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TOP 10: INDEPENDENT CINEMAS

22.10.14

Inspired by the Royal Opera House' Live Cinema Series, we've rounded up our top 10 independent cinemas. Showing everything from art house and avant-garde, to blockbusting seat fillers, although these cinemas may offer a whole wealth of genres, they all have one thing in common; run-of-the-mill they are most certainly not. For your chance to win £1000 of Reiss clothing, a night's stay at The May Fair hotel and tickets to the Royal Opera House' Live Cinema Season, enter our competition here.  

THE ELECTRIC CINEMA, PORTOBELLO

Located on West London's fashionable Portobello Road, The Electric Cinema is the antithesis of today's pop-up cinema culture, laying claim to being one of the country's oldest working cinemas. Despite brief periods of closure, the destination has shown motion pictures almost constantly since its inception, and continues to do so today. In keeping with the venue's heritage, this Grade II* listed cinematic destination boasts a screen which descends from a proscenium arch, a bar, and for optimum comfort there are plenty of wide leather seats and sofas.

191 Portobello Road, London, W11 2ED

EVERYMAN CINEMA, MAIDA VALE

Eagle-eyed Londoners can't fail to have spotted at least one of Everyman Cinemas' brightly-lit façades which hark-back to cinema's bygone glory days. Describing itself as 'spearheading the revival of independent cinema in the UK.', the independent chain has recently added to its repertoire with a venue in leafy London location, Maida Vale. Mainstream, art house and classic film form the venue's cinematic roster, offering viewers a contemporary-meets-classic viewing experience.

215 Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale, W9 1RU

THE SCREEN AT THE CHARLOTTE STREET HOTEL, SOHO

The creative credentials of the Charlotte Street Hotel are abundantly clear; this modern boutique hotel is nestled in the heart of Soho - London's prolific media district - so is placed amongst like-minded destinations.

With a seating capacity of 75, the screen at the Charlotte Street Hotel offers a far more intimate experience than you'll find at your local cinema chain. Though the hotel's façade speaks of old-school elegance, the interior itself is decidedly modern; the cinema's seats come brightly coloured and the broadcasting equipment, state-of-the-art.

15-17 Charlotte St, London, W1T 1RJ

PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA, WEST END

For those familiar with the Prince Charles Cinema, the venue's infamous 'Good Bad Movie Club' (a season of so-bad-they're-good movies) will instantly spring to mind. Alongside this much-loved unintentionally comic offering, the venue hosts more than just gimmicky film nights - expect some of the silver-screen's most fondly-revered classics during Vintage Season.

7 Leicester Place, Soho, WC2H 7BY

CURZON CINEMA, MAYFAIR

With various venues dotted across the capital, independent chain Curzon Cinemas counts itself among a small but culturally-significant minority of cinemas boasting a substantial art house offering alongside more commercially-minded productions. Notably, the Curzon's Mayfair location has existed for almost 80 years, and houses two Royal boxes.

38 Curzon St, London, W1J 7TY

THE LEXI CINEMA, KENSAL RISE

The Lexi Cinema is a socially enterprising independent picture house located in London's Kendal Rise. Though it may not have the historic credentials of many of the venues on our top 10 list, it most certainly boasts philanthropic qualifications. Staffed predominantly by local volunteers, the entirety of the cinema's profits are donated to The Sustainability Institute; a sustainable living and learning centre based in rural South Africa. Consumption of cinematic culture never looked so charitable.

194b Chamberlayne Road, London, NW10 3JU

THE PHOENIX CINEMA, EAST FINCHLEY

Built in 1910 and opened in 1912, East Finchley's Phoenix Cinema is one of the country's oldest (the second oldest continuously running) picture houses. Naturally then, the venue is full of period architectural charm. Bearing the hallmarks of 1930s art deco design, the cinema retains its original 1910 barrel-vaulted ceiling and was recognised as a Grade II* building by English Heritage at the turn of the last millennium. Run by a charitable trust, all of this venue's profits are channelled into maintaining this historic building.

52 High Road, East Finchley, London, N2 9PJ

GREENWICH PICTURE HOUSE, GREENWICH

Situated in the notoriously leafy and liberal Greenwich, the Greenwich Picture House is one of south east London's most cherished independent cinemas. Alongside two bars and a restaurant, this plushly-furnished destination shows mainstream films alongside a sizeable roster of art house and foreign language films.

80 Greenwich High Rd, London, SE10 8NN

ROXY BAR & SCREEN, BOROUGH

Equal parts bar and cinema, the Roxy Bar & Screen sits nestled just a stone's thrown from the area's foodie favourite Borough Market. Offering a diverse array of cinematic screenings, the venue is renowned for its commitment to screening off-beat and unexpected cult classics, though you'll also find more mainstream fare here too. With approach to décor best described as 'patchwork', the destination has old-school charm, is refreshingly devoid of pretension and comfortingly feels a world away from the bright lights of your local cinema chain.

Roxy Bar & Screen, 128-132 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1LB

CINE LUMIERE, SOUTH KENSINGTON

For aficionados of European and World cinema, South Kensington's Ciné Lumière  (which is adjoined to the Institut Francais) is surely the natural choice. Inside the Grade II* listed venue's art deco screening room you'll find foreign language films all broadcasted in their original language with English subtitles. Alongside a richly-cultural roster, regular on-stage events give attendees the chance to meet directors and actors from the titles on show.

17 Queensberry Place, London, SW7 2DT

For more cultural hotspots, visit the Reiss Guide and to discover more about the Royal Opera House' Live Cinema Series, visit their www.roh.org.uk