Britain’s 10 best independent cinemas

Tired of overpriced popcorn, sticky floors and copy-and-paste cinema chains? We’re diving into Britain’s best independent cinemas 📽️

From luxurious seating, vintage architecture and films beyond the blockbuster blast, get ready for a cinematic adventure you won’t forget. So grab your ticket and popcorn and don’t forget to mute your phone – showtime is starting!

1. The Scotsman Picturehouse – Edinburgh

The Scotsman Picturehouse, EdinburghPlush leather armchairs, a glass of something sweet in hand and the warm glow of classic lamps setting the mood. The Scotsman Picturehouse in Edinburgh is a cinema experience fit for royalty (or at least movie buffs who appreciate the finer things).

Settle in and savour the atmosphere with an array of tasty sweet treats, bubbles or a cosy hot chocolate before the main event. The Scotsman Picturehouse is a truly special night out perfect for families, friends and date nights alike. Just remember to arrive 15 minutes early to soak it all in – you won’t regret it!

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2. The Rex Cinema – Berkhamsted

Cosy cinemaSet in a splendid 1930s art-deco proscenium, The Rex is home to one of Buckinghamshire’s best cinema screens and sound systems, delivering a luxury cinema experience seven days a week.

Situated in the charming town of Berkhamsted, this traditional cinema’s original art-deco surroundings and generous seating are sure to make the average cinema outing an exciting experience. With a choice from over 30 films a month, The Rex is definitely well worth the visit!

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3. Genesis Cinema – London

Genesis Cinema, LondonLocated in East London, Genesis Cinema showcases big blockbusters and quirky independent films all in a renovated 19th-century building. Known for its reasonable ticket prices, cosy upstairs bar café, an iconic wall of pick ‘n’ mix and a serving of indulgent ‘crodoughs’ from the neighbourhood bakery, Genesis Cinema is the perfect blend of comfort, local culture, and a touch of cinematic magic.

Plus, movie-goers can even get the luxury treatment with Genesis Cinema’s boutique screens with comfy armchairs and sofas. 

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4. Depot – Lewes

Depot cinema, LewesVoted one of the prettiest towns in the UK, according to the Telegraph, Lewes is also home to Depot. This award-winning indie cinema, bar kitchen and garden is famed for its contemporary programme of mainstream, arthouse and independent movies.

From world cinema, documentaries and Hollywood classics to Q&A nights and education film workshops, Depot is the home of culture in the flourishing market town of Lewes. With an ever-evolving restaurant menu featuring local produce and seasonal specials, Depot is the perfect spot to spend the whole evening. Prepare to get lost in movie magic at Depot!

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5. Tyneside Cinema – Newcastle

Tyneside Cinema, NewcastleDitch the blockbusters and head to Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle’s hidden gem for all things indie, art and culture. Starting as a newsreel theatre in the 1930s, this now Grade II-listed building showcases films you won’t find anywhere else – giving local filmmakers a brilliant platform and cinephiles a chance to explore new horizons.

So, skip the popcorn buckets and dive into a world of independent cinema magic with comfy seats, 3D options, and guided tours at Tyneside Cinema. Your inner film buff will thank you!

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6. Ultimate Picture Palace – Oxford

Ultimate Picture Palace, OxfordSkip the mainstream mayhem and step into a community gem! The Ultimate Picture Palace is Oxford’s only indie cinema. Think comfy vibes, a cosy single-screen auditorium and films that go beyond the usual blockbusters.

From independent gems and international flicks to classics you know and love and even mainstream films for when the mood strikes, get ready to be whisked away with the best luxury cinema experience in Oxford.

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7. Chapter – Cardiff

Chapter, CardiffCalling all art lovers, movie buffs, and foodies! Chapter in Cardiff is your one-stop shop for all things creative. At Chapter, you can catch a cool new indie film with your pals, enjoy delicious food at their award-winning Caffi Bar and even explore stunning exhibition and gallery spaces.

Showcasing art, live performances and movie magic, all under one roof, Chapter is a playground for your senses. So, embrace all the arts at Chapter in Cardiff! Films, design, music, plays – the choice is yours!

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8. Mockingbird Cinema – Birmingham

Mockingbird Cinema, BirminghamThis independent cinema gem isn’t your average movie theatre. Housed in an innovatively restored Victorian factory, The Mockingbird Cinema in Birmingham is a truly unique cinema experience that will make you desperate to come back again and again.

With cosy sofa seating, a mix of indie flicks and mainstream movies and a touch of industrial chic, Mockingbird Cinema’s packed programme of entertainment is the perfect evening or rainy day activity for family, friends or date night. Discover an intimate atmosphere throughout, plus this cosy cinema is not afraid to show off some hidden movie gems you might not find elsewhere!

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9. Electric Cinema Portobello – London

Electric Cinema, LondonTucked away amidst the charming streets of Notting Hill, Electric Cinema Portobello is a true London gem. This historic cinema, one of the oldest still operating in Britain, has been gracing the neighbourhood with luxury cinema experiences since 1910!

Step back in time with Electric Cinema’s Edwardian Baroque style, with grand architecture and a touch of old-world charm. It’s no wonder it’s a beloved Notting Hill landmark. With comfy sofa seating, a fully licensed bar serving an outstanding selection of beverages and even a diner across the road, Electric Cinema is the ultimate cinema experience in West London.

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10. Grosvenor Picture Theatre – Glasgow

Grosvenor Picture Theatre, GlasgowStep back in time (and into luxury!) at Glasgow’s oldest cinema, the Grosvenor Picture Theatre. Located in Glasgow’s trendy West End, this lovingly restored gem offers a unique cinema experience for movie fans.

Forget sticky floors and generic seats – think plush armchairs, a touch of Art Deco glam, and a screen showing everything from the latest blockbusters to cult classics. It’s like stepping onto the silver screen itself! Don’t forget to check out the Grosvenor Picture Theatre ‘Movie & Meal’ ticket – your standard cinema ticket with any choice of pizza or burger and drink!

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