Visit London Blog » Cinema Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Spotlight On: Lambeth Fri, 15 Aug 2014 09:00:37 +0000 South Bank

The London Borough of Lambeth is an area of London which encompasses the central areas of South Bank and Waterloo, as well as Brixton, Crystal Palace and Streatham Common. The childhood home of Charlie Chaplin, Lambeth is now home to the The Old Vic theatre and the basketball team the Brixton Topcats. There’s no shortage of things to see and places to go. Here are a few of our favourites:

EDF Energy London Eye

1. Top London Attractions
Lambeth is home to some of London’s top attractions, including the EDF Energy London Eye which offers spectacular views across the city; arts hub The Southbank Centre; the London Aquarium and the London Dungeon.

If you have a passion for intelligent theatre, visit the National Theatre which attracts well-known, highly regarded actors. Tickets often sell out so try to book in advance.

Lambeth Palace

2. Hidden Gems
If you love historic buildings, there are regular guided tours of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s London residence Lambeth Palace which was built in 1490. West Norwood Cemetery is one of London’s most magnificent Victorian cemeteries with 69 listed monuments. Regular guided tours are held on the first Sunday of the month.

Brixton Windmill was built in 1816 and has recently been restored. Open regularly for guided tours, the sails will be turning when you visit if you’re lucky! Other fascinating places to visit in Lambeth include the Garden Museum, Vauxhall City Farm and the Florence Nightingale Museum.

Brixton Village Market: The Granville Arcade

3. Shops and Markets
There are loads of cool places to shop in Lambeth. Pick up a perfect gift at the Southbank Centre Shop, or head to Lower Marsh Street for street markets and independent and vintage shops like What the Butler Wore, iKnit and Radio Days. You’ll also find some interesting shopping in Crystal Palace, including Bookseller Crow on the Hill and Crystal Palace Antiques Emporium.

Brixton Market’s trendy revival has seen some arty boutiques arriving in the former Granville Arcade. The market is also a great place for foodies. Stock up your cupboards or join the queue for an amazing Franco Manca pizza. Don’t miss the mouth-watering tapas at Seven or the tasty delights at Rosie’s Deli.

Brockwell Lido

4. Sporty Lambeth
Swim outside in the sunshine at Brockwell Lido, or get your skates on at Streatham Ice Rink. Show off your skateboarding tricks at the Kennington Bowl, House of Vans or Stockwell Sands. If that sounds too energetic, go for a stroll around the Rookery in Streatham Common or slap on some suncream and sit back and watch international cricket at The Oval.


5. Cinema
Lambeth is a paradise for cinephiles who should head to the BFI Southbank, a multi-screen cinema and movie archive beside the river. You’ll find a huge programme of classic, foreign language and independent movies, as well film festivals and themed events.

Fans of very big screens can enjoy the latest blockbusters and 3D specials at the BFI IMAX. There are also two other great alternative arthouse cinemas in Lambeth, the Brixton Ritzy and the Clapham Picturehouse.

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What’s On This Weekend: 21-22 December Mon, 16 Dec 2013 10:00:55 +0000

This weekend is your last chance to finish that all important Christmas shopping and make sure you don’t miss Santa in his grotto before he takes off on those Christmas Day present rounds.

Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Smug people that finished their Christmas shopping weeks ago can skip ahead here, and crazy people that leave it for Christmas Eve may also want to jump ahead. For the rest of us, this weekend is the last chance to really hit the high street before the 25th. See our guide to the best shopping in London and our Christmas Shopping Pit Stops blog post, for those all-important mid-spree refuel stops.

Farm-tastic Santa at Lee Valley Park Farms

This weekend is your last chance to catch Santa before Christmas Day and we recommend heading  to Farm-tastic Santa at Lee Valley Park Farms, where he is accompanied by husky dogs and his all-important reindeer. There are also arts and crafts and each child will receive a gift from Santa. Be sure to book though. Ends 22 Dec

Slava’s Snowshow at the Royal Festival Hall

The magical Slava’s Snowshow is back at London’s Royal Festival Hall this Christmas after a sell-out success in 2013. An exceptional combination of clowns and grand wintery visual effects make this a spectacle for all the family. 17 Dec-6 Jan

Boing! at Sadler’s Wells

Another piece of family-friendly theatre opens this week with Boing! at Sadler’s Wells. Set on Christmas Eve, Boing! looks to tap in to that childlike feeling of excitement. The show itself is a tightly choreographed spectacle, incorporating acrobatics, comedy and breakdance, as Joel and Wilkie attempt to pass the night as quickly as possible. 20 Dec-5 Jan

International Horse Show at Olympia

The pick of the equestrian calendar has arrived at London’s Olympia for a week of driving, dressage and jumping, all at world cup level. The headline act comes from The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, who will be putting their stunning bay and grey stallions through their paces twice a day. 16-22 Dec

Lexi Christmas Special at St John’s

The Lexi Cinema is decamping across the road to St John’s Church for the day on Saturday to show two festive favourites. At 4.15pm you can catch Macaulay Culkin in the festive caper Home Alone, and at 7.30pm the classic It’s a Wonderful Life. The Victorian church setting, sweet treats, wine and live music make for a unique cinema experience. And last but not least, proceeds will benefit children in Lynedoch Village in South Africa. 21 Dec

More London events

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The Five Best Things About London’s Hot Tub Cinema Sat, 08 Jun 2013 09:00:36 +0000

Combining hot tubs and classic movies, Hot Tub Cinema is a great option for anyone who’s bored of their local multiplex. Lucky enough to give it a whirl earlier this week, here’s what I liked best about it:

1.    The tubs: Heated to 40 degrees and with optional bubbles, the 20 inflatable tubs hold up to eight people (hot tip: if you like your tub extra-toasty, plump for a small one).

2.    The setting: The pop-up tubs are sited on Shoreditch’s Rockwell Rooftop, an arts and creative hub which enjoys a panoramic city skyline, as well as bags of urban charm and eye-popping graffiti artwork.

3.    The movies: The Summer of Tub kicks off with great British movies including The Full Monty, Withnail & I, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and Bridget Jones’s Diary. There are two screens and a surround-sound system so film-goers can hear the dialogue above the bubbles.

4.    The tub-side waiter service: You won’t have to leave the comfort of the hot tub if you fancy a drink as it will be brought to you by friendly and attentive waiters, along with a variety of food, from cinema-style snacks to BBQ fodder, some of which will inevitably end up floating in the tub!

5.    Making friends: You’re half-naked and in a hot tub with a bunch of strangers; if you’re single, this is a great place to meet new people. And if you’re in a couple, Hot Tub Cinema is a good option for a memorable date night.

Hot Tub Cinema is taking place four days a week from Thursday to Sunday for the first two weeks of every month until September. Tickets are £30 per person or £240 for a private tub for up to eight people. For the full programme, click here.

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Spooky Cinema: Halloween Films in London Fri, 26 Oct 2012 09:30:11 +0000

London’s cinemas are offering up another splattering of fearsome films this Halloween, from hammer horror to kitsch comedies. Can you keep the popcorn steady?

St Barnabus Church, Ealing
What could be more chilling than Murnau’s silent Nosferatu (1922) with a live organ accompaniment on Halloween night? Try watching it in a church. Head to St Barnabus Church, Ealing to see this black and white Expressionist classic.

  • Nosferatu (1922) Wednesday 31 Oct, Doors 7pm, screening 8.30pm

Prince Charles Cinema
The Prince Charles Cinema is screening Terence Fisher’s classic Dracula (1958), starring Peter Cushing as vampire hunter Van Helsing, and Christopher Lee as the eponymous blood-sucker.

Horror fans can also get their teeth stuck in to a special Halloween double bill of the original The Exorcist (1973) and critically-acclaimed Spanish horror film [REC] – a film crew, an abandoned mental institute and no way out. What could go wrong?

  • Dracula (1958): Tuesday 30 Oct 8:45pm
  • [REC] (2007) and The Exorcist (1973) Double-Bill: Monday 29 Oct 7pm and 8.45pm

BFI Southbank
As well as Raimi’s breakthrough horror film The Evil Dead (1981), and the longer US cut of Kubrick’s horror masterpiece The Shining (1980), the BFI Southbank is taking a more cerebral approach – and not in the cannibalistic sense.

League of Gentlemen and Sherlock star Mark Gatiss follows up his acclaimed BBC Four series “A History of Horror” with Horror Europa, a feature-length assessment of European horror cinema with an accompanying Q&A session.

  • The Evil Dead (1981) Sun 28 Oct, 9pm; Saturday 3 Nov, 4pm; Sunday 4 Nov, 8.40pm
  • The Shining (1980) Wed 31 Oct, Fri 2-Fri 16 Nov, various times
  • Horror Europa (2012), Sun 28 Oct, 6.15pm

Rio Cinema
Aiming for a few more laughs than frights, the Rio Cinema, Dalston is resurrecting Ghostbusters (1984) for a late night screening the weekend after Halloween. Keep an eye on those marshmallows.

  • Ghostbusters (1984) Sat 3 Nov, 11.30pm
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Floating Cinema Coming To East London in 2011 Mon, 13 Dec 2010 16:55:04 +0000

Here at VL, we’re fans of both pop-up events and outdoor cinema. So we’re delighted to hear that the two will be combined next year when a floating cinema sets sail in East London!

The Floating Cinema will navigate the waterways of the five Olympic host boroughs in summer 2011.

Climb aboard for floating film-screenings, film-related activities and larger outdoor screening events.

The Floating Cinema is part of the Portavilion project, whose pop-up dance tent travelled around London earlier this year.

Artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie (known collectively as Somewhere) are developing the event which aims to create a “human blueprint” of London’s waterways and their connections to the Olympic Park and the Games.

We can’t wait to see it.

The Floating Cinema, Jun-Sep 2011

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Win! Day 5: ICA Cinema and BFI Movie Prizes Sun, 05 Dec 2010 10:00:58 +0000

Calling all London cinema buffs! Win a year’s worth of movies at ICA, as well as a family ticket to BFI IMAX and a BFI DVD package.

You’ll get two tickets per month throughout 2011 to use at ICA, which has a unique programme of world cinema, artists’ films, independent documentaries and international film festivals.  Plus there’s all the excitment of BFI IMAX, the UK’s biggest cinema screen! And finally, a load of DVDs to enjoy at home.

To win this fantastic film prize, all you have to do is enter your details here

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What’s On In London This Weekend? Fri, 05 Nov 2010 16:32:22 +0000

Tonight is Bonfire Night and there will be fireworks displays happening all over London this evening and tomorrow. Some other happenings you may wish to sample include:

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Japan in London: Sushi, Manga, Cosplay and Camden Fri, 17 Sep 2010 09:00:04 +0000

Japan is about to become big in London. While Londoners have long enjoyed the taste of Japan at numerous restaurants and sushi bars, we’ve been mostly missing out on the kooky-cool of Japanese pop culture. But that’s all about to change, according to Yukiko Takahashi, general manager of the upcoming Hyper Japan event.

“Sushi is so widespread and well-known in London now”, she says, “But Japanese pop culture is the new star. British people like new stuff and they’re really curious about Japan.

“While Japanese [computer] games do really well in the UK, other things such as anime and cosplay haven’t been as big here as they are in France and Germany, for example. But it’s time for London to embrace Japanese culture, big time!”

Hyper Japan is a two-day event in October that’s bringing Manga, cosplay, technology and Japanese street fashion to the heart of happening Shoreditch. The Barbican is also turning Japanese this October, with an exhibition, Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion and a season of Japanese cinema.

Outside work, when she’s homesick Takahashi says she personally enjoys Tomoe restaurant in Marylebone, and visiting Japanese food shops – “they’re a sacred place for us” – such as Atari-ya for fresh sashimi and the Japan Centre on Regent Street. A favourite hidden gem is Adanami Shobo, a second-hand book shop with a karaoke-box behind it.

Takahashi also mentions Camden as a good spot to find touches of Japan in London.  “Lolita gothic fashion I find really interesting, and it’s got a real connection to the London street fashion of the 1970s – what Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren were doing. “I think London and Japan definitely have a connection when it comes to fashion.”

What are your top tips for Japanese stuff in London? Tell us in the comments below.

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Five Things To Do In London This Weekend Fri, 23 Jul 2010 14:05:40 +0000

  • See some of the world’s coolest short films at Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival. Until 31 Jul
  • Buy your dog an ice cream at the Boomerang Pets Party in Regent’s Park. Sat 24 Jul
  • Head along to the Barbican for an event-packed Barbican Weekender – two days of music, film, theatre, dance, visual art and spoken word. Sat 24 & Sun 25 Jul
  • Attend the Brighter Later all-day event The Boogaloo in Highgate. Vintage clothes, swing dancing a Mexican BBQ and more, all to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Sun 25 Jul
  • Check out some fancy footwork outside Harrods department store. Football freestyler and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jeremy Lynch is attempting to set a new Guinness World Record for the most keepy-uppies with a popitball. 2-6pm, Sat 24 Jul
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Moonlight Movies: London’s Outdoor Cinemas Fri, 09 Jul 2010 13:30:51 +0000

As the summer weather continues to hold, we at VL Towers are pondering all the lovely things we can do outdoors of an evening. And, following the fun times at the Starlite Urban Drive-In, we can think of nothing better than a visiting one of London’s outdoor or pop-up cinemas.

Here are some of the coolest spots to watch film in London this summer:

Have you spotted any more open air cinema events happening in our fair city? Let us know in the comments below!

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