Bored of big crowds and sticky floors when you go to the movies? Try one of these cosy west London cinemas, where you can enjoy the latest film releases with a glass of wine in hand
1 Odeon Whiteleys, Bayswater
Cinema or dinner? The Odeon at Whiteleys aims to solve this age-old dilemma with a Fine Food and Film experience at its luxe lounge. They offer table service, an extensive range of drinks and a menu overseen by Chef Rowley Leigh of Le Café Anglais.
Queensway, W2; 4YL; odeon.co.uk/thelounge
2 Nomad Cinema
It’s a cinema, but not as you know it. Set in unusual film-inspired locations all over the city, Nomad cinema screenings go beyond the ‘outdoor cinema’ trend. All profits from ticket sales go to The Sustainability Institute, a pioneering environmental and educational charity in South Africa. October and November’s screenings include Ghostbusters, The Wicker Man and Twilight, which will all be held at The Lookout in Hyde Park. Be warned, tickets sell out very quickly, so if your favourite film is on the list, buy now.
3 The Electric, Notting Hill
There aren’t many cinemas where you can cosy up under a cashmere blanket on a bed in the front row – but The Electric offers just that. And for the rest, it’s big red velvety armchairs, where you can enjoy champagne and food from the bar at your seat. Along with new releases, The Electric often screen unexpected classics, and host one-off Q & A events.
Electric Cinema 191 Portobello Road W11 2ED; electriccinema.co.uk
4 Curzon Mayfair
As you might expect from its location, a visit to Curzon Mayfair is no average trip to the pictures. It’s one of London’s oldest art house cinemas, housed in a Grade II listed building on Curzon street. The bar is quietly classy with an Ava Gardner feel, and aside from the occasional red carpet premieres, it’s never too crowded. It’s the perfect place to treat yourself to a big glass of wine and great independent film.
38 Curzon Street, London, W1J 7T; curzoncinemas.com
5 The Gate, Notting Hill
Part of the Picturehouse cinema group, The Gate in Notting Hill looks exactly like how you’d imagine a child would draw a cinema – big red velvet chairs, and huge, draping red curtains to match. The foyer offerings include a decent selection of wines, and fair trade coffee. But the real sell here is the ornate auditorium, and the varied programme of live theatre screenings and Q and As. They even do Orange Wednesdays.
87 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill, W11 3JZ; The Gate Cinema
6 The Bulgari Hotel Cinema
Dedicated to Richard Attenborough, the private cinema at The Bulgari Hotel seats just 47 people, and features a library of 200 classic and new films selected by Lord David Puttnam. Sadly, it’s not one for passing popcorn trade; the cinema is available for private hire and corporate events only.
Bulgari Hotel & Residences 171 Knightsbridge, SW7 1DW; bulgarihotels.com
7 The Lexi Cinema
The UK’s first ‘social enterprise’ boutique cinema, The Lexi is as independent as it gets. It’s easy to mistake the red-brick frontage for a house, but this predominantly volunteer-run cinema is one of the best in the city. The programme is filled with special events alongside mainstream screenings, and the 80-seater auditorium is simply beautiful.
94b Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Green NW10 3JU; thelexicinema.co.uk
8 Firmdale Hotels
The Soho, Covent Garden and Charlotte Street Hotels’ luxury screening rooms are normally reserved for press previews, but the launch of their weekend Film Club has now opened them up to hotel guests and the general public. Taking place on Saturdays (The Covent Garden Hotel) and Sundays (Soho and Charlotte Street) it involves lunch, dinner or afternoon tea followed by the film of the week (£35pp or £45pp with a glass of champagne).
9 Everyman cinema, Baker Street
Everyman cinema tickets aren’t cheap – but they do cosy very, very well. Each of the two screens at Baker Street feature comfy couches scattered with pillows and little side tables. If you’re visiting, be sure to leave time for a pre-film drink at the bar.
96-98 Baker St, LondonW1U 6TJ; everymancinema.com
10 The Hospital Club cinema
The private screening room at The Hospital Club is available for members to enjoy, hosting around eight pre-release blockbusters and art house films each week. There are just 30 seats or 36 if you count the cosy beanbags, and pre-film drinks can be enjoyed at the Forest Room or Bellini Bar.
24, Endell Street WC2H 9HQ; thehospitalclub.com