Student Cinema: Cult, Classic, Cheap
You don’t have to spend double figures to watch a film in London, there are options for the wise Tab-reading student…
Everyone has finally cottoned on to Orange Wednesdays. Getting tickets at all for the big films means organisation, something we shouldn’t have to bother with. It is now common to see shocked and angry students entering what they thought would be an empty Odeon, only to see it full of people who clearly aren’t students – full of people who clearly don’t need the discount to watch Django Unchained for the second time. However, there are other ways to see films cheaply and still get good seats.
The Coronet is a historic cinema in Notting Hill Gate (right next to the tube station) that shows a few of the films just out for affordable prices. The cosy atmosphere of the red velvet curtains and seats means that even if you are watching a disgracefully tacky rom-com, you feel like a sophisticated connoisseur of cinema, but it is the prices that should attract us students. Mondays at The Coronet is student night: any film at any time is £3.50, plus any kiosk item for £1.50. Tuesday is £3.50 for all shows, all age groups so, whilst still cheap, you should definitely book and arrive early.
For those who think they really know about film (and probably how to be very pretentious) there is the BFI or British Film Institute on the south bank. Although many of the films on show nobody has ever heard of, and I mean nobody, they run seasons of famous directors, showing all their films. Recent seasons have been Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski, and for those of you who actually are interested in ‘the visual drama of steelmaking on screen’ then the BFI is the place for you! On Tuesdays tickets are only five pounds but with the BFI you often get more than just a film experience. On entry you are given a piece of paper with a general introduction to the film as well as an in depth contemporary review and often they have academics introducing the film with a talk. The cinema has a beautiful location right next to the National Theatre and is very close to Waterloo tube station so although you have to look to find the good films and deals it is definitely worth it.
The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is unique. Here they show a huge mix of films as well as special events and marathon viewings. If you want to see the best foreign language films of recent months, Armour, classics like Citizen Kane or cult films such as The Room and Zoolander, The Prince Charles has it all. Membership for students is £7.50 a year and this means that matinee film showings are only £4 so it is easy to make your money back, especially as the cinema also shows a select few films that have come out in recent months giving them an extended run. You really need to visit the website to understand the huge array of films and crazy events on.
The UCL Film and TV society also offers weekly film screenings, as well as screenings in the Bloomsbury. This means you can enjoy cinema within the community of UCL. The amount of lecture theatres and common rooms also means there is lot of potential for unofficial film societies where students can screen films they love for free. Don’t feel you have to watch pixellated films on your laptops, taking three hours to watch 90 minutes because of buffering with dodgy connection on eduroam. You don’t even have to spend double figures to watch a film in London, there are options, especially for the wise Tab-reading student.