discounts on food, drink and various screenings, which at the cost of £10 annually or £50 for a lifetime (and yes that is literally until the day you die) really in the best value for money you’ll get anywhere in Leicester Square.
Bertha dochouse – Curzon – Bloomsbury Square
Although I catch the occasional documentary on TV, I’d never really considered the possibility of watching one on the big screen, so when I was introduced to the Dochouse, it was quite the revelation.
Located within the Bloomsbury Curzon, the Dochouse is the UK’s first cinema dedicated solely to screening documentaries. With four screenings a day, filmmaker Q&As, masterclasses, discussions and special events, there’s no shortage of reasons to visit.
Whiteleys – The lounge – Bayswater
Ever been disheartened by being limited to choosing between a soggy hotdog, unimaginative popcorn options or sweets too extortionately priced to consider? Then let me introduce Whiteleys – The Lounge.
From the moment you enter, you’ll know you’re at a cinema like no other. After being lead to the bar by a concierge you can choose to order your food there or wait until in your seat (which incidentally has double leg room and fully reclines). With a carefully planned ‘Finger, Fork and Spoon’ menu there’s no need to worry that you’ll walk out looking like you’ve had a fight with Jackson Pollock.
Of course all of this comes with a price tag, cinema tickets themselves cost £20, with any food or drink being charged on top. Although this isn’t likely to become you’re weekly cinema, it’s definitely worth it, at least for a one off.
The Exhibit – Balham
With the small cinema decked out with leather double seat sofas, this is the perfect venue for date night. And if you want to get fully immerse yourself in the tradition, they offer ‘dinner and a movie’ for £15.90 each, which includes a cinema ticket and any burger from the restaurant menu.
If on the other hand you want to share your cinematic experience with more that just one or two friends, the cinema is available for private hire. You can treat 28 of your closest acquaintances to a movie of your choice with a High Definition, surround sound experience, where no-one will tell you off for rustling your popcorn too loudly or talking during the film.