Time Out says
On the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue, this central London outpost from the Picturehouse cinema group is an absolute gem. Opened in the summer of 2015, Picturehouse Central sits on the site of the old Cineworld in Piccadilly's Trocadero centre. Having had a stunning revamp, it's the perfect antidote to Piccadilly Circus's rage-inducing pavements.
Inside, a hundred hanging lightbulbs lead you up a grand terracotta-tiled grand staircase, past a mural by US artists Patrick Vale and Paul Davis inspired by a century of cinema. Up a level, you'll find the box office and the bar, before the cinema's seven plush screens. 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.
|Cross street:||Great Windmill St|
|Transport:||Tube: Piccadilly Circus|
|Price:||Tickets £13.50-£16.50; £7.50-£11.50 reductions|
|Do you own this business?|
Users say (65)
Average User Rating
4.5 / 5
- 5 star:44
- 4 star:14
- 3 star:4
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:2
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.
Do not pre-book any big releases here!
Picturehouse rebooked my Star Wars opening night tickets (which were booked 2 months in advance) from their best screen to seats three rows from the front of one of their smaller screens.
Picturehouse clearly doesn't understand their customers and what's the point of opening bookings so early if they innevitably cancel them.
Very poor service and my recommendation is to go to Vue or CineWorld just around the corner which have both been recently refurbished.
Picture house central... my new summer hangout! With an intimate members only rooftop over looking Haymarket, this really is a gem! Membership gives you discounted food and drinks plus access to the members only lounge and bar and 4 cinema tickets! Plus with the membership you can take 3 friends onto rooftop. Film, food and views...what more could you want?
Definitely my favourite movie theatre in London! Ever since I began a member, I've been enjoying the place even more. Membership at Picturehouse Central gives you access to the Members' Lounge/Bar, which is a great way to relax before or after your movie or even to chill in if you're in the area. The Members' area is equipped with free wifi, so you can bring your laptop in to do some work, which I've done and is a nice change of environment. It does get a bit busier in the evenings and on the weekends, but it's calm during the day! Coupled with comfortable chairs and sofas, it's a relaxing atmosphere.
The Members' Bar is also really great, as drinks are discounted and you don't require a movie ticket to purchase drinks until 9pm. They also serve some food, which makes it even better to spend the day at! I've always had the friendliest of staff, from the entrance all the way into the Members' area and at the bar. The clientele are equally respectful and friendly - people mind their own business and are never too loud or rowdy.
The movie theatres are very comfortable and warm, they often offer blankets at the entrance to each theatre as well, which is great. What I like most is that when booking tickets online, it doesn't cost any more to select a sofa seat (for couples or just to be more comfortable) than a regular seat.
Overall, it's a great experience from beginning to end! Would definitely recommend buying membership, as it pays off over the year and you receive 2 free movie tickets when you sign up.
This cinema is perfect to while away a few hours with its cafe downstairs and the bar upstairs. They serve food although we didn’t eat here. Despite manic streets outside full of tourists and visitors to London, the cinema didn’t feel too busy and we managed to get a seat in the bar upstairs. We ordered coffee and there was some confusion over whether they had soya milk (they couldn’t find it!). We also ordered soft drinks which were disappointingly served with plastic single use straws. I’m pretty sure most places are phasing these out now - you can’t fail to see the campaigns about plastic straws now - so for a trendy venue like this cinema I was surprised to be given one. Nobody really wants straws anyway surely!!?
In the cinema screening room itself we got a sofa to share that was mega comfy - highly recommend watching a film here.
I was really looking forward to visiting this cinema as I love going to the pictures around Leicester Square for the big Hollywood effect. When you walk in the first thing you notice is the bar/ restaurant area downstairs heaving with people, even though we went on a Sunday night. Once upstairs the place has a lovely atmosphere about it with another fancier art deco style bar to the left if you fancy a tipple before the cinema in a bar that doesn’t just feel like a cinema bar. I have to say I was expecting more for the price of my ticket, as for £16.50 a ticket it is a steep asking price regardless of how handy and central the location! The theatres are small and cosy which is nice but I was kind of expecting a big one for the big cinema affect.
It's a nice space but not special enough to warrant the hefty price tag in comparison to independent cinema’s around London with just as much character.
As far as cinema goes, this place is my spiritual home. The space is quirky but comfortable, the food is great (though you have to pick your table for it - trying to eat steak off a board from an armchair is probably not the best way to maintain your dignity), and the drinks are good. The staff have never been anything but friendly and helpful, and I been to some amazing events here. The breadth of film on show is inspiring, and you can usually find something new to challenge what's on at the local Vue.
As a member I can also confirm that the Members' Bar and terrace are an absolute delight!
Picturehouse Central is an absolute must-visit!
So glad they renovated this space, the theatres are huge and comfortable. Also a nice place to just and have a cup of tea when the weather is awful outside.
I came to this cinema last month and I must say.. I have been missing out! This cinema is just chic in every way... Clean and no funky smells lingering in places.
What I loved most about this cinema though,were the actual seats. Comfortable and cosy unlike the usual stiff sticky smelling ones on other cinemas. Highly recommended!
So I have to say my first experience of the Picturehouse wasn't my favourite and I was left disappointed.
The entrance for The Picturehouse is quirky and retro. I went to a Cars 3 screening with a Q and A with Owen Wilson, the producer and the director. I was intrigued to see how the event would run as I've never been to anything like it.
I arrived, went upstairs, got given my ticket and moved swiftly to the theatre avoiding the sweets and popcorn! I went to the theatre to find that someone had also been given the same seat as me - I wasn't the only one who had experienced this problem. We were given different seats at the back of the theatre which weren't as good as our seats near the front. This happened to my friends twice with even the alternative tickets being taken by other guests. Pretty bad organisation for such an event.
The theatre seats however were quite comfortable and also reclined. Every seat had a cup holder which bearing in mind I did go to watch a film mainly watched by kids, were constantly being messed around with and became infuriating!
The Picture House is a real treat for those of you bored with the usual chain cinemas that all have the same feel. The Picture house feels really authentic and I love all the tiny add ons which make a difference. The ones that stand out are:
- Quirky décor – check out the lights when you go up the stairs
- Two pit stops before you go to the actual screen for a quick coffee or a bite to eat and something a bit more stronger! This is perfect for a catch up before or after the film
- The toilets aren’t dark and dingy, but well kept and clean
- The seats!!! The seats have a little recline so you can get very comfy before and during the film…. After? Well you wont want to leave!
- The staff were really knowledgeable and very friendly
- If you are lucky enough to be a private member or know someone who is, the roof top terrace is beautiful with a view over Picadilly. I loved seeing the hustle and bustle of the place and it’s a rare place you can see what is painted on top of the double deckers. Its also like a little oasis of calm where you can see the world go past and at the same time catch up on old memories with friends or do some cheeky work before seeing a film.
All in all pip pip! An amazing venue and if I was a cinema buff I would for sure be a member of this cinema over all the others in our city.
“Can I Be Me,” is what Whitney Houston would say during her early days in music, so it seems the perfect fit as the title of a new documentary on the music icons life.
Acclaimed director Nick Broomfield and Filmmaker Rudi Dolezal tell the story and share never-ever seen before footage of one of the most successful female artist that lived.
Whitney Houston died at 48 in tragic circumstances that left me at the time feeling so very sad and even worse when her daughter a few years later also was found dead. You ask yourself ‘But she had everything why ?? Watching this doc left me feeling like she didn’t have the one most important thing, true happiness and love for herself
We see rare behind the scenes footage of Whitney as a teen to her later days with ex husband Bobby Brown and life on the road. I felt I knew everything about this amazing, beautiful troubled woman but this documentary left me feeling very sad and reflective plus learning more. You hear from her close friends and people that worked with her daily on what she was really like and how much she relied on drugs and drink to keep it all going.
Earlier in the day I had been at a studio to interview Lethal Bizzle for my new podcast. While I waited my turn in the green room the conversation had somehow spread to “Who is the worse person you have ever interviewed Max” ? There would have been a time I would have got sucked into a long negative almost gossiping type of conversation about this subject but not now.
Why couldn’t the question of been ‘Who has been your fav person to interview’?
I have so many friends that are musicians and in the public eye who struggle with fame and being judged. It can make them feel so uncomfortable and sometimes paranoid resulting in being quieter and less social. Having said that I do believe being polite and professional is not difficult so we all have to work on being at-least that. I feel like we hero worship musicians so much that we don’t allow them to make mistakes or have bad days.
Watching the Whitney doc made me really think about the characters she created to live up to the expectations that the world had of her, but also her own. How incredibly sad that the love she wanted to share with her daughter, husband and family almost became something she had no time or energy for.
What I took from watching this documentary was not only what a tragedy it was and how the world lost such an amazing musician but also how she was more then a star. This was a woman that was funny, kind, loving and full of so much energy. She had so many issues and took drugs and drink rather then counselling and having chill out time with loved ones. You see a hint of her wanting to change and take time out for her well being but always getting dragged back into the world of fame and success to provide the lifestyle she wanted to give to everyone around her and herself I think.
Everything isn’t about money and success, happiness is so underrated but so very important. I will always remember Whitney as an incredible singer and a lady that has contributed so much to music, but she was also a loving mum, daughter and friend to many. This documentary may have showed the drugs but it also reminded me that we should not remember or define her by just that memory. Whitney ( Nippy as she was affectionately known) as a young black teenager from New Jersey changed the world of music and opened the doors for the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna. “Can I Be Me” is out now all across the UK and I strongly recommend you watch it?
Character, charm and atmosphere are not things you tend to associate with cinemas but Picturehouse Central embodies all of these perfectly. I have walked passed this place every day on my way to the office for the past 8 month and it has always had me intrigued, can’t believe it has taken me this long to truly discover it, don’t know what I was waiting for I wish I’d visited sooner.
Decided to go on a cinema date with a friend (and fellow Tastemaker Hollibakes) as we both wanted to ball our eyes out to “Me Before You” – but I’ll save the details of this for a film review to follow – back to the cinema… I was surprised to find it listed as on option to use with Meerkat Movies 2 for 1 offer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, this meant its cost just £13 for both of our tickets, although this was just the icing on the cake as given the experience we had I would have been happy to pay double and then some.
As you walk in you are greeted on the ground floor buy a relaxed and spacious café – one of my first impressions was that I was very surprised by the overall size of the space this cinema occupies, but they do fill it so well! The café serves a nice selection of foods all of which are able to put into takeaway containers in order for you to take into the screening with you, this certainly was a big thumbs us from us as both coming straight from finishing work we hadn’t had time to grab anything in the way of dinner. We both opted for the Mac n Cheese, was reasonably priced at £6.50 for a good portion size and was very enjoyable! Other hot food options included lasagne and an aubergine thing (sorry I can’t remember what this was specifically) and there was also a choice of cold salads. Though I wasn’t planning on buying any sweet treats, I couldn’t help but be persuaded but the vast offering of cakes displayed at the counter – all of which looked very tempting -I eventually decided on a white chocolate and raspberry brownie which did not disappoint and was as delicious as it sounds. As far as drinks go they cover all bases, selling hot beverages, soft drinks and alcoholic tipples too.
Up the elegant insta-worthy staircase to the first floor there is a restaurant and bar area to your left, which I’d like to perhaps try out another time when not in such a rush. Then the box office area to your right when tickets are purchased and unsurprisingly offers even more items to satisfy your sweet tooth, with a well presented pick n mix station - although I did observe this was on the expensive side (to be expected, as cinema sweets usually are).
We were in screen 2, which along with screen 1 and the members only bar (jealous!) are located up an escalator to level 2. The screen was a really good size for the space, larger than I would have expected and the picture and sound quality were both great. The seats were very comfortable indeed, with a recline which moves with you allowing you to pick your preferred angle viewing for viewing – and don’t worry about annoying those behind you as legroom is so generous they won’t even know you’re there.
Thank you to Picturehouse for bringing the special touch back to a trip to the cinema, making an outing to “the pictures” just the way it should be!
In case you can’t already tell I’m over the moon to have come across this place, honestly cannot recommend it enough, so much so I’ll be returning next week.
The entrance to the Picturehouse was breathtaking. They celebrated their first birthday and they were giving out £1 cinema tickets which was just fantastic. It was such a creative and calm atmosphere with so many people at the Cafe on the first floor with an incredible menu. It was a glorious moment to walk up the stairs and these intricate lightbulbs hanging beautifully above me. The whole ambient inside is amazing and it's interior design is great. They have the most spacious and comfortable cinema rooms. I couldn't ask for better seating, it was a great experience and it was my first time being at the Picturehouse Central. A must go venue for all located at the corner of Great Windmill Street and Shaftesbury Avenue in London's Piccadilly. Thank you to all at the venue for a great afternoon. #TOTastemaker Love MD.
My spiritual home
Yesterday (June 11th) marked the 1st Birthday for Picturehouse Central. To celebrate all of the tickets to their screenings were £1 each. Yep, £1 tickets for not only a central London cinema but one of the best central London cinemas there is.
I did the obvious thing any rational human being would do and got tickets for four different preview screenings (okay maybe I should say any cinephile would do). That meant I spent 12 hours straight at Picturehouse Central yesterday. I've visited the cinema countless times this past year, but never 12 hours in one day.
Doing so simply reinforced how much I love this cinema. I saw four fantastic films all before their UK release date. I got to sit in comfortable style in their amazing screens. I got to spend my two one-hour breaks in the cafe and bar respectively paying reasonable (after my membership discount) prices for properly tasty food.
I had a brilliant time and my metaphorical relationship with the cinema has never been stronger.
Whenever I have friends visiting London I always take them here as it is a breath-takingly gorgeous building with an incredible atmosphere. I love it here and I think most people would too.
One of the most beautifully decorated and comfortable cinemas and located in the heart of London.
A must go!
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.
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