My favourite cinemas in London: Part One - The Local


Being a bona fide lover of all things cinematic, I have my favourite flicker haunts, as every movie buff should... No, your living room with the lights out doesn't count!

In London, generally people would consider Leicester Square as being the cinema mecca, and I don't disagree.  If you can get to early screenings, or lucky enough to cadge some premiere tickets, it is certainly the place to be.  However, there are some other silver screen jewels hidden around London, especially for those who of us like to dip our toes into the art-house pool, midnight cult sing-a-longs or the acquired taste of world feature docs.

This April has been thoroughly miserable, a complete wash-out, which I find utterly bemusing as we're apparently in drought at the moment. If ever there was a time for escapism in London, it's now.  We've also got the jubilee and the Olympics coming up in the next few months, which means that come June, this city will be packed!  I don't handle crowds particularly well, so while the streets teem with tourists this summer, I'll be found hiding in one of these little gems!

First up: my local picture palace The Screen On The Green, based in Angel, part of the Everyman Cinemas chain.


I'm quite chuffed with this joint, it really looks the part.  Your cinematic experience begins as soon as you set eyes on the place, all neon lights and retro flavour.  Inside though, is where the party really begins.  


Boasting sofas with pillowy foot rests and a bar within arms reach, comfort is king.  This cinema tends to show indie, late night cult classics as well as mainstream releases. However, this is a cozy single-screen, so it's generally just one film per week.

I take advantage of proximity when visiting this cinema, tending to go for the late-night saturday showings, free to get a bit tiddly without having to worry about getting home afterwards.  The food also isn't bad, with an unusual selection of  tasty snacks. Here's a sample selection:

• Macadamia nut brownie £3.60
• Freshly popped popcorn £3.00
• Merlot, La Paz (Chile) £16.90 bottle
- medium bodied and bursting with currant, plum and cherry flavours
• Peroni £6.10 large

Prices run a smidge cheaper than your average mainstream cinema chain, I think I paid £12 for a ticket last time I went, so not exactly cheap, but excellent value for the quality of experience you get.

Clientele is generally young, perhaps a tad hipster/yuppy-ish not that I mind, though I've yet to watch a film 'ironically'. I've never experienced any noise or unsocial behaviour at this cinema (unless it's a raucous film, in which case it's warranted and hella fun!); I find that this venue infuses a respect amongst audiences.

So, if you're looking for a classic cinema experience, and not too fussy about what you're going to see, it really doesn't get much better than this..

Oh wait, it does.
"Aside from films, the cinema is probably most widely known for its 'Midnight Special' on Sunday 29 August 1976 when The Clash and Buzzcocks supported The Sex Pistols in a showcase event organised by Malcolm Maclaren. This was notable for many reasons including, it was only The Clash's third gig and the first ever to be recorded, and is the earliest known recorded performance and a rare recording of The Sex Pistols with Glen Matlock. The Screen On The Green was also the location for the first performance of Sid Vicious with the Sex Pistols, on April 3, 1977, following the dismissal of Matlock from the band.

The Screen On The Green's 2009 refurbishment included the addition of a full-size stage in front of the screen, making the venue more suitable for live events. Since then the cinema has hosted award-winning comedy from Stewart Lee, Stephen K Amos and Phill Jupitus amongst others."

Rock and  *ahem* roll.
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