I love, love, love this cinema. As well as being independent and showing a really good mix of art house and mainstream movies, it's also a social enterprise, and they give 100% of their profits to the Sustainability Institute, which supports a an eco-centre near Cape Town in South Africa.
It's a small cinema, with one screen, a lovely little bar out the back and really friendly staff. They're also going to be screening world cup matches (if you're into that kind of thing...) and there's an open air season planned for Roundwood Park in September.
The Lexi is sexy! Well, as sexy as a cinema can be...
This picture house opened its doors nearly a year and a half ago, but you could easily miss it, as it is an old building and doesn't look like a cinema from the outside.
There is one screen, and as well as movies, The Lexi is host to art exhibitions (they recently had an exhibition of John 'Hoppy' Hopkins' photography), music, film festivals and theatre too.
They screen a selection of mainstream and arthouse movies, and they often put on special events, such as live screenings of the Royal Opera in New York via video-link. They host regular Q&A sessions (I went to see a screening of Dorian Gray followed by a chat with Director, Oliver Parker) and for those with children, they have a kids club as well as 'scream screenings' for all the yummy mummies with noisy babies (sorry, but URGH! - that sounds like a nightmare of greatest proportions to me...).
Plus, there's BOOOOOZE! You can get a selection of wines/beers/ciders as well as fancy crisps, ice creams and plastic bowls filled with popcorn.
The movies are always introduced by a member of staff - and incidentally, most of the people who run The Lexi are volunteers, as it is a social enterprise, covenanting 100% of its profits to the Sustainability Institute in South Africa. So, although the ticket prices (around a tenner a ticket) match that of the big chains, at least you know your money is supporting a good cause - so dig deep!
The Lexi can also be hired for parties/events/meetings/conferences.
The only downside, I would have to say, is that it has always been rather chilly inside, whenever I have been there (I'm not sure if there was something wrong with the heating/a.c.) BUT, they do provide you with blankets, so you can get nice and snuggly!
To find out a bit more, you can also read my interview with the founder of The Lexi: bit.ly/BRAINtellmel-TheL…
Really nice cinema. It doesn't have lots of seats which is fine by me really and it just means its a little more cosy. It is fairly local to me which means it easy to get to. The staff are great as they are friendly and personal. They have an alcoholic bar too!
Excellent little cinema with romantic atmosphere. Social enterprise with the (occasionally independent) art of filmmaking at heart. Proceeds from ticket, beverage and snack sales go to the Sustainability Institute near Cape Town in South Africa. That being said, a place like this with an interesting story and mission could certainly be more creative. As it's situated on the brink of sounds-good-but-I-ain't-gonna-travel-that-far-out, it's advisable to offer inexpensive but appealing theme nights, put on cult films with a following and offer the venue to small nonprofits, campaigns and community projects to support their causes (and expand the Lexi's reach and following).
An 80-seat cinema in an area just on the brink of where London starts melting into something that feels a little more suburban.
It's a cracking little place. It avoids the arthouse trap of feeling snooty or worthy - as the first review mentioned, the staff are really friendly, and that's unusual in these kind of places.
The actual screen is a fairly decent size. But if you don't like being too close to the film you're watching, it might be worth getting there a little early to bag seats towards the back.
There's also the now mandatory-for-an-arthouse-cinema bar/interesting snack area, but unlike somewhere like The Electric, this is tucked in the back and not front and centre, which makes the film the star and not the food.
One slight gripe - the programming seems pretty unadventurous. I can imagine them saying this is because they're serving the local community, but the 'local community' when I've been seemed to be made up of the sort of people who might seem the same sort of people who'd wander up to The Gate or The Coronet that shows the same kind of films - in other words, it's pretty middle class. Seems a bit of a shame that a cinema that doesn't need too many people to fill it isn't willing to branch out into more unusual films and season occasionally. But that really is a small thing.
One of the newest assets to the area, the LEXI cinema is meant for the local community and the staff are particuarly friendly. A wide variety of films are shown, from 'Quantum of Solace' to 'Brideshead Revisited.' Old films are also repeated and they have a fantastic sound system. I have frequently been impressed by the quality of the films, and whilst this cinema may be more pricey then most, the profits do go to charity.
I was truly thrilled to hear about the opening of this new cinema, being a resident of the area. However the ticket prices are too steep for this local cinema (even tickets in notting hill are slightly cheaper). Also there isn't a wide enough variety of movies. As for the actual cinema space, there is very little legroom even for a small person like me (and I have never had this problem). It seems the cinema has spent more on the ceiling decorations than on important things such as the design and comfort of the seats, and a decent lobby. To be honest even though it is close by I'd prefer to go elsewhere to watch a movie of my choice. Sorry. P.s the purple lights outside seem at odds with the architecture of the building - a bit too garish - which is how i would summarise The Lexi.
My personal advice: reduce ticket prices (or provide better off peak rates); increase the number of screenings so that there is a good variety of films being shown during the week, lose the garish outdoor lighting and opt for more subtle illumination; improve the interior space of the lobby to make it more welcoming (a comfy sofa or seating would be good).
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