North London's best independent cinemas
Why drive to a soulless out-of-town cinema when you can walk to your nearest independent for an altogether richer experience?
The reasons for supporting independent cinemas are plentiful but here are a few to get you started! Scroll down for 6 of the best too.
Most are steeped in history – from Grade II Listed and stunning Art Deco buildings to neglected community halls which had seen better days. Their survival and ongoing maintenance depends on the individuals who now run them.
Independent cinemas are a focal point for community life - they’re where friendships are made, horizons broadened and where vital interactions take place to that make people feel part of their communities.
The program at independents isn’t dictated by Hollywood, as it is at the big multiplexes. What happens at independent cinemas is lovingly and curated by people who know their communities and know what will be well-received. So, there’s an opportunity to try something different. And you won’t just see films! There are usually art exhibitions, comedy nights, live National Theatre streaming, poetry readings and workshops.
Tickets are often much cheaper at independent cinemas. While multiplexes charge around £15 per adult ticket in a big city, that figure’s more like £11 at an independent – and sometimes even less.
On the whole local cinemas invest more in their staff – most pay the living wage while staff at bigger chains are often paid less. And they invest in community, with outreach programmes that help locals.
These places are real magnets – they’re a reason for visiting an area and, when people come, it’s likely they’ll eat and shop at other local business too.
London is changing rapidly - people spend much more time in their local communities. We at the Local Buyers Club think independent cinemas play a crucial role in community life and we’re determined to help fly their flag!
Below are some of our favourites! (If your favourite isn't listed, let us know)
ARTHOUSE, Crouch End
Sam Neophytou is on a mission to keep cinema local. Having poured his heart and soul into the Arthouse on Tottenham Road, he’s now preparing, with his friend and actor George Georgiou, to launch independent cinemas in Barking and Camden.
Their model is making independent cinema a focus for community life. Their Crouch End cinema occupies the former Salvation Army Hall, where Sam went to Sunday School as a child. When they took the building on it was The Music Palace (a drinks and gig venue) in a run-down part of town. £750,000 later they’d transformed it into a two-screen cinema and stage area.
Today the Arthouse Crouch End is bursting with character and its café/bar attracts locals who meet and mingle or take in art exhibitions or poetry readings.