Prince Charles Cinema

Cinemas, Independent Leicester Square
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Prince Charles Cinema

The Prince Charles in Leicester Square is the only cinema in London where no one is going to shush you. In fact, it’s all about audience participation. Aca-along to ‘Pitch Perfect’, sing-along to ‘Frozen’ or get on your best jimjams and settle in for a marathon all-night pajama party. The Prince Charles started life as a porn cinema and it’s still central London’s wild card cinema. The programme isn’t quite as sleazy as it might’ve been 40 years ago, but it’s still a fantastic blend of new-ish blockbusters and arthouse titles with heaps of horror, sci-fi and teen-flick all-nighters, double bills and short seasons, often screened from 16mm or 35mm celluloid. Luxurious it ain’t, but it’s comfy, cheap and very cheerful, and the programming is as good as it gets. Voted 'best for fun' in Time Out's cinema awards.

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Venue name: Prince Charles Cinema
Contact:
Address: 7 Leicester Place
London
WC2H 7BP
Transport: Tube: Leicester Sq
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To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com
  • Time Out says
    4 out of 5 stars
    Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 Manga classic resurfaced in the headlines recently with talk of a western live-action remake. Some were rankled by the mooted casting option (Robert Pattinson, Justin Timberlake…), feeling they missed the point of a quinte...
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  • Time Out says
    5 out of 5 stars
    ‘Would you like me to tell you the story of right hand, left hand? The story of good and evil?’ It’s hard to think of a film which cuts so clear a line between innocence and depravity as 1955’s ‘The Night of the Hunter’, British actor Charles Laug...
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  • Time Out says
    4 out of 5 stars
    You might already know how the evacuation of Dunkirk in May 1940 turned out: how over 300,000 mainly British troops escaped from the beach and harbour of a northern French port while being bombarded by the Nazis. But the power of Christopher Nolan...
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  • Time Out says
    2 out of 5 stars
    Rupert Graves and Ellie Kendrick star in this sparse British sci-fi about a pair of aliens on a space mission to another planet. There’s no little green men, or indeed women, here: the duo look and sound like humans but communicate mostly via tele...
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  • Writer/director Brooks casts himself as a neurotic, workaholic film editor who, unable to cope with his obsessive love for the beautiful Harrold, forces himself to give her up. He then adopts an equally compulsive regime of trying to forget her: t...
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  • Time Out says
    5 out of 5 stars
    Italian writer-director Luca Guadagnino likes to show off his homeland as a place of sensual self-discovery. That’s especially true of his last two films, the exquisite Milanese romance ‘I Am Love’ (2009) – a film with the power to make you pack...
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  • Time Out says
    3 out of 5 stars
    Part mystery, part visual experiment, ‘Loving Vincent’ is a reverent ode to the 19th century painter Vincent van Gogh. ‘The world’s first fully painted film’, it’s a beautifully animated affair inspired by his greatest works of art, from Starry Ni...
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  • Time Out says
    4 out of 5 stars
    There aren’t many writer-directors who could tell a story of small-town rape, murder, grief and guilt at the same time as taking you down all sorts of black-comic paths and having immense fun with the writing and acting along the way. But Martin M...
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Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:16
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|26
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Tastemaker

A London treasure! Brilliant cinema, good selection of beers and awesome film showings from classics, all night movie marathons and new block busters.

tastemaker

This certainly deserves the title of ‘London’s best cinema’.

I always used to think of it as just being ‘sing-along’ cinema so avoided it, but in the past few years I’ve really come to appreciate how it’s so much more than that – in fact it has the most diverse range of films in London.

Everything from 1960’s European arthouse cinema to cult classic hits such as The Might Ducks (I recently attended a trilogy screening of this there which was fantastic). They do get new releases as well – sometimes at a subsidised rate if the film is nearing the end of its run.

They also regularly do all-nighters and actively take suggestions for future screenings from the big blackboard just outside the main screen.

There’s nothing amazing about the screens themselves, in fact they could do with an update, but because the price of the tickets is so reasonable I’m not complaining.

The bar has a great range of craft beers on offer – I only wish they did some hot food options, especially for the multiple film screenings.

Staff are always really friendly and clearly film enthusiasts.

It’s worth grabbing a £10 annual memebrship for discounts and exclusive screenings too. A real gem in the heart of London.


It does't matter if you are looking to watch the newest blockbuster, or a cult film from the 80s, because the Prince Charles has got it all. Their calendar is packed full of events, from premieres to 35mm screenings, from pajama parties to sing-alongs. With a fantastic  concession stand that sells everything from salted popcorn to alcoholic beverages, the Prince Charles is a must for any cinephile. 

I highly recommend their member pass that is only £10 a year. The member pass offers a special £1 Sunday show, as well as discounts on nearly every film playing throughout the year. 

tastemaker

If you like cinema you'll love the Prince Charles. With membership the tickets are really affordable especially their one pound member screenings. Their programme shows contemporary cinema alongside curated classics. They have two screening rooms, one large and one small. I highly recommend a visit.

tastemaker

Great independent cinema, it's definitely worth looking at their program with the specially curated evenings, went to an all-night Disney Pyjama Party and it was fabulous! The bar was open until late (although they said they only get a handful of late licences a year, so may not be the case with their other screenings), the staff was kind and attentive (even at 6 am), and the atmosphere was very nice. As the name suggests, people were in their jammies, so you can imagine the sight of PJ-clad people queuing for the loo in their socks at 3 am.

The Disney marathon went on for nearly 12 hours, but the real killer is the Harry Potter one - over 21 hours, if you dare!

Tastemaker

This is a hidden treasure of London.  Located just off Leicester Square, it has a selection of films, not always the latest ones and is quite a good price, especially if you become a member.  They regularly have sing-a-longs, movie all-nighters and show unusual versions of films such as films in 70mm of 35mm (not sure what difference it makes!). I showed my son their Christmas film all nighter, but he wouldn't go because he disagreed with their choice of Die Hard as a Christmas film (it is).


I went to this cinema a couple of times as part of the BFI Film Festival and it is a nice setting, with a good small bar downstairs.  The seats are pretty comfortable, but we sat in the back row for a horror film and there was a curtain behind us which made it even eerier!  When we checked afterwards, we found the curtain just covered a wall, so we needn't have worried about someone jumping out on us!

I wold definitely recommend this cinema.

Tastemaker

I have been going to this cinema since I was a teenager and I love it. Back in the day it was a bit run down and felt like a secret,sorta seedy joint,where you catch re-run films and had a constant showing of Rocky Horror Show. It's still retro but cleaned itself up,you can enjoy this historic cinema with all the trimmings of a an art house cinema. Good cinema nibbles and craft beers aplenty. With now two screens,there is more on offer than ever. Alongside Sing-A-Long Rocky,Sound of music or quotation Mean Girls,Labyrinth Masked Ball,this is for the cult loving film lover. Very reasonable tickets too,you could spend all day taking a trip down memory lane in your filmic mind. Loads of special events,keep an eye of there website for all the things happening. This place is an absolute gem. 

tastemaker

pretty unusual to find a venue like Prince Charles among Odeons or Cinewords at Leicester square. 

The film selection includes current and old school movies as well cult classics, they organize various events like pizza and beer nights - you can be sure there will always be something for everyone's taste. 

If you love cinema I would recommend buying a membership immediately as there £1 screenings every week!

Great atmosphere, lovely bar downstairs and outstanding programme - best cinema I have ever visited. 


Tastemaker

Fun independent cinema you need to check out!


Don’t expect the latest releases and mega blockbusters – this place is not about that. Instead, you’ll have the chance to enjoy special movie marathons like all three ‘Back to the future’, great retrospectives like Kubrick’s, amazing sing-a-long-a like the Frozen one, interesting events like Raleigh Ritchie introducing his new single and of course the famous pizza and beer nights where your drink and nibble is included in your ticket price. So book yourself a seat for one of the some good re-runs and enjoy the incredible vibe this place can offer.

tastemaker

Worth becoming a member for £10/£7.50 p.a. for the member screenings alone (£1) - and a reduction on the bar prices!  Generally the cinema area itself feels a little "tired" but excellent value for money, friendly staff and wonderful sing-along parties.

tastemaker

I love this cinema. I just wished I had more time to go to it. Its the type of place where if it ever shut down, there would be protests to save it with placards saying its a London icon. This place shows cheap films that aren't the latest film out but that doesnt matter. It still sells popcorn and even better, it does film nights with common themes but best of all sing a longs :D I love how the cinema is constantly evolving and the best thing has to be Frozen Sing a long but just for adults :D Oh and yes I did dress up! 

Tastemaker

It's a conundrum: the Prince Charles has one of the best film programmes in London, but also the worst-designed theatre I've ever seen. Against all reason, it slopes downward from the stage, so that if you're in the first half of the cinema, your view is partially obstructed by the seats in front of you. If you're in the back half, there's a strange overhang that creates a confining atmosphere. And the aisles are so narrow that, even while standing, it's difficult to give others enough space to reach their seats. 


If the programming remained the same, but the theatre itself were redesigned or moved, this would be a 5-star cinema.

Tastemaker

For the experience it provides, this is London's best value cinema. While the Prince Charles rarely has all the latest releases - or if it does, they usually get them pretty late compared with the massive chain flagships for Odeon and Vue just around the corner in Leicester Square -  it does have a fantastically unique atmosphere and specially catered screening schedule which demonstrates a profound dedication to cinema, and the people who love it. 


On a typical day the PCC might be showing a foreign indie drama (probably something Scandinavian), an Arnold Schwarzenegger action double-bill, and a singalong Dinsey musical. One after the other. As if it's no big deal. Then a 20:01 screening of sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey for good measure, a showing which I have drunkenly stumbled into twice after calling a pub crawl short to sit in a chair and look at a screen instead. Little did I know, the screen was staring back at me! If the theory about the monolith being Kubrick's representation of the reflective nature of cinema is to be believed. More likely than his admission of faking the moon landings or being a member of the NWO, anyway. 


All the staff at Prince Charles are incredibly friendly; they're the type of people who might (and have) notice that you're wearing a t-shirt bearing an obscure cult movie reference, and not only mention it but do so by nonchalantly spitting out a quote from the movie in question, to which you excitedly reply, sparking a back and forth chain of fanboy/girl glee. Everyone likes the Prince Charles. It's why Edgar Wright had his first film screened there, and why he personally attended a movie marathon of all his works which they hosted. It's why the inimitable auteur, Tommy Wuseau, came to host one of their monthly screenings of his magnum opus, The Room, at which everyone in attendance throws plastic spoons at the  screen. 


When you come out of the Prince Charles, charged by cinema and fairly priced booze, you have all of London at your disposal. Chinatown beckons. 

Tastemaker

This is a real cinema lover's cinema - good films and amazing value. They used to do Sunday morning hangover specials for something like £10 for your ticket and a bacon butty and this to me really epitomises their general attitude. They also do a good SInga-long-a evening (Grease and Rocky Horror Show being personal faves). The only thing they could do better, though you could argue this isn't the point, is more comfortable seats - especially for the all-nighters. A blanket or heating control of some sort wouldn't go amiss either (it got freezing at 2am). That said, you could probably bring your own. Just be prepared!

Tastemaker

One of my favorites cinemas when it come to seeing those classics that we all grew up with.

So far I've seen 'Home Alone', 'Gremlins', 'Alien', 'Lord of the Ring' and the latest one (and it's already a tradition) was 'Elf' Quote along.

The staff makes every thing very friendly and fun and you feel at home and as a kid again.

Tastemaker

This well established ‘proud of having the title of the only independent cinema based in the west end’ is a cult institution. In the heart of Leicester square it’s well located just moments from Soho, China Town so where better to go after a quick bite to eat. This is a special place that is very close to my heart. There is something incredibly charming about this small independent cinema and I can only assume that this is the main reason why this has kept going for so long despite masses of nearby competition. There's nothing fancy about it, it doesn't always offer the latest blockbuster viewings and releases but what it does provide could be considered a film lovers paradise or close to that anyway. The prices are very reasonable with good range of drinks and snacks if fuelling during your film is a must. What is even better is the discounted films and very reasonable membership options on offer.  Their run of movie marathons in particular Studio Ghibli, Christmas, Halloween themes and of course the classics, sing alongs, quote alongs are impressive. It is also for some strange reason renowned for the film The Room, that has become a bit of a cult classic of late and apparently watch out for the occasional guest appearances too. There are already a few films that are on my list of things to see this year, I’ll be looking forward to visiting this place again soon.


Vintage art house cinema showcasing a great range of recently released European and International films.


We very much enjoyed ‘Raleigh Ritchie Presents’. The format of the evening was a great idea: first Raleigh's "old" music video, then one of his favourite films "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind", his new music video and a Q&A. It was insightful to learn more about how music videos are made. I had not seen the film before, so it was great seeing it on the big screen. The cinema has friendly staff and comfy seats. I'd very much like to go to more of these events :)


‘Raleigh Ritchie Presents’ was a great evening, looking into the two different music videos he had made for his single Blood Sport, a Q&A with Raleigh himself and the team that put the music video together and in the middle of it all a viewing of the classic film Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

It was an entertaining evening because it was great to get an insight into how music videos are made and that Raleigh was such an enthusiast and likeable guy, completely different to the character he plays in Game Of Thrones. I was also surprised about how much I enjoyed seeing Eternal Sunshine again but this time on the big screen in such a nice cinema. It was only a shame that people seemed to shy away from asking questions in the Q&A.

Tastemaker

‘Raleigh Ritchie Presents’ with Time Out was a great event. Raleigh really is a sweetheart. Seems very genuine. And young :) 

I must commend the format. What a great idea to have an artist screen the film, that has influenced his work. I'd love to see more of that. They do that in NYC, you know! Like Moby screening David Lynch's Inland Empire and explaining how postmodernist films have influenced him.

P.S.: Did PCC get new armchairs? They were comfy. Haven't been a while, so can't remember.


We really enjoyed the full evening and the presentation of Raleigh Ritchie new video. Great atmosphere and cinema! Definitely coming back. X

Tastemaker

I love me some cinema-- but I typically dread paying silly prices to sit in a auditorium with barely comfortable chair, sticky floors, and way overpriced concessions. PCC is a breath of fresh air in the tourist trap known as Leicester Square. They have an awesome movie line up, ranging from classics to new(-ish) releases. Many of them are themed events, with pyjama parties and singalong/quotealongs being more the norm than an outlier. They also have some pretty kick-ass movie marathons, with short 10-15 minute breaks in between to pop to the bar, go out and get some food, or grab a loo break 


Speaking of the bar-- amazing beer selection! Great selection of IPAs downstairs, and and at not too unreasonable prices for our fair city. 


Highly recommend popping in for a film if around the area and looking for something a bit more unique. Best thing also is with Chinatown as its neighbour, you can't complain about a lack of post-film dinner choices. Also recommend combining with Experimental Cocktail Club or similar for an awesome date :)

Tastemaker

A London cinema unlike any other, the Prince Charles offers standard film showings alongside  unique events. As a taster, I've been to 4 singalongs, 1 quiz, a pixar sleepover and - the cherry on top - a showing of 'The Room' with a live appearance by Tommy Wiseau. When I become prime minister I plan to make it obligatory that everyone watches The Room at least once!


If you like film, a touch of randomness and a slightly different night out, then check out the PC's special event planner - there's likely to be something for you.