This Brixton institution is the UK's largest specialist independent cinema with five screens, two cafes and a bar. That's enough potential entertainment to give even the sternest of sorts a reason to bop on down. The building itself still has plenty of grandeur whilst inside it's a well put together programme of classics and current flicks.
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ArtHouse Crouch End
A few years back, some adventurous locals spotted an old Salvation Army quarters lying dormant and decided to give it a lil' makeover. The result is ArtHouse Crouch End, a communal art hub that puts on all sorts across their two screens including recent releases, live streams of NT productions, music, discussions, dance and comedy. It's all things to all CrouchEnders, a real local hero.
Converted from an old music and dance hall, this film and theatre space is the heart of Kilburn's cultural scene. The cinema has space for 300 bods and plays current releases, foreign pictures and documentaries to boot. There's also a very comfortable cafe and bar area upstairs ideal for chilling in before or after the film. Oh and on Mondays, film tickets are £6.50.
The Institute of Light
It’s hard to sum up how much we rate this place - we even considered keeping it a secret, until we remembered the main purpose of our employment. In a space perfectly utilising the edgy-industrial surrounds of the railway arch it finds itself in, you'll find an audio-lounge, restaurant (with changing kitchen residencies), vinyl store and art bookshop. While away the hours sipping on a something at the bar; nodding your nut at a Saturday record shop in-store from in-house record label BBE; or tucking into something delicious from their low-lit, chic restaurant space. You get the sense that this is more of a passion project than a flagrant money-maker - it's often fairly tranquil and we get the feeling that's how they like it. Oops.
All You Read is Love
*Closed 24/04/18* On a happy jaunt around Leytonstone we came across this little nugget of joy and fell in love instantly. This bookshop-cum-cafe-cum-cocktail bar was set up by siblings who noticed a lack of anything similar in the surrounds. The decor is the kind of eclectic that assaults your eyes and leaves you wondering where to look next. The walls are lined with miscellaneous posters, illustrations by local artists, paintings, plants, and murals featuring weird but characterful creatures. It was so overwhelming we had to ignore the shelves of books and boxes of records crying out for a rummage and order a cocktail. Each one was inspired by a different fictional character, so we sipped away on a Rodion Raskolnikov made with rum, sugar, lime and raspberries. It was zesty and sweet, perfect for a cosy up on the sofa with boo, or swaying along to indie music at one of their regular live gigs.