While it’s easy to binge-watch the latest Netflix craze or endless Disney classics, it’s sometimes nice to splash a little cash and head to one of London’s myriad cinemas. Sure, it might feel like daylight robbery (seriously, when did the cinema get so expensive?!) but who doesn’t love a treat yo’self moment? And while your wallet’s gaping open, why not grab a bite to eat as well?
Now we’re not talking about a Slush Puppy and a box of £15 popcorn, of course cinemas flogging greasy hotdogs and soggy nachos are left-right-and-centre, but we’re talking about proper dining. And thankfully, there are plenty of cinemas who’ve upped their ante, offering a wide range of tasty treats to enjoy while watching the latest blockbuster. So after much taste testing, we’ve whittled down a few of our favourites for you to try…
Watch the latest release in style at Olympic Studios, and choose from reclining chairs, love seats or sofas – you’ll even have your own table to pop the Prosecco on! Up in their award-winning Café and Dining Room, you can indulge in some seasonal classics, sourced from local suppliers and farmers. Long gone are the days of smuggling in your own squashed sarnies, I mean, you can tuck into a sirloin or roasted duck breast over here! Oh, and if you’re feeling extra bougie, Olympic Studios has a members club, with a whole host of Brucie bonuses that’ll no doubt impress on a first date.
The Electric Cinema is known for being one of the oldest working cinemas in Britain, dating back to 1910. You’ll find velvet chairs, old style lamps and in some screens, even double beds to snuggle in. But that’s not all, it’s also home to Electric Diner, providing guests with a hearty French-American menu. Think grilled Ruben sarnies and chicken ‘n’ waffles.
If you watch a film between Monday and Friday (excluding bank hols) starting between 5pm and 6pm you’ll receive an extra 50% off your meal. All you’ve gotta do is flash your Electric Cinema ticket and you’ve bagged yourself a tasty meal!
Shhhh… this one’s a secret!
If you’re after a next-level interactive cinema experience, Secret Cinema is the one to watch (quite literally). You’re in for a whirlwind adventure here. Building up to the event, you’re given a new identity, back story, dress code and briefed on the role you’ll have to undertake before you’re led on through to the immersive performance. If you opt for a VIP ticket, you’ll be given a two drinks vouchers and one food voucher to use before the screening too. Expect the weird and wonderful, times it by a ten and you’ve got Secret Cinema.
When you’re making the effort to venture out to the cinema, you want to be comfortable, because otherwise what’s the point right? Genesis gives off real home-y vibes with their comfy chairs and home-style food, just like your ol’ Nan makes. The Kitchen, situated upstairs, serves up the definition of comfort food – pie, mash and gravy! If you’re more of a bangers and mash kinda gal, fear not, there’s some scrummy sizzlers with your name on.
Located in the heart of East London, Rich Mix has become a creative hub showcasing the best of music, theatre, dance, visual arts and, of course, cinema. The cinema showcases the best of the latest blockbusters as well as independent releases and Q&As with budding directors. Downstairs you’ll find Indigo bringing the best of Indian street food into the mix. So why not chow down on some spicy tandoori chops or a masala dosa before heading on up to watch a film? You know where to find us…
Waiter service to your seat? Oh, go on then! At Everyman there’s a whole host of choice snacking wise including their signature Spielburgers (geddit, film-buffs?). All served with hand cut, skin on fries too, mmm! If you’re after a sweet hit, dive into their homemade double chocolate cookie dough and oh boy, it’s as dreamy as it sounds.
Given the Barbican Centre is known for being the largest performing arts centre in Europe, it comes a little surprise that it’s also home to its very own cinema, which has become a platform for independent directors and international releases. The Centre’s certainly not short of eateries either. Whether you’re after a succulent burger from Bonfire, or an Italian classic courtesy of Osteria, there’s something for all before you venture on over for a Q&A with your fave indie director.
This little cinema is independently operated by a charitable trust on behalf of the local community, but Phoenix Cinema also known for being one of the longest running cinemas in the city (it’s been open since 1912!). Although small, The Phoenix Cinema’s café serves a great selection of treats to enjoy before heading into the screening. What’s more, they’re keeping their produce locally sourced from ethically-minded, independent companies. You’ll be pleased to know the auditorium is fully licensed too so you can enjoy your bev while watching the film!
You probably weren’t expecting us to include chain-cinema ODEON but when we heard news of the all-new ODEON Luxe & Dine arriving later this year we couldn’t quite contain our excitement. Nestled in Islington Square, the cinema will be bringing an all new cinematic experience to the city, with every element of the experience designed to be cutting-edge. Forget the salty sausages, the luxury dine-in cinema will see you dining on gourmet wagyu beef while sitting back and enjoying the latest cinematic releases.
Dated to be confirmed…