Ciné Lumière, South Kensington
The Institut Francais has made its Ciné Lumière a popular haunt for cinéastes in South Ken. With its distinctive red-brick exterior, striking marble staircase and resident Rodin statue, this is a place to impress. Inside the cinema’s art-deco auditorium, expect subtitles to accompany a wide selection of world and European titles.
Olympic Cinema, Barnes
Once a recording studio for both the Beatles and the Stones, the Olympic is now one of the plushest cinemas in the city. Between the love seats at the back and foot stools for the front row, wool-felt reclining chairs make it easy to lose yourself in a film. Downstairs, a neighbourhood-style café and dining room offers homemade, seasonal fare.
Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
Closed since 2014, the Riverside Studios reopened just a few weeks ago. Among its flexible work and performance spaces, the old iron works now boasts a state-of-the-art 208-seater cinema and 46-seater screening room. Within the same new complex, Sam’s Riverside restaurant serves modern British fare and makes it easy to hang around before or after a film.
The Cinema at Selfridges, West End
On the lower ground floor of the Oxford Street institution, there is now a suitably high-end cinema. Warm up for your film in the bar, then grab something from the sweet shop to take with you into the auditorium. Once inside, reclining seats come with individual tables, and the film itself is delivered via the latest in laser projection and Dolby sound tech.
Popular for red-carpet premieres, the original Curzon has been flickering since 1934. Its art-deco café, with vintage furniture, revels in that rich history. Double date? In Screen 1, a pair of four-seater Royal Boxes will take your viewing experience to the next level for an almost reasonable £100 a box. The more intimate Screen 2 offers 65 Pullman seats with tables.
Regent Street, West End
Welcome to the birthplace of British cinema. In 1896, a screening room here became the first in the country to show moving pictures. Reopened in 2015, its handsome auditorium retains its regal decor and has added some luxurious seating. One of just a few places showing films in 16mm, 35mm and 4k digital, it serves up a mix of classics, experimental films, foreign movies, retrospectives and documentaries.