Formerly the National Film Theatre, this much-loved four-screen venue on the South Bank in Waterloo became the BFI Southbank in 2007. For film lovers who know their Kubrick from their Kurosawa, this is London's best cinema. Certainly, it's the city’s foremost cinema for director retrospectives and seasons programmed to showcase international work or films of specific genres or themes. It’s the flagship venue of the British Film Institute and plays home each year to the BFI’s London Film Festival and to the BFI’s seasons, such as 2014’s celebration of sci-fi. BFI Southbank also regularly hosts Q&As with some of the world’s leading filmmakers. The venue itself is a hot spot, with two bar-restaurants (one overlooking the river, nestled under Waterloo Bridge), a bookshop (good for DVDs too) and a library.
|Venue name:||BFI Southbank||Contact:|
|Do you own this business?|
- For all its good intentions, Spielberg's fact-based film about African slaves fighting for their lives and freedom in 1830s America falls short of Schindler's List. Except for the overkill of the seizure of the Spanish ship (La Amistad) transporti...Read more
- Asking a colleague how anyone could encapsulate the exquisite, earthy poetry of Terrence Malick’s cinema in a mere 180 words, he responded: ‘It’s easy! “Blah, blah, magic hour. Blah, blah, voiceover. Blah, blah, the awesome power of nature. Hyperb...Read more
- Werner Herzog’s mad masterpiece from 1972 still has its hallucinatory charge. Its star, Klaus Kinski, terrorised his fellow cast and crew, and in its own way ‘Aguirre’ has become cinema legend (director Herzog says the only way he could keep Kinsk...Read more
- It’s a good job they’re putting this ravishing new print of ‘Gone with the Wind’ in cinemas now – before Steve McQueen’s ‘12 Years a Slave’ arrives in January to show us what American slavery really looked like. Its stereotype of happy slaves and ...Read more
- This near-perfect 1961 ghost story, adapted from Henry James’s 1898 novella ‘The Turn of the Screw’, has friends in high places. Martin Scorsese put it in his top ten list of nerve-janglers. ‘Beautifully crafted and acted, immaculately shot… and v...Read more
Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
- 5 star:10
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
There's simply no rival in London if you're looking for a cinema that specialises in retrospectives and special seasons on directors or themed work or work from a particular country. Their special events (Q&As etc) are strong, and the venue has massively improved in recent years in terms of being a place to eat and drink before or after a film. Many people now simply use it as a place to hang out without even seeing a film.
The home of London cinema. It is a place where you can feel part of a community of film lovers, young and old, rich and poor, of every background. There is no bigger thrill than seeing your cinematic icons where they belong: on the big screen in front of a packed house. Seeing 'It's a Wonderful Life' at the BFI should be a London rite-of-passage.