There was a time when everything about cinema oozed romance, from the stars, to the stories they told, and right down to the venues in which they were watched.
Somewhere along the line, much of that romance went awry, particularly in terms of the venues, where cold, impersonal multiplexes and industrial portions of soft drinks became de rigueur.
One of the best points of being in or near a city like London is that is is still possible to track down something of the old fashioned way of doing things. The large metropolitan audience allows us to swim against the tide, and what better way to do that than by selecting a quirky cinema for that date.
Before we get started, a little bit of advice. Don’t pick out one of these cinemas – romantic though they are – as a first or second date. During those early dates, you need to meet somewhere that makes conversation easy. You and your date might have a lovely time at the cinema, but it’s hard to get to know someone by sitting in silence for an hour-and-a-half. Or worse, a 3 hour long film that you both detest – at least it is a talking point.
Here is our lovely DDM matchmaker approved round-up for your delectation.
East Finchley’s Phoenix Cinema is one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in the UK. Its design features, such as a barrell-vaulted ceiling, art deco styling and balcony are indicative of this. A very romantic setting for a date. It is the Phoenix Cinema that you can see pictured above, at the start of this article.
The Electric Cinema Portobello has a long history, which is reflected by its interior decor. Cinema-goers can choose from 65 leather armchairs with footstools and side tables, while there are three two-seater sofas at the back – and even six double beds in the front row.
The Coronet initially opened as a theatre in 1898, becoming a full-time cinema in 1923. It stayed open throughhout the war, showing morale-boosting movies and acting as a bomb shelter for the local area. It currently functions as a 400-seat and 150-seat two-screen cinema, still within a beautiful, historic building in Notting Hill. If you like your cinema to have a story to tell, The Coronet is a safe bet.
Originally called the Bloomsbury Cinema, this arthouse cinema first opening in 1972. After name changes, brief closures and refurbishments, it became the Renoir in 1986. It is undergoing another refurbishment at the time or writing and is due to reopen as the six-screen Curzon Bloomsbury cinema very soon.
The flagship venue of the small chain to which The Renoir now belongs, the Curzon Soho is one of London’s most popular arthouse cinemas. It opened in 1959 on the site of the old Shaftesbury Pavilion, which had been bombed during the Second World War. It has been in its current guise as a three-screen complex since 1998.
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