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The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

Bringing our city to your living room

A strongly-worded statement signed by leaders of independent cinemas from across the country released this week called on film studios to "consider the full impact" of decisions to delay big releases, rather than simply focusing on the direct return from box office, noting that that "new releases will categorically not generate the kind of revenue they would have a year ago, but if we wait for life to return to normal all our cinemas will be gone." Without support from studios, distributors and industry partners, it said, cinemas would "not make it through the next six months and many of the UK's great cultural institutions will be lost". Last week's announcement that the 25th Bond film No Time to Die would be postponed yet again sent bigger chains into a tailspin, with Cineworld announcing the temporary closure of all its 127 UK movie theatres, while a quarter of Vue cinemas limiting operations to Friday to Monday only. In perhaps a rare example of bigger not being better, however, many small, independent cinemas are battling on, with new cleaning regimes and drastically reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. According to the statement, "to date, there are no recorded cases of Covid 19 infections being spread in cinemas within the UK." Here are London's great little cinemas that you can still support.

Genesis, E1

(Ewan Munro)

Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Barbara Windsor - the several homes of entertainment that have occupied this site have seen it all.

This iteration has been going since 1999 when local man Tyrone Walker-Hebborne saw the building's potential. It now boasts five screens offering everything from big shouty action to gloriously miserable arthouse. They're allocating seats for your bubble, with space around.

ND

genesiscinema.co.uk

Rio, E8

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

(REUTERS)

The elegant Art Deco facade of this Hackney institution was added in 1937 but the cinema originally dates from 1909 and it still holds its own on its corner site, amid the endless hubbub of Kingsland Road. It has a popular membership scheme, and a dizzying selection of discount ticket options. The cinema was saved from the brink once before, in 2013, with local support, and the signs are it can be again.

ND

riocinema.org.uk

Regent Street, W1

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

(Regent Street Cinema)

Buy a ticket for a film at this Grade II-listed picturehouse and you'll also be part of cinema history. This pretty little indy was the first ever to show a motion picture in the UK, and is thus described as the "birthplace of British cinema". Its carefully curated programme of independent gems are clearly put together by film lovers, meaning you can take a chance on something different with total trust.

JT

regentstreetcinema.com

Electric, W11 and W12

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

These two cinemas in Portobello Road and White City are run by Soho House group. Having opened in 1911, the Grade II listed Notting Hill landmark is one of the country's oldest working cinemas and was spruced up by the private members club group in the early 2000s. Meanwhile, the new Electric in Shepherds Bush is in the old BBC Television Centre and was opened last year as part of the White City House development.

Expect crowd-pleasers and classics. LE

electriccinema.co.uk

Rich Mix, E1

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

(Google StreetView)

Boasting performance and exhibition spaces alongside its three-screen cinema, this Shoreditch institution lives up to its name with a reliably eclectic programme. The usual line up of gigs, workshops and community events is sadly on hold for now but you can still show your support for this very worthy cause by booking in to one of the colourful screening rooms.

Next month, it'll be a central hub for Film Africa 2020, celebrating the best new cinema from the continent and its diaspora. KR

richmix.org.uk

The Castle, E9

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

(The Castle Cinema)

Since it first opened in 1913, Clapton's The Castle has been a cinema, a bingo hall, snooker club and a shoe factory. Back in 2016, when Eat17 ran a convenience store in the space, a local couple raised almost GBP60,000 via Kickstarter and transformed its vacant first floor, restoring it to its former cinematic glory.

At the moment, you can catch various Black History Month movies - including I Am Not Your Negro and Do The Right Thing - and other films such as I Am Greta - the story of the climate change activist. LE

thecastlecinema.com

Prince Charles, WC2

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

(Rex Features)

The canopy above the Prince Charles Cinema normally shouts mischievous messages like "Sod the sunshine, come and sit in the dark". This year it got a bit more serious, declaring "I assure you we will reopen".

As the West End's only independent cinema, it more than makes its presence known - in normal times it offers big studio movies, arthouse films and sing-a-long screenings of The Sound of Music. It reopened this month, showing London Film Festival picks along with Hallowe'en classics - but, reduced to 75% capacity, it needs all the support it can get. JT

princecharlescinema.com

Arthouse Crouch End, N8

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

(EPA)

This red-brick former Salvation Army Citadel was constructed in 1912 for the express purpose of saving souls.

These days it usually houses all manner of devilish delights, as not just a cinema but also a comedy, dance, music and theatre venue. Sadly the live arts are on hold at the moment, but in typically optimistic fashion the Arthouse is billing the removal of 50 percent of its auditorium seats as an opportunity for more legroom. Saintly.

ND

arthousecrouchend.co.uk

Cine Lumiere, SW7

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

(www.institut-francais.org.uk)

Naturally, London's home of French cinema is a very chic affair. Part of the Institut Francais, Cine Lumiere is tucked inside an eye-catching Art Deco building and its two screens are pleasingly retro in their simplicity. The programme leans, spoiler alert, towards releases from across the Channel, but also makes room for a few choice cuts from the rest of the world (it's currently hosting a handful of LFF screenings).

It's great value, too -- if you're under 25, you can bag a ticket for just a fiver. KR

institut-francais.org.uk/cine-lumiere

BFI, SE1

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

(Getty Images for BFI)

Not many small London cinemas can boast the power of an internationally renowned film festival behind them, but that's what this four-screen cinema has. The London Film Festival is the undoubted jewel in the calendar, but this place is a year-round proposition, too -- expect everything from screenings of black-and-white classics to feminist film seasons.

JE

bfi.org.uk

Catford Mews, SE6

The London independent cinemas that are open now and need your support

(Getty Images for Catford Mews)

Catford Mews is a newbie on the indie cinema scene, having only launched back in September last year. It opened on the site of an old Poundland, and the tickets here carry on in the spirit of good value: adults can get in for GBP8.99. The programme mixes blockbuster appeal with left-field intrigue.

Keep an eye out for its other events too, from comedy clubs to food pop-ups.

JE

catford-mews.co.uk

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