Picturehouse Central

Cinemas , Independent Piccadilly Circus
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(27 user reviews)
68 Love It
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The Picturehouse's latest branch, opened in the summer of 2015, sits on the site of the old Cineworld in Piccadilly's Trocadero centre, which has had a stunning revamp. Distancing itself from the old maze that was former cinema entrance, Picturehouse have walled this up and made a clear entrance on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street.

Inside visitors are met with a grand staircase paired with a film themed mural by US artists Patrick Vale and Paul Davis. There's also a ground floor café. Up a level you'll find the box office and the bar, before heading to one of the seven screens. Still in the same theatres the original screens were, these rooms have been overhauled with larger screens and comfy seats with more leg room.

Another climb up a level will take you to the gallery space and a members-only bar with a roof terrace that looks out over the busy streets of central London.

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Picturehouse Central says
London's most stylish new cinema, inside the Trocadero. Seven screens playing a mix of quality mainstream, indie, foreign language and documentaries. Plus a ground floor cafe, first floor bar-restaurant and a newly opened members' bar across two floors with a roof terrace revealing stunning views.
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Venue name: Picturehouse Central
Address: The Trocadero
Shaftesbury Avenue
Cross street: Great Windmill St
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
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Pick a date

  • Festivals Thursday May 5 2016
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:19
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
NaN people listening
1 of 1 found helpful


This is my favourite place in London right now. The coffee shop downstairs is great (try the Lemon drizzle cake with rosemary and olive oil - doesn't sound like it should work but ....so does!). The bar on the first floor is cool, although they can only serve you alcohol if you have a cinema ticket! The choice of films available is brilliant.

However, the most amazing thing about this place is the members bar - 3 floors of relative calm just steps away from the hustle of Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Shaftsbury Avenue! Even more than this, you can sip your cocktail in a corner window of the bar and watch the madness going on 2,3 or 4 floors below! The roof terrace has great urban views in every direction, we were lucky enough to be there on a sunny afternoon, I suspect it might be chilly come winter!...... but really...wow!

The pictures are the view from the corner table on the second floor and the roof terrace.


Alexandra L
1 of 1 found helpful

Excuse my packing while I write this, it's just that I'm moving into the Picturehouse Central and don't have any time to waste.

Ahhhh, sadly that's not quite true. I wish it were because frankly, this place is amazing. From the screens - super comfy seats with a gentle recline & a great view from wherever you sit - to the ambience - all red bricks, giant light bulbs & old school letters spelling out your film choices - to the food - a funky bar, a baked-goods stuffed coffee shop & donuts du jour from Crosstown - this is a cinema, and then some. 

Located in the site of the old Shaftesbury Avenue Cineworld and putting that and all other chains to shame, it's the kind of place that knows exactly what people want from a movie going experience; to be welcomed by genuine staff, to feel valued as a customer and to slip into another world, not only through the film you're watching but through every aspect of the place you're watching it in. Whether it's the epic 'Mission Impossible' in Dolby Atmos which really has to be heard to be believed or the chuckle & surreptitious tear inducing 'Inside Out', prepare to feel very spoilt during your visit here and very depressed if you find yourself anywhere else in the film going experiences of the future.

Now, where did I put that bubble wrap...

Jenni D
1 of 1 found helpful

A gem of a cinema. Just a few minutes from the tourist trap of Leicester Square, you'll find Picturehouse Central. Reasonably priced, with a wide selection of movies. The bar inside is great in it's own right too. This has definitely become my cinema of choice. 

Ioanna La

I visited Picturehouse Central a while ago with TimeOut card to watch a documentary as part of a festival and it was a pleasant surprise - I didn't know of it before. Extremely new (it opened last summer), right in the heart of London moments away from Picadilly circus and Leicester square. The interior is funky, stylish, new and seriously amazing! It is completely different from the chain or local cinemas I was used to. It makes the whole experience even better. The building is very interesting from an architectural perspective, both from the outside and the inside. The screening rooms are amazing - big screens and so comfortable seats! First class cinema, but obviously slightly more expensive than the chains. Good value on Mondays and Wednesdays, though!


I had to share this photo - and see others have done the same.

There are some places in London where just looking out gives you a sense of occasion.

The corner table on the Club Level here is just one such place.

Picturehouse Central is a great venue to see a film - its equally a good spot just to hang out.

Very civil and just metres from Piccadilly Circus.


The coolest cinema for miles around, and considering it's a stone's throw from the PCC, the ICA, the Curzon, and a couple of cinemas with the best screens in the city (OLS and Empire) that's saying something.

Luisa G

Wow. Wow wow wow. I came here for an event. The cinema is lovely, and when you lean back, the seats move with you, to give you a better viewing angle. The salted caramel brownies there are to die for!

Staff Writertastemaker

Proper classy joint! Absolutely love the venue. It some how feels quiet on the inside, and the stress of the busy street outside a million miles away.

The screens are gorgeous, massive comfy sofa seats. The bar upstairs is like a set Mad Men (at the moment you can only drink here with a cinema ticket so it was also nice and empty, very relaxing). 

We went to see a screening of the last Peep Show episode with a Q&A after, the whole event was well organised and good value, very much hope they continue.

Sohère R

A little piece of vintage glamour set in the heart of Picadilly, this is what is must have been like to go to the cinema back in the day! The decor is stylish, with 2 bar/restaurants to choose from, this makes going to the cinema a real event! The seats in the screen room were big and comfortable. I loved this and can't wait to go back!

Bonnie W

Very impressive addition to the Picturehouse franchise. The ground floor cafe looked like a great place to pop into, even if you're not seeing a movie. The food at the first floor restaurant wasn't anything outstanding, but still good. The theatre that I saw a movie in had couch seats for two in the back two rows which was a fun touch. 

The main drawbacks are the ticket price - £18 for a normal film screening! Also, I'm a member of the Hackney Picturehouse and it was disappointing to find out that this did not allow access to the members lounge - you had to have a Picturehouse Central membership specifically.

Chesca R

This place took your average cinema and improved it 100 fold on every level. The screens are huge, the seats are super comfy (and they recline), the leg room is generous, the setting is beyond beautiful and the food is great, this is the way cinema should be. 

The cafe downstairs does great coffee and a gorgeous selection of cakes as well as some savoury delights. The bar area upstairs is very cool and the menu is tasty. 

This is a cinema beyond cinemas and I am without a doubt a massive fan. 


This is officially my new favorite cinema in London.  Having been to the Clapham branch a few times before I expected this to be similar and equally as small.  I was pleasantly surprised to see this new cinema is huge and has a fantastic bar.  The main appeal of the bar for me was that you cannot use it without having a cinema ticket, meaning it doesn't get over crowded by bar hoppers in central London.  I even had the joy of being seating beside comedian Sean Walsh while enjoying my Gin and Tonic (which had copious amounts of Rosemary and Thyme in it). 

The cinema itself is incredibly spacious and I was most impressed by there being room to walk past those already seated without sticking your bum in their faces.  The seats also recline which makes the whole experience that much more comfortable. 

I do not see me visiting another cinema for a while now, I am off to sign up for the membership! 

Ben P


Am actually quite shocked to read these reviews on here. Is it the same place? Do people only care about decor?

Second attempt to come here last night (first attempt they had whored it all out to a corporate at last minute with no notice. Fun if you've travelled an hour to visit).

After a 40 min queue for tickets an same again for snacks. Got upstairs to be told restaurant closed (corporate do, of course) so had to stand around (no seats) for a while- no real time to go anywhere else as too busy to get down escalator and leave

Film: pretty good but sound was too quiet and so could hear everyone talking and eating. Seats lean back: result... However, when doing so they jerk the whole row meaning other people are involuntarily moving you the whole way through. Also- it's freezing! Air con in late Oct? Why?

Dinner after: food cold and took ages. Also the worst of the Mayfair art set and upper class hipsters (Dalstons a bit common now) jostling for space, clattering into poor couples trying to get some respite and generally braying bollocks

Whole thing such a shame I could cry

Sarah G

Went to the newly opened members bar last night.

I'll start by saying I love the Picturehouse - it's totally gorgeous & a great place to watch a film & hang out. I really want it to succeed. But I really think they need to sort out their service.

The members bar is beautiful & I love seeing my name in the plaque on the wall. But we popped in with about 25 mins before our film, I ordered 2 cocktails, which I had to stand at the bar & wait for - they took what seemed like ages to make! I'd gone for cocktails as in the 6-7 happy hour they are £7 each, but then I got charged £17+. It then took another 10/15 mins to sort out the refund. So our relaxing & glamorous drink turned out to be quite stressful.

That said my Apperisecco was delicious!

Deano H

Like the theme tune from Toys R Us but take out "Toys R Us" for Picturehouse and "Toys" for films.

Dave T

The best place to see a movie north of the river. Hot dogs in the bar to die for.

Rosie T
Staff Writer

Love this cinema. It has a lovely cafe, a brilliant bar and the and the candy shop (doughnuts/sweets/chocs) is a great touch. A great place to go to even if you are not going to watch a film and if you do go into the actual cinema the seats are comfy indeed.

Tom Bruce

A wondrous cinematic emporium which has fully earned the admiration of its already die-hard customer base just three months after opening its doors. I've not even seen a film here, and yet after one visit I'm sold (or another Picturehouse membership is sold, anyway. By them. To me.)

When I first spotted this gem of a cinema, located off Shaftesbury avenue at the base of the Trocadero, I was instantly drawn to its glitzy old-school charms, and walked in confused as to why I'd not seen nor heard of it until that moment. Killing three hours in this place was no problem. Grabbed a soya latte (£2.50) and a London Film Festival magazine (free of charge), then sat at a comfortable corner table backed against the far wall of the impressively tiled, well-lit downstairs cafe (see photo), from where I could absorb the atmosphere and read in peace (or, if I'd wanted to, eavesdrop, which I of course did not do). Filled my glass with their self-pour iced lemon water more than a few times, I don't mind admitting to it. 

Going back to the Picturehouse as soon as possible is a priority; this place is magical. May or may not be a cheapskate post-uni pre-graduate sort-of-but-not-really-anymore student next time around.

Paperback Reader

I do love a cinema that has a bar. I prefer a cinema where I can have a drink while watching a film, especially at £18 a ticket, but I’ll settle for a Riesling before and a Crosstown doughnut during.  Or I would if I hadn’t had a very filling chorizo, feta and, balsamic onion pizza and sweet potato fries in the restaurant, leaving no space for a doughnut du jour or any of the other appealing snacks on offer.  A welcome addition to the tourist trap that is Piccadilly Circus.


Picturehouse central cinema and café, Piccadilly recently opened and tucked away and hidden just moments away of the chaos and bustle of Leicester Square. Elegantly decorated with a good assortment of snacks and drinks including amazing doughnuts. This makes is a perfect place to meet with others and if you feel up to it even catch a movie as well. Plenty of seating downstairs and upstairs, this makes going to a cinema in my opinion, a much more special experience compared to your other bog standard cinemas. There is plenty of leg room and the seats are soft and comfy, there are even double seats at the back of each screen. Only thing it was really cold when I last went so turn up the heating a little perhaps or bring plenty of layers, but hopefully that was a one off.


Great cinema in the heart of London and a strong competitor to Odeon, Prince Charles and other film venues in the area! Small auditoriums with cosy sofas, good selection of films and a very nice restaurant with pleasant atmosphere, delicious meals (although they could work on their veggie options!) and special Picturehouse brew of IPA. Definitely coming back there soon!

Cookie Monster
moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

Outstanding cinema just off Piccadilly with great facilities; definitely worthwhile experiencing the environment and of course a movie.

Jo Gowans
0 of 1 found helpful

Whilst strictly there’s nothing wrong with Picturehouse Central, it just doesn’t live up to the hype. Much to my delight, the cinema-goers experience in London has drastically improved over the last few years, but that does mean my standards have been raised. On my first visit I had the same issue as one of the other reviewers in that the first floor restaurant had been reserved in its entirety for a corporate event. After some negotiation we were allowed to eat dinner in a small side room. On second visit the restaurant was a delightfully welcome contrast to the queueing and stress of other local options (we’d tried Yalla Yalla and Honest Burgers beforehand). Food on both occasions was good if not mind-blowing, and we did enjoy a comfortable sofa with plenty of space and a lid for our wine so we could take it into the film afterwards.

The member’s bar elicited a similar response - we were grateful for the space and peace but a bit underwhelmed - I’m sure the rooftop is better in the summer. Cocktails were tasty but lacked the jaw-dropping flavour we’ve experienced elsewhere.

The pick and mix bar is a nice touch, but once inside the cinema don’t be fooled into thinking that a ‘sofa’ ticket would mean you’d be sitting on a sofa - although the armchairs were comfortable. I did find the whole venue on the cold side - though thankfully my coat doubled as a blanket during the film.