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The 25 best cinemas in London

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

By Phil de Semlyen and Time Out Film

Nature is healing and so are London’s ever-resilient cinemas. After a year-and-a-bit of upheaval almost without precedent, the big picture is part of our lives again. It’s time to celebrate the city’s picturehouses in all their diversity and differences: 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. And despite it all, there are more cinemas on the way.

With so many to choose from, finding a picture palace to spend your time in can be a 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 London’s best cinemas as chosen by you.

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

London's best cinemas

14. Screen On the Green

Cinemas Independent Angel

Part of the luxury Everyman chain, this classy little gem of a cinema has some of the fanciest seats in London, with footstools, cushions and drinks to service your needs.


13. Curzon Soho

Cinemas Independent Shaftesbury Avenue

As regulars will tell you, watching a movie at the Soho Curzon feels special – surrounded by film lovers without it feeling pretentious.

Greenwich Picturehouse
Greenwich Picturehouse
Hydar Dewachi

10. Greenwich Picturehouse

Cinemas Multiplex Greenwich

Everything you’d expect from the brilliant Picturehouse chain – plump seats, excellent snacks and a programme mixing blockbusters and arthouse releases.

Picturehouse Central
Picturehouse Central
David Tett

9. Picturehouse Central

Cinemas Independent Piccadilly Circus

Opened in the summer of 2015, this elegant cinema sits on the site of the old Cineworld in Piccadilly's Trocadero centre.  Inside visitors are met with a grand staircase paired with a film themed mural by US artists Patrick Vale and Paul Davis. There's also a ground floor café. Up a level you'll find the box office and the bar, before heading to one of the seven 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.

8. Close-Up

Cinemas Shoreditch

An all-in-one cinema, library and café/bar that also makes film history and culture accessible through its library and online archive. 


7. ArtHouse Crouch End

Cinemas Independent Crouch End

Regulars at Crouch End’s ArtHouse are so devoted they voted for it droves. You say: ‘Friendly atmosphere’, ‘interesting Q&As with actors and directors’, and ‘cheap popcorn’. We say: ‘Sold’.

Rio Cinema
Rio Cinema
Alastair Wiper

6. Rio Cinema

Cinemas Independent Dalston

We’re fond of the warm, welcoming shabbiness of the Rio, a proper community cinema showing brilliant flicks.

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