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.
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- Adapted by William Goldman from his own novel, this thriller is quite effective in its basic set pieces, even if the overall thrust seems a trifle ponderous. Hoffman plays a graduate student catapulted into a confrontation with grim former concent...Read more
- An adaptation of EB White's classic 1950s story of an orphanage mouse with red sneakers and his adopted (human) family. Mr and Mrs Little (Laurie and Davis) and nine-year-old George (Lipnicki) live in a brownstone sandwiched between skyscrapers on...Read more
- Postwar east London is a place of doomed dreams, cheeky chancers and youthful attitude in 1947’s punchy and poignant ‘It Always Rains on Sunday’, which is being re-released at BFI Southbank as part of a two-month season to celebrate Ealing Studios...Read more
- In the opening credits of this 1948 old-Hollywood classic, the legendary German director’s name is Americanised as ‘Max Opuls’. Somehow it’s appropriate, because from its painstakingly designed interiors to its sweeping, fluid camerawork, from its...Read more
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Absolute love the BFI - events, movies, the place is always buzzing, has a convenient scooter parking and a great program as well as a great location
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.