This recent London discovery has been one of the best that I've been fortunate to make through the blog, and I just know that you'll love it, too. I'm so excited to share this gem with you!
I was recently invited to an event held at the Regent Street Cinema, which I sadly couldn't attend. Luckily for me, I was kindly offered two complimentary tickets to a showing of my choosing, so although I didn't know much about the venue, I gladly took the opportunity as I love going to the movies. E and I chose Trumbo, which had been on my not-quite-conquered list of films to watch this past Oscar season.
But it's not really the film I want to talk about (which was very good, and Bryan Cranston is just magnificent) - it's the cinema itself. I am kicking myself for not knowing about this place sooner.
It (re)opened its doors back in May of last year, after a three year restoration of what was the first theatre to ever show film in Britain. The restoration has preserved the art deco style from the cinema's interiors in the 1920s (you can read more about is history here), and they show contemporary movies to old classics, documentaries, silent movies and double bills - a truly vast repertoire.
The foyer boasts a lovely bar, and people gathered around before the movie started to get a drink to enjoy during the screening, which is a bonus. We overheard some conversations from film enthusiasts who seemed like regulars, discussing which of Jack Nicholson's movies was the first one in colour - we definitely felt like the least knowledgeable about cinema in the room!
You might think that the tickets would be more expensive than the "chain" cinemas, but you would be wrong. The adult tickets are £11, which is less than most Odeon and Vue cinemas. They also have a membership deal that offers ticket discounts and other perks (only £20 a year for students!). It's exactly the kind of place that fits perfectly with my New Year resolutions - supporting independent and small businesses.
E and I both came out at the end of the evening, saying that we felt we had truly "been to the pictures" - the excitement and joy of going to the movies is perhaps a little faded now with so many readily available, but I was reminded of the feeling of utter delight I used to experience as a child, when going to the cinema was still a rare treat.
I know that this first visit to the RSC was the first of many, and I hope you'll go and see it for yourself - you won't be disappointed.