London’s Hidden Christmas: Indie Cinemas

Trailers from the well-known Christmas movies: 'Elf', 'The Holiday' and 'Love Actually'

It's beginning to look a lot like that time of year where all you want to do is snuggle up nice and warm on the couch with your loved ones, perhaps indulging in a favourite Christmas flick or two. And although the holidays can be a wondrous time for staying within the comforting domains of home, why not spice things up this year with the opportunity to lounge outside among London’s most secretive and dazzling cinemas? With screenings of familiar classics and undiscovered indie gems, you can experience a whole new way of enjoying festive cinema in the weeks leading up to December 25th. Here we’ve rounded up the cosiest, dreamiest most immersive indie cinema screenings and pop-up events for you, complete with movie night essentials: thick blankets, hot drinks and of course, the invaluable company of fellow film fanatics!

'The Cinema Museum', a Charlie Chaplain box set and 'Love Actually' on DVD

1) The Cinema Museum: ‘Love Actually’ Pop-up Screening

Date: 3rd Dec 2019

Time: 18:30 - 22:30

Location: The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, Lambeth, London SE11 4TH

Age Restriction: Over 18

Ticket Price: from £15.00 - £16.50

Spend your night housed under the comfort of The Cinema Museum’s main auditorium, with a pop-up viewing of, if you haven’t been peer-pressured into seeing it by now, rom-com classic ‘Love Actually’. The museum itself is located in Kennington and is saturated with rich filmic history, having once been home to silent movie star Charlie Chaplin when he was a young boy and his mother faced destitution. Their impressive collection of film memorabilia, including those related to the early days of cinema-going all the way up to the present obsession with multiple modes of film exhibition, is beautifully showcased and available for you to peruse in your own time. In addition to this, the museum also hosts numerous programmes of talks and events with a bonus of silent film screenings, shown at exactly the right speed using advanced projectors, and modern television screenings for the younger crowd with more contemporary tastes.

The Christmas themed screening is set to bring you all sorts of wintry fun, with delicious food vendors, sweet treats, mulled wine and games. There will even be a raffle which will act as a fundraiser project, with all proceeds going to the South London Cares programmes to help keep elderly people warm and connected across Southwark and Lambeth during the colder months of winter. So come and see for yourself what the growing hype around this indie establishment and their eclectic range of events is about, whilst easing yourself into the festive season!

The 'Prince Charles Cinema', 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' on DVD and 'Edward Scissorhands' on DVD

2) Prince Charles Cinema: Christmas Specials

Date: 22nd Nov - 21st Dec 2019 Location: Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY

Event Type: Screenings, Pyjama Parties, Sing-Alongs

Christmas at the PCC is like no other. With immersive and interactive events such as the Pyjama Parties, Filmageddon Film Quizzes and Trilogy Marathons, it isn’t difficult to see why this quirky cinema has remained an audience favourite for over many years. If the sound of ‘Die Hard’ reruns and an endless celebration of Kubrick’s last feature film ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ appeals to the film nerd within you, then you wouldn’t want to miss out on this year’s festive line-up. The central London location is also a great perk, with the freedom to grab a bite to eat around Chinatown during the breaks between double features and with its cosy atmosphere guaranteeing an influx of the most vocal cinema lovers out there.

Prince Charles Cinema is known for its ability to cater to diverse tastes, a little something for everyone, so expect a staple of ‘Gremlins’, ‘Edward Scissorhands’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ screenings as well as the more uncommon picks of ‘Casablanca’, ‘The French Connection’ and ‘Tokyo Godfathers’. Just a quick browse on their website will allow you to book in advance all your favourite screenings, but hurry as their growing popularity often results in early sold out tickets.

'The Exhibit', 'The Holiday' on DVD and 'Elf' on DVD

3) The Exhibit: ‘The Holiday’, ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Elf’ Screenings


‘The Holiday’ - 27th Nov, 13th, 17th & 18th Dec 2019

‘Love Actually’ - 3rd Dec 2019 & 5 other dates ‘Elf’ - 17th Dec & 3 other dates

Location: The Exhibit, 12 Balham Station Rd, Balham, London SW12 9SG

Age Restriction: Over 18 Ticket Price: from £15.00 - £35.00

Looking for that perfect Christmas date night? Or a special outing with your best mate? The Exhibit screenings have got you covered. With a choice of two exclusive cinema deals:

Glass of Bubbles/Mulled Wine + Movie Ticket (£15) or Dinner + Bottomless Bubbles + Movie (£30 - £35) - you can indulge in a memorable night of food, fizz and well-loved films.

This year, The Exhibit has whipped up for you a selection of 3 Christmas flicks: ‘The Holiday’, ‘Love Actually’, and ‘Elf’. All under one roof, The cinema has been praised for its boozy sing-alongs, karaoke suites, bottomless brunching, jiving drag queens and weekly life drawings. It even boasts the frequent appearances of live DJ’s until 2am. So get ready for nonstop partying, festive fun and active social engagment with fellow audiences and staff inside this state-of-the-art cinema. Go for the incredibly unique entertainment, cozy 12 sofa seaters for two, scrumptiously curated menus with plenty of veggie, vegan and gluten-free options, and of course, the famous main bar area for your endless top-up of bubbly!

"Backyard Cinema', 'Home Alone' on DVD and 'The Greatest Showman' on DVD

4) Backyard Cinema: Snow Kingdom and Winter Night Garden

Date: 18th Nov - 18th Dec 2019

Location: Backyard Cinema, Capital Studios, Ram Quarter, 13 Wandsworth Plain, London SW18 1ET

Ticket Price: from £18.99

Started humbly from a group of friends enjoying a viewing of ‘Jurassic Park’ projected onto a bedsheet, Backyard Cinema has since then gained media notice with its family-friendly name known for hosting a number of bizarre and colourful events such as zombie apocalypses, ‘Romeo + Juliet’ screenings with a choir in a church and luminous outdoor film festivals.

This year, they are back with an armful of magically interactive experiences: ‘Snow Kingdom’, which allows travellers to seek a magical ball pit river, password-protected frosty worlds and hidden passageways, and ‘Winter Night Garden’, which sees guests travelling through a Narnia-inspired wardrobe and exploring further into an enchanted forest. The latter is woodland-themed, decorated with strings of fairy-lights and promising a curation of cult favourites such as ‘True Romance’ and ‘A Princess Bride’. Both venues include multiple screenings of ‘Elf’, ‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘Home Alone’, ‘Love Actually’ and ‘The Holiday’, toppled up with bean-bags and mouth-watering street food vendors from Honest Burgers and Mother Clucker. So why not treat yourself this holiday season to the ultimate Backyard experience, uncovering a world full of mysteries and rediscovering your favourite films along the way?

Words by Shir Ariya

Graphics by Katie Janes

#IndieCinemas, #Christmas, #DateNight, #Movies, #TheHoliday, #LoveActually, #Elf, #TheNightmareBeforeChristmas, #EdwardScissorhands, #CharlieChaplain, #PrinceCharlesCinema, #BackyardCinema, #TheExhibit, #TheCinemaMuseum

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