From Deptford to East Finchley, Becky scoured the city for all the best bargains around.
Going to the cinema doesn’t always leave you with much change in your pocket, but here at Walloh we believe movie fans shouldn’t feel mugged off by the price before the trailers even start. You deserve to see the best films, at the best prices. We’re an optimistic bunch, so we’ve rounded up some of London’s best value cinemas so you can spend the change at the bar after, to chat (or argue) about what you’ve just seen.
Kick off your movie week in style at one of Barbican’s two cinemas: Barbican One is in the main Centre, with Two and Three are across the road. Tickets at both are just £6 every Monday with a crazy bonus for students, who get tickets to any new release for just £5 with a valid student card. Barbican might be associated with highbrow culture, but unlike a lot of other indie/rep cinemas, you’ll get popcorn movies as well as arthouse fayre – something to suit all brows.
A tiny cinema in an old shop run by a team of volunteers – and the perfect little movie hideaway. The 40 seater cinema leans toward arty/foreign films, as you might expect from an indie. Tickets are £6 (and go as low as £4.50 for concessions), and there’s a café/bar selling cheap drinks and snacks. With cocktails under a fiver, comfy velvet seats, and the odd fancy dress night – it’s a place to impress your movie buff date, or friend or imaginary acquaintance.
A relatively new kid on the block (Walthamstow had no cinema for years), the Empire is a regular chain multiplex, but one where peak time tickets are only £7.50. Get the full-scale blockbuster-in-your-face film experience in the massive Impact Screen – though that will cost a bit more. But prices do drop all the way down to £3.95 on Tuesdays at all Empires, so you get big screen action, for little prices. Sounds like a decent deal to us.
A favourite among the Walloh faithful, this cheap, East London indie cinema recently got even cheaper. Okay, there has been a very small (50p) rise from when Genesis had cheap Mondays and Wednesdays. But now tickets in their main screens (ignoring the two smaller Luxury studios which are still only £9) are £5 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Bar Paragon – the upstairs Lynchian-style lounge also hosts free events and screenings. Look out for some fairly exclusive 35mm screenings too – since Genesis is one of the last cinemas in the city to still project from celluloid film, and they’re right to shout about it too.
Proudly owning the title of ‘London’s most successful independent cinema’ and with all-day tickets fixed at £4.99 (£5.99 for 3D), you’d be hard pushed to argue with south London’s beloved multiplex. In fact, it’s been that cheap for years. Okay, it’s a tiny bit scruffier than some of the other featured cinemas, but what’s the odd sticky carpet and rowdy teenager when you can watch cheap movies every day?
A night at the PCC isn’t just a regular night at the movies. We’re talking sing-alongs, quote-alongs, (those infamous The Room screenings) and legends like Jackie Chan even drop in for a Q&As. The cheapest way to watch movies in this central London palace of independent cinema is to become a member. And unlike many places, membership is quite cheap at £10 for a year (or £50 for an entire lifetime). Members get £2.50 off evening screenings (50% on matinees) and tickets to weekly screenings for just £1. But, even if you’re not a member, lots of screenings are £8.50, which is way less than neighbouring Leicester Square cinemas. Be prepared to walk out to the sound of hundreds of people yelling “you’re tearing me apart Lisaaaaa.” ringing in your ears depending on when you go though.
This grand, old Art Deco single screen cinema in East Finchley is one of the oldest continuously running cinemas in the UK. The Phoenix mostly shows arthouse, independent and classic films, in a super glamorous, old-fashioned movie theatre, with stellar patrons including Michael Palin, Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch. But it’s glamour with a down to-earth price tag. Peak tickets are still cheaper than the local multiplex, at £11. But the best value tickets are Mondays which are £7 all day. Worth a trip to the leafier parts of Zone 3, for sure.
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