As the days become undeniably autumnal, it’s the perfect time to snuggle up in a cosy cinema and lose yourself in a good film. Forget charmless multiplexes and discover some of our favourite boutique and independent cinemas around the UK.
Tivoli Cinema, Bath
Merging an arthouse cinema experience with gourmet dining, Tivoli Cinema is fully licensed and offers a mouth-watering seasonal menu of small plates, sharing platters, gourmet burgers and hand-stretched pizzas. Located in Bath’s South Gate Centre, the screens feature comfy extra-wide sofas and state-of-the-art laser projection technology. Stay at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.
Credit: Abbie Dobson
Film House Cinema, Edinburgh
Celebrating world cinema in all its brilliance and diversity, Film House Cinema is the home of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The three-screen independent venue is located in a former church and has been showing films since 1978, from quality crowd-pleasers and family films to art house works and retrospectives. The comfortable Café Bar offers freshly prepared food, including award-winning vegan options, as well as a selection of ales and wines which can be taken into screenings. Stay at Dunstane House.
Barnsley House, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Located in the charming village of Barnsley in the Cotswolds, Barnsley House has its very own 30-seater private cinema for guests and visitors to enjoy some of the finest films from its cosy pink leather sofas. Regular movie nights feature everything from sing-along favourites and romantic comedies to classic action flicks and, when it’s not in use, hotel guests can choose from a vast collection of DVDs to enjoy on the big screen with a bucket of popcorn.
The Rex Cinema, Wareham
Built in 1889, The Rex offers visitors the chance to revisit the nostalgia of yesteryear, with walls covered in old movie posters and a charming 130-seat auditorium, which retains the friendly atmosphere and ambience of the small-town cinema. Keep an eye out for stop-motion animations created by the cinema’s Director and Projectionist, Dougal, who creates parodies and introductions to be shown before films begin. Stay at The Priory Hotel.
The Kinema in the Woods, Lincolnshire
Opened as a cinema in 1922, The Kinema in the Woods is believed to be the only full-time cinema in the UK still using rear projection, whereby the film is projected from behind the screen on to a mirror to flip the image. The cinema maintains a sense of 1920s glamour and there are cabinets filled with film memorabilia, plus a Compton Kinestra organ in screen one, which was installed in 1987 and is still played by resident organist, Alan Underwood, with the last film every Saturday night. Stay at Stapleford Park.
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Whatley Manor, a beautifully restored 19th century Cotswold manor house hotel in the Cotswolds, features a fabulous 40-seater private cinema, complete with retro-style leather seats. The hotel’s Sunday Cinema Club combines top-quality films with delicious cuisine, offering either lunch or dinner at its sophisticated yet casual restaurant, Grey’s Brasserie. The cost of £39.50pp includes lunch or dinner, cinema ticket and popcorn to enjoy with the film.
Theatr Colwyn, Conwy
First opened as a public hall and place of entertainment in the 1800s, Theatr Colwyn was a popular venue during World War Two due to the thousands of new Colwyn Bay residents sent from London to work at the Ministry of Food. Today, the cinema features the latest technology and a Café Bar, where visitors can grab a drink to enjoy with the film. The building is also home to the Oriel Colwyn gallery, which showcases the work of local, national and international photographers. Stay at Bodysgallen Hall & Spa.
Regent Street Cinema, London
Considered the birthplace of British cinema, the historic Regent Street Cinema was reinstated to its former grandeur in 2015, when the University of Westminster re-opened the venue after using it as a lecture hall since 1980. The grand interior of the auditorium is the setting for exclusive premieres, repertory screenings, retrospectives, documentaries and experimental cinema – it is one of the few cinemas in the country to show 15mm and 35mm film, as well as the latest 4K digital film. Stay at one of Pride of Britain Hotels’ London properties.