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Rio Cinema
Photograph: Alistair Wiper

Five London cinemas dominate list of the world’s most spectacular movie houses

Did your local make the cut?

Phil de Semlyen

Our celebration of the world’s most beautiful cinemas features art houses, indies, chains (America’s famous Alamo Drafthouse makes the cut), stylish kinos and grand temples to the medium. They’re rich in history, architectural style, plush seats and deeply desirable snack counters. There’s a log cabin and the world’s smallest cinemas on the list, as well as ginormous theatres with screens the size of small planets. 

Britain’s capital, the city of London, has a stonking five movie houses on a list that features 33 different locations, from Jaipur to Mexico City, 19 cities and one small island.

The cinemas to make the list are Curzon Bloomsbury, The Electric in Notting Hill, BFI Southbank, the Rio in Dalston and Whitechapel’s super-swish Genesis.

Did you know that the Genesis is named after Khan’s evil McGuffin in ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’? Or that when The Electric opened in 1911, tickets came with a bun and an orange? If the answer is no, read the full list for their gilded back stories.

When will your local UK cinema reopen? Here’s the latest news.

What are London’s favourite cinemas? Here’s the 25 best – and why we love them. 

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