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The 25 best cinemas in London

We present London’s top picture palaces – as chosen by Londoners

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London knows how to do a cinema. Whether you're after a luxury multiplex in Leicester Square or a two-screened independent in Hackney, this wonderful city has something to cater to all needs. 

However, with so many cinemas in the city to choose from, finding a picture palace to spend your time in can be risky business (see what we did there?). But rather than head around the capital to judge where you should see the next big blockbuster, we asked you, the Time Out readers, to vote for your favourites. The results are not entirely unexpected – a rundown of our city’s loveliest, buzziest and friendliest local cinemas, with a couple of the big boys thrown in. So without further ado, here are Londons best cinemas as chosen by you.

RECOMMENDED: the latest reviews, cinema listings and UK film releases

London's best cinemas

25
Everyman Cinema Hampstead
Cinemas, Independent

Everyman Hampstead

icon-location-pin Hampstead

Fans come for the cosy atmosphere and full-on luxury experience, with leather sofas, armchairs and waiter service.

24
BFI Southbank
Cinemas, Independent

BFI Southbank

icon-location-pin South Bank

The BFI Southbank, nestling under Waterloo Bridge, is movie heaven for film lovers (the kind who know their Kurosawa from their Kubrick).

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23
Stratford East Picturehouse
Hydar Dewachi
Cinemas, Independent

Stratford Picturehouse

icon-location-pin Stratford

This east London branch (further east than the Hackney Picturehouse) offers a nice, quieter alternative to the ginormous multiplex housed in Westfield. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon at the pictures. 

 

22
The Phoenix Cinema
Cinemas, Independent

The Phoenix Cinema

icon-location-pin London

The Phoenix lays claim to being one of London’s oldest cinemas. And with its art deco interiors, it’s definitely one of the prettiest.

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21
Cinemas, Independent

Crouch End Picturehouse

icon-location-pin Crouch End and Hornsey

With four screens and a restaurant, this Crouch End outpost of the Picturehouse's winning cinema chain is a firm favourite with Londoners. 

20
Cinemas

Empire Walthamstow

icon-location-pin Walthamstow

With nine screens in its arsenal, this 1,200 seater cinema is not one to be sniffed at. Even better: it’s half-price on Tuesdays. 

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19
The Lexi
Cinemas, Independent

Lexi Cinema

icon-location-pin Kensal Rise

Locals love the Lexi, a friendly little gem of a community cinema run mostly by volunteers, with just one screen, room for 77 filmgoers, and a bar that doubles as a gallery. Best of all, all profits go to charity.

18
Cinemas, Independent

Everyman Muswell Hill

icon-location-pin Muswell Hill

Housed in what used to be an Odeon, this grade II listed building boasts three screens and is another jewel in Everyman's crown of luxury cinemas. 

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17
Cinemas, Independent

Rich Mix

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

Shoreditch's independent cultural centre houses three cinema screens alongside exhibition and performance spaces and a cafe/bar. Run as a charity, it's a vibrant arts hub too. Any given week could see it hosting an assortment of gigs, theatre shows, art exhibitions, themed festivals and all manner of workshops. 

16
Cinemas, Independent

David Lean Cinema

icon-location-pin Croydon

Located in an attractive grade II listed clock tower in Croydon, this community-run cinema screens arthouse films, classic re-releases and new blockbusters in intimate surroundings. The staff (mostly volunteers) are super friendly and the prices affordable – not your standard multiplex offering, then.

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