There are lots of websites out there that will you give you their opinion on the best independent cinemas in London, but I thought a comprehensive listing might be quite useful – given that they’re dotted around the capital there’s a good chance that you’ve got an independent outlet nearby that you might not know about. While some do show Hollywood blockbusters a common feature of all of these movie houses is their dedication to world cinema and small circulation films, with one or two of them focusing on the output of Mumbai, or Bollywood. The most recent addition to the list, the 60-seat JW3 cinema in the Jewish Community Centre, has a programme of Hollywood Blockbusters mixed with Jewish film and the best of television dramas and documentaries straight from Israel.
All shown on the Google map that you’ll find at the bottom of the post, here are the listings. I’ve split them into two groups – the twenty-three venues that occupy long-standing cinema premises and the eight which re-use spaces that originally had a different purpose (although one of these, the Tricycle, has three hundred seats in its auditorium). For the sake of convenience I’ve also included the web address and the most easily accessible local station (tube, rail or Overground) for each location.
If you’re questioning why London’s Picturehouse cinemas don’t appear, they came under the ownership of the national Cineworld chain in December of 2012 so are now independent in name only. I have also excluded those venues that do show film from time to time but use their spaces for other purposes too.
If I’ve missed out any cinemas then please do let me know in the comments. I’ve visited quite a few of these, and I’d love to hear your impressions – the Prince Charles and the Barbican are particular favourites of mine.
View London’s Independent Cinemas in a full screen map