Five of the best luxury London cinemas

Lucy Thackray
20 October 2014

Forget long queues, bad snacks and sticky floors — the next generation of super-cinemas is leading the way in London

The Lounge, Whiteleys

This Odeon spin-off at the Whiteleys shopping centre in Bayswater is designed to indulge. Twice as much leg room? Check. Fine-dining menu (overseen by chef Rowley Leigh) delivered to your seat? Check. Fully reclining leather seat at the touch of a button? Oh yes. And if you're worried about the waiters obscuring your view with the platters of sushi and venison chilli on offer, they've thought of that too — carefully positioned screens and soundproofed tables mean minimal distraction for guests.

Curzon cinemas

The high standards of Curzon cinemas are clear when you consider that the Mayfair original has two Royal Boxes. With film-themed cocktails, Champagne and cakes on offer, the most stressful part is getting your Martini glass to your velvety seat. It's also worth looking out for the Q&As held after some screenings — past guests include Ralph Fiennes. Branches in Soho, Mayfair, Bloomsbury and Chelsea.

The Electric, Portobello Road

The quirky bar menu at The Electric means you can sample pork belly or pumpkin hummus while you watch, as well as the more traditional 'retro candy mix'. A kids' club on Saturdays and parent and baby screening on Mondays makes it a great family option too. The Oscar-worthy films of the moment are interspersed with the odd classic — think Breakfast at Tiffany's. The leather seating and handy foot stalls are made for chilling on — plump for one of the two-seater sofas towards the rear if you're feeling really laid back.

Everyman cinemas

Cosy pre-movie lounges are the norm at the Everyman Hampstead, along with double sofas and unbeatable leg-room. Like the Curzon group, Everyman cinemas occasionally screen live Met Opera and National Theatre performances, with the best of current film showing day to day. Islington's legendary Screen on the Green opened nearly a century ago, but current owners Everyman have added plush seats and waiter service to its retro charm. Snackers be warned: Everyman banned popcorn from its cinemas in 2008. Baker Street, Hampstead, Belsize Park, Maida Vale and Islington.

British Film Institute, Southbank

As educational as it is entertaining, the BFI offers movie archives, previews and talks as well as special screenings. From LGBT film festival Flare to Disney countdowns and niche foreign directors, the BFI has it covered. The Southbank's screens are renowned for their comfy seats and respectful film-buff audiences, but for a larger-than-life experience head to the nearby BFI IMAX, which boasts a screen the size of nearly five double-decker buses.