|photo from bfi.org.uk|
As important as production and distribution are to the lifecycle of films, there is nothing more important to the magic of cinema culture than exhibition. Everyone from the ardent cinéaste to the casual popcorn fan has a memory of seeing an amazing film in a cinema. I have equally fond memories of seeing American Pie 2 on a packed opening night in the Odeon in Bournemouth as I do of seeing a obscure (and drunken) screening of Un Chien Andalou in a pop-up screening in Falmouth. Having said that, the pleasures of watching a film in a cinema is often exponentially increased if you are watching in an establishment that cares about how the film is projected, the atmosphere is mellow and the other clientele are in the same frame of mind as you are.
There is nothing inherently wrong with watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a noisy multiplex with a armful of nachos and a gallon of fizzy pop, but there is something special about watching an independent film in a cinema that cares about you. So here is a rundown of some of the best independent cinemas in London: