This place is AMAZING. It is like stepping back into time. The seats and (single) theater were clean and comfortable to sit and watch the movie. Even when the occasional person (you know who you are!) got up to go to...wherever, the view was not blocked.
There is a small candy/soda counter where they sell the tickets. The bath rooms (suprisingly) are on the ground level, as is the disabled one. This theater is really (REALLY) disabled friendly in a big way. As a disabled person I found that not only was there an elevator to take you up to the theater level, there was also a wheel chair lift to to help you get to the coffee store on the top level. There is also a wheel chair ramp to get you from the sidewalk into the theater (which most theaters don't have in this city).
The staff are extremely helpful, and they are not pushy...as in trying to make you buy their membership.
This was one of the first movie theaters to open in the UK. The building has remained (pretty much) unchanged since the 1930's...so it's really retro (yay!).
Favourite cinema in London. They always have a great selection of films and the place has an awesome atmosphere about it. It also attracts a great crowd, so you're unlikely to be distracted by the smell of popcorn and the sound of vigorous chewing (or maybe I've been lucky so far?). The prices are also very friendly - £12 for two tickets on a Monday and £9.50 on Weekends, if I'm not mistaken.
Come for the popcorn if nothing else. When I crave popcorn I go to the theater. Weird? Sure but that's how I do things. The popcorn here is fresh and cheap! A large was less than £4. Sah-weet. And if popcorn isn't what you're after they have a cafe upstairs, across from their single screening room.
The theatre has been around for over 100 years and there's a sense of community there. People queue up when waiting to be seated and EVERYONE seems to know each other.
The screening room is huge and very charming, as old buildings tend to be. Very glad this place is a short walk from my place. Especially when those popcorn cravings kick in.
This is a really cute independent cinema in East Finchley. A Groupon brought me to the cinema and I'm pleasatnly surprised by how nice it is. There is a lovely upstairs cafe that has a little balcony which would be nice to sit on during a warm day and just drink wine.
The interior of the theatre itself is amazing. It still have the feel of being a theatre from the 1920s but has been re-fited to include a projection screen and reclining seats.
Overall its a great indy theater and I'd come back again.
First off - I need to stress that all the reviews about this cinema are spot on. It does show an amazing array of movies, from unusual to the obscure. All the staff are brilliantly friendly and love their jobs. It is an incredibly beautiful cinema and does deserve all the praise lauded upon it for the recent renovation of the foyer, even if it shortened the length of the cinema area (yep! Next time you go, check out the ceiling at the back of the cinema and the upstairs of the foyer). I recently went to see Black Swan and was amazed at the plastic cups of bar drinks and the involvement of the crowd to certain nail biting scenes; I felt like I was watching the film with a load of pals, not a trip to the cinema.
However, there is a gripe that I can't abide and that is terrible toilets. I understand the pressures of running a small local business but a toilet that smells of stale unmentionables and has a cistern leak meaning that you're loath to get any part of your trousers touching the floor; bothers me greatly. Love the cinema, will avoid the smallest room forever.
One of my favourite places to go and see a film in London is the very charming Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley.
Built in 1910, making it one of the first cinemas in the UK, The Phoenix has survived two World Wars, several recessions and the introduction of the corporate multiplexes.
Over the years it has also attracted many loyal and notable fans including Mike Leigh, Judi Dench and Ken Loach.
Now, after 100 years of continued operation as a cinema, the Grade II building has been brought back to its early 20th century glory in a £1.1million restoration.One of the notable differences, is a lovely little bar and seating area upstairs, opposite the main screening room. It is such a relaxing space, it is worth turning up a little early for your chosen film showing and having a glass of wine or one of their lovely homemade snacks.
There is such a noticeable charm to The Phoenix that you can't help feeling you've stepped back in time and are watching a film somewhere where your parents or grandparents may have had their first date.
Having said that, there are some modern comforts, which include comfortable seats, impressive sound and a perfectly sized screen.
With prices being competitive to the other large cinema chains, if you are a huge fan of film, The Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley is the ultimate cinema going experience.
ooh I just love this place. Sometimes it's just lovely to go to a cinema that isn't just a big chain and that doesn't look like ever other cinema.
The Phoenix is an independent cinema and one of the oldest in the UK. It has a programme of new releases, independent, foreign-language and specialist films, plus a repertoire of old and new classics. The art deco decor is endearing, and the plush maroon chairs make you feel like you've stepped back in time. This is a great place to take someone on a date that's a little more original than the local Vue or Odeon.
It might be rather distant but the Phoenix Cinema is honestly one of the few places in London that I would consider a viable rep cinema. I've only been there a handful of times but each visit was rewarding. Claire Binns - the force behind the Curzon's programming - programmes the Phoenix, and this is obviously a labour of love for her and her team, crafting a thoughtful and occasionally obscure roster of pictures from film history. My most recent visit was for a screening of THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN with live piano accompaniment, relatively well attended, totally sublime. If only there was some way for a similar cinema to open up more centrally....
A lovely, quaint cinema in the heart of North London. It has kept its character over the years as is an independent cinema showing new and classic films. You can even buy your own seat which they add a plaque to with your name engraved on it. The staff are polite and homely, plus one of the greatest perks is you can buy and take alcohol into the cinema with you.
The best cinema in London - in my opinion. Great staff, amazing atmosphere, and brilliant art deco interior. Truly a gem. They run special singles nights screening 'Brief Encounter' and the like. Now, if only there was some way of shifting the thing down to Southwark.
Definitely one of the best cinemas in London. Shows lots of foreign-language and arthouse fare, with competent projection and decent sound. Latecomers are not admitted! Also serves coffee and snacks. It has a lovely Art Deco interior, like a mini Radio City Music Hall. Definitely worth the trip up the Northern Line. They have a membership system for regular patrons - unfortunately I live too far away to take them up on it.
What a wonderful cinema, and also one of the oldest in London. Really glad to hear that money is being invested back into this cinema. Work starts next January. Always good to support local.
I've been to see about 10 films at the Phoenix over the last few years and wish I could have gone more often. It's everything that the modern soul-less multiplexes are not. Firstly the staff are amenable and not the usual adolescent, uniform wearing Mc-jobbers you usually find in a cinema. Secondly a selection of home-made cakes and filter coffee is available as well as the usual soft beverages and popcorn which makes a pleasant change. So what? you might say. Well it all creates a very homely, relaxed atmosphere that is really lacking from experiences I've had before, the building itself is a grade II listed building and looks quite majestic from the outside and is a joy to look at inside. Watching a film in the phoenix feels a lot more personal than any other cinema I've been to because of the comfortable seating and also because there isn't a big gap between where the front row of seats is and the screen.
On top of everything else, The Phoenix is a community-run cinema which must be why you don't feel like they are trying to squeeze as many people in as possible but instead are trying to show a diverse range of films instead of the latest Film-With-Action-And-CGI generic blockbuster drivel. There are also Q&A events with famous directors regularly taking place including Mike Leigh and more recently (2007) Ang Lee (via video).
Undoubtedly my favourite cinema in the world ever. Great films, great building, great people and great cakes!
Great cinema. Good prices. Lots of non-mainstream film. Warm and cozy. Great staff. Decent food. Not like the mainstream cinemas liek odeon and vue cinemas.
Although I have lived in London for ten years, I only visited the Phoenix cinema for the first time recently and what a pleasant surprise it was. Very easy to get to, almost next to the East Finchley tube station at the Northern line, the cinema is the oldest purpose-built continuously serving cinema in the UK (yes, you 'll learn that from the numerous signs around the cinema), but more importantly, it actually feels like an independent, warm, special place, the history of the place vivid and alive. For someone like me who hates multiplexes, this is a breath of fresh air. Edwardian and art deco features, photographic and painting exhibitions at the foyer and a respectful audience makes for a perfect experience.
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