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Editorials

The Most Important Cinema In The World To Me: Prince Charles Cinema

May 25, 2020

Just a small-town girl livin’ in a lonely world

Many of us have the dream to see the world and to move to another city and so did this small-town girl who was living in Belgium. The dream became a reality at the end of 2016 when I moved to London. An entirely different world welcomed me with open arms, bright lights, and a diverse, entertaining, and mind-blowing culture. Film has always been a passion of mine and moving to London just heightened that love even more. It didn’t take long before I found my local cinema which was one of the big chains. Day in, day out, I was being emerged by stunning, captivating, and glamorous movies.

While the brand-new blockbusters caught my eye instantly, there was also the thirst for seeing more independent or older films that became a classic in their own way. Luckily for me, it didn’t take long before discovering a small, unique and incredible cosy cinema right in the heart of London: The Prince Charles Cinema.

The Home of Cult Film, Prince Charles Cinema
The Home of Cult Film, Prince Charles Cinema

From a tiny theatre to an awesome cinema in the West End

Where now The Prince Charles Cinema is, the site was a theatre back in 1962. After supporting the performing arts for many years, it became a cinema, but maybe not the one you would expect. Knowing that the cinema back then hosted the UK’s longest theatrical runs of “Emmanuelle” and “Caligula”, you can only imagine what kind of cinema it must have been. However, in 1991, the foundations for The Prince Charles Cinema were laid and the rest is cinema history. They describe themselves as one of the most popular independent cinemas in the UK and when attending a screening in The Prince Charles Cinema, it’s not hard to understand why they deserve that title.

From films shot on 35mm to 70mm presentations and from cult classics to the most recent movies. Don’t forget the sing-a-longs or the all-nighters! Yep, The Prince Charles Cinema has it all. 

The Prince Charles Cinema
The Prince Charles Cinema (credit: Time Out)

Only two screens but thousands of memories

Like most of the independent cinemas, The Prince Charles Cinema offers multiple types of memberships. You can either go for an annual membership (£10) or a lifetime membership (£60). You get discounts on tickets and snacks and there are even films you get to see for £1. When I discovered The Prince Charles Cinema for the first time, I decided to go for an annual membership. London is already expensive enough and I wasn’t sure how many times I would use the membership, especially because I have another for one of the bigger cinema chains already. But boy, was I wrong for not going for a lifetime membership?!

Whether it was seeing the great chemistry between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation, falling in love with Christian Slater in True Romance or being astonished by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale dazzling performances in The Prestige, it was all a marvellous experience. Even that massive headache from all the spinning in Inception was worth it! It didn’t take long before that annual membership turned into a lifetime one.

The most memorable evening at the Prince Charles Cinema was one that happened very recently during the screening of The Room. Yep, the movie from writer/director/actor Tommy Wiseau. After seeing The Disaster Artist a few years ago, it was time to check out the real deal. Wiseau visiting The Prince Charles Cinema, a full house, and plastic spoons at hand. Yep, it became an evening I will never forget, even more so because I ended up in a Salsa club in Soho with fellow cinemagoers after that.

Tommy Wiseau presenting a screening of “The Room”

They will be back and so will I!

At the moment, The Prince Charles Cinema is closed but the “We’ll be back” banner gives me hope that the days of movies, excitement, having a great time, and meeting up with friends aren’t gone completely. I hope that I will be able to walk through the doors of The Prince Charles Cinema soon, sit back in one of those chair, and (re-)discover the great movies this wonderful cinema has to offer.

To find out more about The Prince Charles Cinema (and to buy memberships) visit their website here.

The Prince Charles Cinema (Credit: Alamy)

Also Read: The Most Important Cinema In The World (To Me)

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