London's – indeed, the UK’s – biggest cinema screen at 540 square metres, the BFI Imax stands alone in the centre of a busy roundabout next to Waterloo station. Like a princess in a fairytale it’s surrounded by a labyrinth of eerie tunnels, which heroic filmgoers must brave if they wish to sample the delights within. But trust us, it’s worth it. The screen is, of course, absolutely massive, the sound quality is spectacular and the seats are arranged at such a vertiginous angle that there’s no chance of a head blocking your view. It’s not cheap – as much as £20 for a premium seat – but if you like your blockbusters vast and noisy (and who doesn’t?) there’s really nothing else like it in town. One word of advice – locate your nearest loo before the film starts if you’re prone to a mid-film pee, because they’re all but impossible to find.Read more
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.Read more
The jewel in the Picturehouse crown opened in 1992 and has been screening a mix of mainstream releases and independent films from its handy location beside Clapham Common ever since. Like all Picturehouses it’s a super-popular local cinema with a devoted following who come for the snug, anti-multiplex atmosphere and comfy reclining seats. Take your pick from the gut-expanding array of posh snacks and grab a drink at the bar, which has become a destination in itself – and is perfect for a post-film debrief. Plus you can buy a glass of wine to take into the movie.Read more
Venue says: £5 off your Uber ride - exclusive to Time Out users when you come to The Exhibit Use code TETO on the Uber app in 'promotions'.
A large hub of entertainment in south London that is a bar, restaurant, cinema, gallery, live music and comedy club, and yoga studio rolled into one. The focus, though, is on the food and drink. Expect an all day menu of small plates ranging from pan-fried padron peppers, cured Iberian ham, tempura squid and chilli pork tacos to burgers, fish tacos, braised pork belly and deep-fried chicken served with pickled grilled pineapple, cashews and gooseberry ketchup. The drinks list is strong on cocktails, with spring thymes (gin, elderflower, lime and thyme) alongside a rum dog millionaire (rum, mango, lime, blackberry liqueur and ginger beer) and a watermelon cooler (tequila, watermelon, blueberries and lime). A short wine list and craft beers by the bottle and can also feature.Read more
Opens August 9 2014 Taking over what used to be the Old Vic Tunnels, the House of Vans has turned the space below Waterloo station into a hot new destination for skateboarders, and promises a variety of diversions that will also appeal to those with no particular ambition to execute a credible 360 flip. The underground venue is sister to House of Vans Brooklyn where tickets for the free, all-ages summer concerts go like hot baked goods. The London branch also boasts a live music stage, as well as two tunnels’ worth of purpose-built skate park and an art gallery that will open with ‘Scissors & Glue’, an exhibition documenting the brief history of zines (till September 20). There’s a café, bars and cinema space and a regular programme of talks and workshops is planned. Skate sessions are free and open to all ages (there are lessons with The Skateboad School on Saturday mornings) but to be sure of entry book in advance on the House of Vans website where you’ll also find updates on upcoming gigs.Read more
The seeds of Morley College were sown by the Victorian social reformer Emma Cons, who in the 1880s created the Royal Victoria Coffee and Music Hall in order to provide penny lectures and ‘morally decent’ entertainment in the Waterloo area. Beginning life as Morley Memorial College for Working Men and Women, the adult education college – which is named after the benevolent textile manufacturer and MP Samuel Morley – moved to its current location in the 1920s but was largely destroyed during the Blitz. Rebuilt in 1958 to a design by CC Voysey, the building has expanded with the purchase of a former pub building across the road, a sculpture studio in a disused church nearby, and a more recent extension. Over the years, Morley has become famous for the calibre of its teaching staff. Gustav Holst was Director of Music from 1907 until 1924. Other high profile figures associated with the college include Ralph Vaughan Williams, Virginia Woolf and David Hockney. Reflecting its cultural associations are several permanent artworks in the building, including paintings by John Piper and Bridget Riley and, in the canteen, a series of murals created by Edward Bawden in the early 1960s, which depict scenes from Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’. If you’re not a student, there’s an opportunity to visit the building as part of Open House London, which takes place in September.Read more
The Ritzy is a Brixton institution, much loved for its friendly staff and anti-multiplex atmosphere. One of south London’s oldest picture palaces (it originally opened in 1911), today the Ritzy has still got a little of that grandeur. Its five screens are all comfortable and reasonably sized, while the programme strikes the perfect balance between major blockbusters and independent films, plus late-night shows and classics. There are also two bars, one offering a view across Windrush Square and serving slap-up café food, the other tucked upstairs inside the cinema and playing host to an array of club nights and stand-up shows.Read more