London's Best Secret Cinemas

Photo of Angelica Gianni
10 January 2017

Let’s face it; going to the cinema has become nothing more than sitting in the same old uncomfortable chairs with stale popcorn at your side and your arm on one armrest so your neighbour won’t steal it. Do not despair though — there are more exciting ways you can enjoy the movie you have being waiting for all those dreadful months. Here are the best secret cinemas London has to offer.

© Edible Cinema

Edible Cinema

Cinema, Museum
Map View
The Ritzy Cinema
The Ritzy Cinema | © Oxfordian Kissuth/WikiCommons
Edible Cinema is more than just a restaurant screening an old movie; it is an experience you will never forget. The cinema was created thanks to the collaboration between Soho House and Teatime Production. Once you have been seated at your table, there will be a small introduction served with a starting cocktail or canapé. Throughout the movie, a little screen-side light box will be signalled on the screen, indicating which of the package number (set in front of you) should be opened and enjoyed. The food you will find at each screening will match the moment and feeling of that particular scene in the movie. For example, for the screening of Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, the audience was served with lavender-infused smoked mutton jerky.

Ritzy Cinema Brixton

Cinema, Movie Theater
Map View
Electric Cinema Portobello
Electric Cinema Portobello | © Garry Knight/Flickr
Opened in 1911, this cinema is one of the oldest picture palaces of South London. Nowadays, the Ritzy still has its five screens, where you can enjoy a variety of recent movies, independent ones, late-night shows, and, of course, the classics. The venue not only holds a café where you can buy your daily dose of caffeine while enjoying a view of Windrush Square but also offers you a unique experience with an upstairs bar, tucked inside the cinema.

Electric Cinema

Cinema, Movie Theater, Building
Map View
Electric Cinema, Notting Hill, Portobello Road
Electric Cinema, Notting Hill, Portobello Road | © One Aldwych Hotel

While some people believe it opened on Christmas Eve 1910, Electric Cinema opened officially in February 1911 with its name reflecting the ‘electric cinemas’ popular in London at the time. Steeped in history, the brick terra cotta building originally had an interior reminiscent of the Italian baroque style, complete with high ceilings, pillars, and an arch. Its name was changed into Imperial Cinema in 1919, and during the war, it continued to play as usual. However, if there were air raids, there would be a flashing light on the screen to inform the audience who could then rush to the nearest shelter and collect a full refund on their way out. Nowadays, the cinema features the luxurious vibe of its early years, with comfy, two-seater armchairs and a blanket for each.

One Aldwych Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
One Aldwych | Courtesy of One Aldwych /

Hiding in a five-star luxury hotel in London is a unique cinematic experience. One Aldwych Hotel is known for its luxurious services and impeccable interiors and offers cinema lovers the ‘Film and Fizz Dinner.’ The movie package features a delicious three-course meal plus expensive champagne for the most perfect classy movie experience you could ever want. Take your best outfit for a spin and enjoy a night in style while watching the latest movies — it’s a night you are sure to remember.

Everything you need to know

Secret Cinema

The name says it all. With a motto of ‘Tell No One,’ Secret Cinema is surrounded by mystery. ‘Narratives fuse the worlds of film, music, theatre, art and food to create unparalleled cultural experiences in abandoned spaces all over the world.’ Secret Cinema was created with the intention of escaping, at least for a night, from this technology driven world where nothing matters anymore. Unique in its genre, the cinema’s location changes but is always in abandoned places around the world within a communal and social atmosphere.

Various Locations