Since the 80s, cinema enthusiast Ümit Mesut has been running his video and film shop in Clapton, surviving the proclaimed death of analogue film through the sheer power of personality and nostalgia. Ümit & Son’s collection is the kind of expansive mass that’s clearly taken many years to bring together and every corner of the shop is covered in posters, tapes, reels and merch. As well as selling his wares, Ümit runs the 16mm movie club Ciné-Real alongside director Liam Saint-Pierre, as well as projection workshops, and rents out the 15-seater cinema at the back of the shop for £250 (just over £16 per person for a full house). Stop by – or bear this spot in mind for your next birthday party – if you love watching classics as they were intended to be watched.


Although its retro vibe makes The Garden Cinema in Covent Garden look like it has been around for a while, the privately-owned movie theatre only just opened in March 2022. And since it’s entirely independent, their screenings are curated collections of the films they think are truly worth seeing, from modern cult faves to golden age classics. They do show new releases too, and with a membership (which is just £20 for lifetime access), you can get discounted ticket prices, access to bi-weekly free screenings and advanced booking for events which are held in the cinema’s bar.


93-95 Mile End Rd, London E1 4UJ

Genesis Cinema is an independent arthouse cinema that does flippin’ cheap films. Showing everything from blockbusters to shorts by local filmmakers, Genesis do it all and even have a boutique screening room with armchairs and a bar. With cocktails, Rinkoff cro-doughs and hot dogs, they’ve got everything you could ever want.


First Street, Manchester M15 4FN


HOME is basically a giant one-stop culture shop…it’s got two theatre spaces, five cinema screens, a gallery space AND a bookshop, plus a restaurant, cafe and bar. Whether you want to take in a bold new play or dance piece, watch a new release or cult classic, catch some contemporary art, or just grab a coffee, you can do it here.


95A Rye Ln, SE15 4ST

This is probably the only cinema in London where you can catch a film for under a fiver; morning, noon or night you can catch the latest movies for the bargain price of £4.99. Yes, it may look like it hasn’t changed since the 80s, but that just adds to the charm.


191 Portobello Rd, W11 2ED

One of the oldest working cinemas in the country, the Electric Cinema’s interior reflects its long history. Plus it’s one of the most comfortable places to watch a film, with double beds, sofas and armchairs for your viewing pleasure!


194B Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3JU

The Lexi Cinema is run almost exclusively by volunteers, meaning 100% of its profits goes to charity! Showing a variety of mainstream, indie films and live opera, they hope to improve the lives of north-west Londoners, whilst also helping those in South Africa, by donating all proceeds to the Sustainability Institute.


Brixton Oval, SW2 1JG

Now over 100 years old, the Ritzy Cinema is an iconic part of Brixton’s fabric. Restored to its original turn-of-the-century charm, it still has all those amazing architectural features and a red velvet curtain. Classy! Owned by Picturehouse Cinemas, there are loads of great deals to get money off your tickets, plus there is an upstairs live music venue called named ‘Upstairs’ (duh!) for when you decide your night isn’t over after the end credits.


Blackmill Rd, Southwold IP18 6AN


For those inevitable rainy days, catch a movie at the Electric Picture Palace, an old-school screen with a cinema organ and proper chairs, just like the original Electric Picture Palace, that opened in Southwold in 1912.