Romantic independent cinemas around the UK
‘Romantic’ and ‘multiplex’ don’t sit well together. Fortunately, there are still plenty of independent cinemas offering an alternative to the mainstream. These quirky picture houses make for great dates, providing interesting films in often sumptuously elegant settings. We’ve chosen a selection of the country’s best to whet your appetites for the not-so-big screen.
Leeds – Hyde Park Picture House
When the Hyde Park Picture House opened on the 7th November 1914, the Yorkshire Evening Post described the cinema as ‘the cosiest in Leeds’. More than one hundred years later, this is still the case. The gas-lit auditorium is unquestionably romantic, and there’s the option of balcony seating for those who prefer privacy rather than an optimal viewing position.
Cost: £6.40 – £6.90
Where: Hyde Park Picture House, 73 Brudenell Road, Leeds, LS6 1JD
Birmingham – The Electric
The Electric has the honour of being the UK’s oldest working cinema, having been in operation since 1909. It has two screens, which means that there’s less pressure on making advance bookings. If you do plan ahead however, make sure to book one of the leather two-seater sofas that come with waiter service. Viewers can order everything from Parisian absinthe to chorizo, simply by texting their choices to the provided number.
Cost: £8.40 – £13.90
Where: The Electric, 47–49 Station Street, Birmingham, B5 4DY
Nottingham – Broadway
Situated in a former chapel, the Broadway is now a thoroughly modern four-screen independent. Dating couples will want to book tickets for screen 4 – not only is this auditorium more intimate (having 67 seats as opposed to several hundred), the stripy interior was designed by regular patron, Sir Paul Smith.
Where: Broadway, 14-18 Broad Street, Nottingham, NG1 3AL
London – Phoenix Cinema
The capital’s most romantic indie cinema has to be the Phoenix in East Finchley. Its barrel-vaulted ceiling is more than a century old, and the plush interior dates back to the 1930s. The auditorium is fully licensed for alcohol, which can be bought from the stylish art deco-inspired cafe upstairs. For a date with a difference, arrange to visit when the cinema is screening live opera via satellite from the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Cost: £7 – £9.50
Where: The Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Road, East Finchley, London N2 9PJ
Edinburgh – The Cameo
Originally opened in 1914, The Cameo feels more like an opera house than a cinema – book seats in the main auditorium to experience its stately opulence in full. Filmgoers can also enjoy a romantic cocktail or two in one of the bar’s comfy leather sofas.
Cost: £7 – £10
Where: The Cameo, 38 Home Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LZ
Photo credit: Will Martin / phoenixcinema.co.uk
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