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5 Best Independent Cinemas Now Open in London

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Everybody loves going to the movies. With the current pandemic making many people reassess their viewing habits, it may be time for Londoners to think outside of the box of big chain cinemas, and focus their attention on the independent cinemas that the city has to offer. With most back in operation, they need support more than ever, so allow us to show you five of the very best indie cinemas that are ready to transport you and offer a unique viewing experience along the way. 

1. The Prince Charles Cinema

The Prince Charles Cinema

Holding the honour of being the last independent cinema running in the West End, The Prince Charles Cinema has been entertaining movie goers since the 1960’s, and remains a firm favourite amongst the city’s film fans. It is not hard to see why. With a program that features new releases, cult classics, movies from across the globe, as well as many themed movie nights and marathons, the PCC is the place to indulge in your favourite movie niches. The amount of films on offer is simply staggering, with many seasons on the go, from James Bond to Studio Ghibli, to the movies of David Lynch and so much more. It is also famous for being the go-to place in the UK to experience Tommy Wiseau’s infamous ‘worst movie of all time’ The Room. A crown jewel of London’s indie cinema scene.  

Location: 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BY
Prices: £4.50 – £16 (Membership available from £10)
Website: link


2. Genesis Cinema 

Right in the heart of Whitechapel, the venue for the Genesis Cinema has been keeping East-Londoners entertained for over a hundred years, before becoming a cinema in 1999. It keeps the spirit of good times and entertainment alive with its luxurious viewing options. You can experience a movie in its large main screen, or you can go for something a little more personal with their Studio Screening rooms, offering you a comforting armchair and footrest, so you can kick back and enjoy the movie in style. You can even enjoy a cocktail or two, along with some delicious food from the on-site kitchen. The Genesis Cinema offers a program of both recent and classic movies, but has also been known to host poetry nights and exclusive events, keeping the party spirit of this beloved East End location more than alive. 

Location: 93-95 Mile End Road, E1 4UJ
Prices:
£4.50 – £14 (Membership available from £20)
Website: link


3. Peckhamplex 

Just look at that ticket price! All tickets at the Peckhamplex cost just £4.99 for any film at any time, any day of the week. It is an affordable means of seeing the latest blockbusters on screen, and its joyful appreciation of the movie-going experience is infectious. It is the definition of cheap and cheerful when it comes to indie cinemas in London. It may not be the swankiest, but that doesn’t matter. It is a cinema that loves bringing people together to enjoy the experience of the movies. A location that many of those in the local area hold very dear to their hearts. Don’t just take our word for it, the location has won a Time Out Love London award three times, thanks to their combination of offering big screen entertainment along with community focused events.

Location: 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST 
Prices: £4.99 for any film at anytime seven days a week 
Website: link


4. Electric Cinema  

The Electric Cinema is the cinema for those looking for an extra indulgent experience. We’re not joking, there’s even a choice to book a double bed as your seat for your chosen movie (which is handy if you don’t like the film, you can just have a little snooze instead!). The Portobello location also just so happens to be one of the oldest running cinemas in the country, so not only can you put your feet up and enjoy your favourite glass of wine with a movie, you will also be sitting in a place rich with cinematic history. A plush and gorgeous experience that treats film fans like Hollywood celebs. 

Location: Portobello and White City 
Prices: £13.50 – £22.50
Website: link


5. Rio Cinema 

The Rio Cinema is a non-profit cinema located in the heart of Dalston, and is another London venue with a very rich history that dates back over 100 years. With gorgeous art deco stylings, the Rio offers cinemagoers a unique venue to take in blockbusters, arthouse flicks and classic titles. While there may only be two screens, the Rio creates a sense of community through a well selected program, as well as offers for film fans of all ages. It is a venue that celebrates its history, and the legacy that it has had as a long-standing piece of the community.  

Location: 107 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB 
Prices: £7 – £12.50 (Memberships from £30)
Website: link

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Top 5 Stephen King Books

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IT

And this should not come as a surprise at all, King’s 1986 novel It probably contributed in one way or another to the spread of clown fear than any other book or movie out there. Spread across three decades, the book tells the story of a group of friends from Maine, that find themselves battling with now the most iconic clown, Pennywise. They were sure they killed him back in the 1950s, but 30 years later he comes back from the sewers ready to make new victims.

The Shining

In the mid-1970s, King and his family spent a night at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. The place was about to be closed up for winter, and King got a chance to wander around on the empty building. He started thinking and imagining how would it be like to stay and spend the entire winter locked inside, thinking how would the human mind cope with solitude and ghosted premises. As a result, The Shining started to take contour, and Jack Torrance became one with King. 

Salem’s Lot

His debut novel was Carrie, the follow-up was Salem’s Lot. Starting with a simple premise which involves a Dracula-like vampire moving to a small town in Maine, he encapsulated the beauty of the genre with each turning that occurred. A high school teacher and his young girlfriend decide to fight back and save the town from vampirism.

Misery

It is a well-known fact that celebrity attracts all kind of people and craziness, but luckily enough King was spared and he never met anyone like Annie Wilkes. Wilkes, the character from Misery, kidnaps her favourite author and forces him to write a sequel to her favourite series. Of course, the author fights back but Annie doesn’t take no for an answer, coming with an axe, chopping frantically at him.

Cell

Perhaps not many know this novel, but it is most certainly one of the most terrifying ones, considering how embedded in reality it is. Published in 2006, the apocalyptic horror novel tells the story of an artist that struggles to reunite with his young son after a mysterious signal broadcast over the cell network, turning people into enraged and vicious animals.

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Steve McQueen’s ‘Lovers Rock’ is Coming to LFF

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Source: BFI

With the BFI London Film Festival set to kick off from the 7th of October, more films are still being added to the exciting lineup of the new virtual approach to the UK’s biggest film festival. This film festival will be the first ever edition to be widely accessible wherever you are in the UK, with over 50 virtual premieres, free online events and cinema screenings across the country.

The latest addition to the catalogue comes from BFI Fellow Steve McQueen, who looks set to dominate the festival with two films showing from his new incoming anthology series, Small Axe.

The film is Lovers Rock , and is billed as a romantic ode to the reggae genre. Taking place at a house party in the 1980’s, this is a film about young love and music, and has already received an incredible reception from critics of the New York Film festival. The film will screen on Sunday 18 October across 2 screenings at BFI Southbank as part of the LFF’s Love strand supported by Porsche, who are joining the LFF as new sponsors this year. 

Along with McQueen’s Mangrove, two of the five films of McQueen’s anthology series Small Axe are set to be shown before debuting on the BBC later in the year. Set from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, the films each tell a different story involving London’s West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will, despite rampant racism and discrimination. Mangrove will open the film festival on Wednesday 7 October and will play for free to audiences at BFI Southbank and in selected cinemas across the UK.

McQueen had this to say about Lovers Rock being added to the LFF line-up: “I’m so happy to be screening Lovers Rock at the London Film Festival. To show it here where it belongs is a privilege. I hope this film will bring back memories of parties past and look to the future of parties to come.”

Head to the BFI website to book your tickets for Lovers Rock and other films that are playing as part of the London Film Festival. You can also check out the trailer for the Small Axe anthology below.

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The Best London Galleries Open Now

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After being closed for so long, London’s most beautiful galleries are open to the public once again. Most of them are taking careful precautions to ensure the safety of their visitors, including one-way systems, mandatory face-masks, and entry only with a slot booked in advance. With safety ensured, here are some of the best galleries in London that are both culturally enlightening and free to enter.

Tate Britain

Tate Britain contains a collection of art from 1500 to modern-day in rooms organised chronologically by historical period, allowing you to quite literally stroll through a timeline of British art. There’s work to appeal to everyone’s tastes – there’s Millais’s painting of drowned Ophelia to contrast Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. Special exhibitions aren’t free, but there’s many that are worth paying for nevertheless. At the moment, the gallery is hosting the largest collection of Aubrey Beardsley’s works in fifty years, luckily an exhibition that has been extended because of lockdown closures.

Tate Modern

If your aesthetic interests lie more in the direction of the brutal and abstract than in the impressionist, Tate Modern is a great alternative to the Tate Britain. Based in the old Bankside Power Station in Southwark, it’s one of the largest contemporary art museums in the world. The collection is very international, some notable artists featured here include the Japanese artist Masami Teraoka and American pop-art and photography by Andy Warhol. With a new exhibition of Warhol’s works extended until November, there’s no better time to book a timeslot and visit this searingly modern space.

The National Gallery

Located in Trafalgar Square and therefore central to most of London’s main tourist attractions, this gallery is one of the most convenient to drop into casually, whilst also being worthy of a specific excursion. The National Gallery’s collection is vast (containing over 2,300 works) and a consequence of this is that essentially every major art movement finds representation in its rooms. Household names of the art world like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Da Vinci all have work exhibited here, so if you’re still undecided about the nature of your art preferences, then this is a good place to examine many different styles in one place.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Although containing its own impressive collection of paintings, the V&A Museum is predominantly known for its collection of applied arts and design. At the moment, a display on the concealed history of Nazi Looting is available to view for free, as well as all its permanent collection. This is a gallery with a strong history dating back to 1851 when Queen Victoria herself contributed to the original collection. Even stopping for coffee here is an engagement with history – it’s café is actually the first museum café in the world!

Hayward Gallery

Perhaps the least famous on this list, Hayward Gallery is still absolutely worth visiting. It’s part of the Southbank Centre (which also hosts live events and workshops) and is unique for its outside gallery space. After lockdown, Hayward Gallery opened with a topical and relevant photography exhibition entitled ‘Everyday Heroes’, which celebrates the key workers throughout the pandemic. Another current exhibition ‘Among the Trees’ explores the human relationship to the natural world, and looking around it is a fantastic way to mentally escape the confines of the city.

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