A stay in London will have your days jam packed with various activities, whether it be visiting Buckingham Palace or having a stroll down to the Houses of Parliament.
Be it taking a tour of the city on an open top bus or meandering around Hyde Park without a care in the world, you will want something that will perfectly cap off a long day. So why not spend the evening take in one of latest Hollywood blockbuster films? Or even going for something different and enjoy an art house movie at one of London’s many independent cinemas.
A relaxing evening going to the pictures can be the perfect tonic for a long, and possibly tiring day, seeing all the sights that the capital has to offer. Combine it with a meal and potentially a few drinks afterwards. After all, London is renowned for its nightlife and it would be a shame to let that go to waste on your short break.
The capital is awash with cinemas showing the very best in Hollywood classics, modern European cinema and even short films made by directors from around the city. The Moorgate area of the city is a perfect place to base yourself as there are easy links to some of the best cinemas in the capital.
If you are staying in one of the many hotels near Moorgate Tube Station then you are just a short walk or hop on the Underground to some of London’s best cinemas. Here are some of our picks to sit back and enjoy a film.
Described as London’s “most diverse cinema”, the Barbican Centre provides everything any film buff would want. Showing a selection of the latest releases, this cinema hand picks the very best from the likes of Hollywood, Europe and the UK to provide a great listing. This rigorous process means there is something for everybody.
Currently showing is the star-studded The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with favourites such as Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Richard Gere and Bill Nighy. There is the romantic World War II drama Suite Francaise with Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas and Still Alice which stars Academy Award winning Julianne Moore.
Visiting London with the kids? No problem, as the Barbican host its Framed Film Club every Saturday screening the most recent animated and live-action films.
Prices for adults start at £11.50 with concessions from £6.
Directions from Moorgate Underground Station: The Barbican is only a short walk from Moorgate station. Take a left onto Moorfields and then left again heading to Moor Lane, another left onto Silk Lane and you’re there.
Ever felt like cuddling up with the one you love and chilling out watching a film? Well at Electric Cinema, that is exactly what you can do. Situated in the fashionable Shoreditch area, this picture house provides such an immersive and unique cinematic experience. Patrons can relax in comfortable armchairs and watch some of the biggest films around.
It is one of two Electric Cinema outlets in London, the other being further out on Portobello Road, and makes viewers feel right at home. In addition to the armchairs there are also footstools and even cashmere blankets so you can fully immerse yourself into the film – just try not to fall asleep!
The great thing about Electric Cinema is that you can make a full night of it with a deli-bar and coffee station situated on the ground floor. There is also a licensed bar serving beer, wines and cocktails along with light meals and snacks for before or during the film.
Currently screening is Oscar nominated films such as Foxcatcher, American Sniper and, winner, Birdman as well as the acclaimed Mommy among others.
Directions from Moorgate Underground Station: Electric Cinema is within walking distance of Moorgate. Walk up Moorgate past Finsbury Square Garden a take a right on Worship Street/ Turn left onto Clifton Street before bearing right onto Holywell Row and follow around until you reach Pizza East. Turn left and then right onto Redchurch Street with leads you to the cinema.
Fans of world cinema and documentary need look no further than this hidden gem near to Russell Square. Slightly further out than the other options, the Curzon Bloomsbury is an absolute treat for the cinephiles. The former plays host to the world cinema offerings while Bertha DocHouse has regular screenings of documentaries and events in its own dedicated space.
What makes this cinema special is quaintness of it all. With just six screens, only the Renoir auditorium has space for over 30 people making a film watching in either the Lumiere, Minema, Phoenix or Plaza rooms much more refined. It is a place where people can truly appreciate the cinematic experience and fully immerse themselves in the special screenings.
The building itself has a long and proud history. First opened in the 1970s, the originally named Bloomsbury Cinema was the first and only British venture of the US-based Walter Reade Organisation. It has been proud to show arthouse films and in June 2014 showed a special viewing of Jean Renoir’s Boudu Saved from Drowning.
Since then it has been under refurbishment, but is set to re-open in late March for the week-long Auteur Film Festival. The event celebrates the work of some of cinema’s greatest ever directors with classic films such as Lost in Translation, Mulholland Drive and Vertigo among those being screened.
Tickets for the festival are priced at just £7.50 and includes introductions to certain films.
Directions from Moorgate Underground Station: You will need to catch the Tube to reach the Curzon Bloomsbury. Take the Northern Line towards High Barnet getting off at King’s Cross St Pancras, from there change to the Piccadilly Line to Russell Square and the cinema is only a short walk away.
Across the river on London’s famous South Bank is the British Film Institute’s (BFI) very own cinema. This quaint four-screen cinema shows all the very best in classic and contemporary films and is a far departure from the Odeon and Vue cinemas that many people are accustomed to nowadays.
While the BFI Southbank does screen some of the latest Hollywood flicks, it is currently showing the Oscar-nominated Whiplash, it is more geared towards showing some of the best films of yesteryear. Among the movies screened here at the moment include French comedy-drama Life of Riley, the classic Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and the first world war drama Testament of Youth.
There is much more to this cinema than just the films as the BFI Southbank also has over 1,000 hours of free film and TV which can be viewed in the Mediatheque. Patrons can visit the library and film shop and wine and dine in two of the South Bank’s best restaurant bars.
Be sure to book in advance however as screenings can sell out relatively fast.
Directions from Moorgate Underground Station: Again, the Tube is the best bet for getting to this cinema. From Moorgate hop on the Northern line heading towards Morden. Change to the Jubilee Line at London Bridge and get a Tube towards Wembley Park, getting off at London Waterloo. From here walk towards King’s College London and the cinema is straight ahead.