The Handbook
The Handbook

Who else has found themselves missing overpriced popcorn, watered down fizzy drinks and extortionate cinema ticket prices? We certainly have and while we love binging through Netflix’s selection of films and try to replicate the cinematic experience at home, it’s never quite the same.

Unless your house came equipped with an inbuilt home cinema, you’re probably feeling the same too. During lockdown though, we’ve seen the rise of the virtual movie club, which sees film buffs and cinemas joining forces to bring the cinema experience to the home. From live Q&As with directors and actresses to celebrity faces introducing films, here’s our favourite virtual movie clubs that are perfect for those who have exhausted Netflix’s offerings.

Secret Sofa, Secret Cinema 

If you know anything about Secret Cinema, you’ll know that it’s not a cinematic organisation that does things by halves. 

Last year saw Londoners getting tuxed up in Secret Cinema’s Casino Royale reimagining and then we put on our journalistic heads trying to get the next big scoop for the Hawkins Post in Starcourt Mall for their Stranger Things cinematic experience. Right now, you can get your Secret Cinema fix in their new Secret Sofa experience, which they claim to be ‘virtually the best film club in the world’. 

Simply sign up to their newsletter and you’ll receive clues each week for what the film showing will be. This week’s film is set to be William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (1996).

When: Friday, 7:30pm (BST)
Website: www.secretcinema.org

Lionsgate Live, Lionsgate

To help us battle through this lockdown period, the movie experts at Lionsgate recently announced that they’d be streaming a free movie every Saturday night on their YouTube channel. So far we’ve seen Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dance on tables in La La Land and Taron Egerton star in Eddie the Eagle. This Saturday sees Kiera Knightley and Parminder Nagra star in the 2002 classic, Bend it Like Beckham.

When: Saturday, 6:00pm (BST)
Website: Tune in here

Social Cineclub, South Social Film Festival

South Social Film Festival recently partnered with independent streaming site, MUBI, to bring you a new viewing experience that brings directors, stars and stories together every Saturday and Sunday night. 

This Sunday you’ll have the chance to view an early work from French screenwriter and director Céline Sciamma, the woman famed for bringing Portrait of a Girl on Fire to life, in her debut film, Water Lilies.

When: Sunday, 6pm (BST)
Website: www.southsocialfilmfestival.co.uk

AFI Movie Club, AFI

Film lovers can feel at home with the American Film Institute’s Movie Club. Every night thousands gather around to watch some of the greatest films come to life in their homes. 

Rather than worrying about what film to watch, the AFI Movie Club decides for you with their daily movie club picks. Each film is introduced by a familiar celebrity face and you can tune in to the film of choice whenever suits you.

When: Daily
Website: www.afi.com

Shut-In Movie Club, Vanity Fair

This one is for the hardcore film buffs. 

If you like your film viewing experience to be crafted by the critics, Vanity Fair’s Shut-In Movie Club is going to be right up your street. Film critic K. Austin Collins deconstructs a film that he’s been streaming and explains why it’s the perfected viewing material during a pandemic. Last week saw him pick apart Fail Safe, Sidney Lumet’s Cold War thriller.

When: Weekly
Website: www.vanityfair.com

Curzon Home Cinema Q&A Series, Curzon

If simply watching a film isn’t enough, Curzon Home Cinema Q&A series is here to satisfy all of your prayers. Thanks to Curzon’s new living room series, you’ll be able to pick the brains of some of the best directors in the business.

Upcoming Q&As include chats with Camino Skies directors Fergus Grady and Noel Smyth, The Atom: A Love Affair’s director Vicki Lesley and actress Lily Cole and The County’s director Grímur Hákonarson.

When: Various Dates Coming Up
Website: www.live.curzonhomecinema.com

Everyman’s House Party, Everyman

If you’re missing your Everyman cinema experience during lockdown, you can still get fix thanks to their weekly film streaming and chats on Instagram live. 

Every Friday you’ll find them announcing the lucky film that’s set to be streamed and all that’s required of you is to get the snacks at the ready.

When: Saturday, 8:30pm (EST)
Website: Keep up to date on their Instagram