Friday, 21 August 2009

'Notting Hill'

The film made the area fashionable to tourists, and avoidable to locals, but I quite like Notting Hill. Apart from the easy interchange with the tube, it also has a certain element of 'posh funk' to it. The park is nearby and there are a few nice eateries on the pavements. But the real reason why I like Notting Hill are its cinemas. Surprisingly, this close to Central London, there are decent cinemas, that aren't some musty chain version, but proper indies, showing great films, at a reasonable price too!



I love indy cinemas. The vibe there is different from a chainstore. Sure, if you're with friends, and you want a place to go and see a blockbuster, then hit a chain cinema. Some multiplex on the edge of town with decent seats, overpriced snacks and surly staff. But if you're coming back from work, they are convenient. But for real movie watching, to see films that are cool, in locations that are great, then head off to the independent cinemas. Rarely more than two screens in the building, one in an oversized auditorium and the second in some funky little den within the building, these small cinemas are the lifeblood of interesting films in London. They are the screens that will feature films that are not exclusively mainstream American. They are the cinemas tha will expand your mind with fun features on the screen. And usually, they cost a hell of a lot less than the chainstores on Leicester Square. Considering the comfort levels are similar, why would anyone pay two or three times the amount to watch the same film in an overpriced mainstream venue? Plus, the staff are usually more kooky in these independent houses...



So next time you find yourself wth a bit of free time in West London, then head over to one of their picture houses. There's always something interesting, being shown...

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