Sometimes you need to see a movie in style, and only one of the best luxury cinemas in London will do! These new, opulent cinemas feature comfort at every turn. If you want a cinema with beds to lie in, gourmet foods, flowing champagne, and comfortable footstools with not a sticky floor in sight, these are the cinemas for you. They also showcase the history of cinema in London with small, cosy screening rooms.
Read on to find a new luxury cinema experience in London.
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Best Luxury Cinemas In London
Picturehouse Central was opened in 1896 by the J. Lyons Company and was initially called Trocadero. It quickly became one of the finest restaurants in London and remained fashionable until the 1950s.
Picturehouse took over the establishment and quickly remodelled the interior and exterior, rekindling the building’s reputation.
Now, there are seven screens in the cinema offering a wide variety of films, including:
- Foreign films
- Nouveau art films
- Trusted classics
Reminding us of its restaurant past, there are several dining options within the cinema. You can grab a quick bite at the cafe or enjoy a full meal at the First Floor Restaurant.
For a posh cinema experience in London, there is the Member’s Bar and Roof Terrace, which offers more exquisite dining treats and a fantastic view of one of Europe’s energetic streets below.
The Electric Cinema has a long and changing history in London as a sofa cinema. It opened on Portabello road in 1911 and held 564 seats. It was a luxury cinema then, and with admission, theatregoers were given a bun and an orange as refreshments.
When the theatre survived the war, ownership was transferred in 1919 and named “The Imperial Playhouse.” Even into the 1940s, the Playhouse remained popular, with ticket sales showing good attendance.
However, there was a steady decline in attendance in the theatre in the 1950s, and the Imperial Playhouse turned into what was sadly known as a “bugpit.” In the 1970s, a cinema group called “The Electric Cinema Club” took over the Playhouse and brought it back to life, working hard to repair the building, and in 1984, the name reverted to The Electric Cinema.
In 2002, the Electric Cinema recognised its true potential. Restorers replaced the seats with comfortable leather armchairs, and it became the only cinema with sofas located at the back of the cinema with the bar. With the opulent cinema experience, you can also enjoy an upstairs private members club.
Today, the bar opens minutes before the program expects to start, where you can grab a drink to enjoy during the movie. The Electric Diner also serves food from 8 am until late at night.
In Notting Hill, the Gate has created a feast for the senses by bringing old Edwardian style to the present at the single-screen cinema.
This restored and revitalised cinema shares a lot in common with the Electric Cinema opening in the same year, 1911, and changing hands multiple times in its history. However, where the Electric Cinema modernised, the Gate embraced its past and added tasteful luxury.
Velvet reclining seats replaced the older ones, and the entire venue is more accessible so everyone can attend. The luxurious offering comes from the refreshment stand, where gourmet popcorn, ice cream, and curated wine, beer, and spirits are available during the film.
Opened in 1951, BFI Southbank is a four-screen luxury cinema in the Southbank Centre in London. It is widely known for having a wide range of theatre programs with something interesting always happening or just around the corner.
While not opulent in a flashy way, it is best known for hosting the BFI London Film Festival, which has been capturing audiences for over 65 years.
Supporters of the theatre can become Members, Champions, or Patrons with each level of member status helping you to access special events, the best tickets, or exclusive access to this posh cinema.
This is a cinema where it’s possible to see celebrities, and you’re likely sitting in a seat that some of your favourite actors have also sat in to enjoy a film.
Although you may find many Curzon Cinemas located across the city, the Curzon Sea Containers in Southbank are one of the most creative luxury cinemas in London.
British designer Tom Dixon designed the Sea Containers London building, so the interior of the building showcases a giant copper wall that looks like the hull of a ship.
Curzon Sea Containers boasts a wide range of films for you to see and have a great selection of snacks and drinks from which to choose. Purchase a ticket for Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays every week but do so early as the screening room only holds 56 opulent seats with plenty of legroom.
The screening room is also available for private gatherings, including birthday parties, and there are two bars, a restaurant, and a fabulous spa for relaxation on site.
Regent Street Cinema
Regent Street Cinema sits in the heart of London, and many consider it the site that birthed British cinema. It first opened in 1848 and was used as a live-act theatre.
In the late 1890s, Regent Street became the first place to show moving pictures in London, thus making it the birthplace of British Cinema. Regent Street Cinema was also the first to offer an X-rated film in the UK.
After being restored, it reopened in 2015, and this historical cinema is now devoted to sharing studio and independent films and features comfortable velvet seats.
You can hire the whole venue for events, including private screenings with a bar and the option of catering.
The Lexi Cinema sits in the well-established Kensal Rise area of London. It is also London’s only social enterprise cinema run by volunteers.
One of the goals of the cinema is to be as green and sustainable as possible. The community created the Lexi Cinema to serve the patrons of the area and support the theatre’s sister project, the Sustainability Institute near Lynedoch in South Africa.
The Lexi is known for its distinctive and eclectic films such as world cinema and classic movie showings. It also features a bar with various snacks, including vegan-friendly selections.
Everyman Screen on the Green
You can find The Screen on the Green nestled in London’s inner-city district of Islington. The theatre opened in 1913 and was initially known as The Empress Electric theatre. When it opened, it looked much different than it does today. The seating capacity was 600, and it had no front lobby, so patrons went directly through the doors into the theatre.
It received a new name and was refurbished several times until 1981 when they reduced the seating to 300 and created a front foyer.
In 2010, the seating capacity was again reduced, bringing the number to an exclusive 120 patron limit. Thanks to fewer seats, there was more room for updated, comfortable seating, including lavish armchairs with footrests and a new bar for the back of the auditorium.
Odeon Luxe Putney
The Odeon Luxe Putney is a theatre located in the Putney district in London. It originally featured 943 seats when it opened in 1975.
In 2017, the theatre was closed for remodelling and reopened with a new seating capacity of only 333. It houses three screening rooms, all in RealD and 3D, to accommodate modern films.
The luxury Odeon Luxe Putney features plush reclining seats for optimum comfort and is wheelchair-accessible in each screening room. The establishment also welcomes the public to hold conferences or events with enough space for 1679 people.
Amenities for public and private use include a coffee shop, a fully-stocked bar, and a theatre-friendly menu of snacks.
The Best Luxury Cinemas in London
If you want a theatre with class, one of these nine will treat you well. You can find comfortable, plush armchairs, sofas you can recline on, delicious food that isn’t swimming in grease, and so much more!
We hope that reading this list will inspire you to take a trip to a luxury cinema soon.