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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- Lèse majesté! While his ‘Frost/Nixon’ currently earns plaudits at the Donmar, Peter Morgan’s script for Stephen Frears’ ‘The Queen’ takes similar liberties with history by venturing behind the closed doors of Downing Street and Balmoral during one...Read more
- Before and after the war, Ealing Studios was famous for one thing: comedy. But in 1942, with Europe overrun and Jerry glaring hungrily across the Channel, they turned their talents to more ‘important’ work, becoming, for a time, just one of the Ch...Read more
- Howard Hawks’s late-period comic essay on the economic advantages of an ample bosom is not one of his best, though it just about works as a naughty Technicolor bellwether to these ‘Sex and the City’-fixated times. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell p...Read more
- Arguably Sirk's bleakest film - perhaps because it was shot in greyish monochrome rather than luridly stylised colour - and one of his finest, this adaptation of Faulkner's Pylon reassembles the three principles from Written on the Wind for a pr...Read more
- A Bollywood love story spanning the decades. During the 1970s, Shanti was a musical superstar who just wanted to be the girl next door and find the man of her dreams. Om was her biggest fan, madly in love with his idol, who was always just out of ...Read more
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:12
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
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
Wonderful place, I found the seats extremely comfortable but verything is expensive (food, drink, merchandise) except the cinema ticket price but what a great atmosphere and comfortable seating area. Worth considering membership at £40 pa for priority booking, discounts on tickets, food, drink & merchandise.
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.