If there is one thing that London does well, it is its culture and entertainment.
London is a great place to find almost any movie! All American blockbusters show in London, as do many independent films and foreign-language films with English subtitles. European films from countries like Germany, France, and Italy are very popular and play regularly in London. Note that American blockbusters often debut later in London than in the US. Here are some recommended cinemas to visit in London:
Cineworld has theatres around London and shows mainstream movies. Buy tickets online or at the door.
Vue is another big chain with cinemas around London. You will find Harry Potter and other big films at Vue.
Curzon Cinemas: http://www.curzoncinemas.com
Curzon Soho, located near Leicester Square tube in the West End, is the perfect place for a night out. You can catch a film then visit either the bar or cafe for a late-night snack. Movies also play during the day and the cafe is open for a tasty cappuccino and panini. Curzon focuses on independent and foreign-language films but also shows some bigger pictures. You won’t find big Mel Gibson films here but you will find European blockbusters. Curzon also has venues in Chelsea and Mayfair but the Soho branch is most popular. Movie tickets are £13.75 but Monday all-day and Tuesday to Friday before 5pm you can get a ticket for £8.
Renoir Cinema, part of the Curzon group, in the heart of Bloomsbury specialises in showing French films along with its counter-part Le cinema Lumiere http://www.institut-francais.org.uk/cine-lumiere.
Bollywood cinemas are becoming trendy for more information check out the Boleyn Cinema website http://www.boleyncinema.co.uk/
IMAX has a presence with 5 venues http://www.imax.com/ in central London. IMAX is short for Image Maximum, in practice it is a giant screen where films are projected in 3D.
Riverside Studios: http://www.riversidestudios.co.uk
This famous venue in the Hammersmith area is a classy movie house showing a variety of art-house and mainstream films. The restaurant is a great gathering place, and is the perfect place to see and be seen. The venue also holds TV production studios and a gallery. Tickets can be purchased online on the site.
London has also a myriad of film festivals, http://www.world-guides.com/europe/england/greater-london/london/events.html. Some major events are the Promenade Concerts or Prom at the Royal Albert concert hall from mid July to mid-September the Notting Hill Carnaval with its colourful floats in August.
Most DVD rental shops have finally closed in London. The good news is that you can buy new DVDs for almost the same price as you could have rented them for 3 years ago.
The biggest DVD collection is at HMV. Prices are affordable and there are often sales offering 3 DVDs for £20. TV Series and World Cinema are a couple of the many departments at HMV.
Buy your DVDs used from the Amazon Marketplace and resell them after you’ve finished viewing. This is the most economical way to see the latest DVDs from the UK and around the world. One-click purchasing makes it exceptionally easy and tempting to shop for your DVDs on Amazon. Sometimes you can purchase a DVD for less than £1!
The West End offers the highest level of stage production in Europe, if not the Western world. Musicals like Billy Elliot gain worldwide exposure and going to the West End to see a show is a huge activity in London. The Lyceum Theatre is known to play the stunning Lion King spectacle and is a great destination for expats, locals and tourists.
Tickets for the West End
TKTS is the best place to pick up half-price tickets, and the office is conveniently located in Leicester Square. Same-day tickets are available every day. Many ticket outlets offer decent ticket prices but TKTS is probably the cheapest.
Ticketmaster is a great place to get tickets for West End shows if you prefer to book ahead. Prices won’t be as cheap as TKTS but you’ll be able to plan your week or month.
Discounted tickets for West End shows like Stomp can be purchased here. While you’re on the site, check out the Meal Deals or pick up a gift voucher for a friend.
Sadler’s Wells: http://www.sadlerswells.com
Dance enthusiasts – Sadler’s Wells is the premier dance venue in London. From classics like Swan Lake to modern dance shows, this venue has the most exciting dance shows and features groups from around the world. Check the site frequently to see what’s on. The venue is in Islington, North London.
Royal Opera House: http://www.roh.org.uk
If you love opera, the Royal Opera House is one of the world’s greatest venues. Ticketmaster (http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk) also holds tickets for shows at the ROH. Tickets can be expensive.
There are plenty of venues where top comedians perform. To go and see a stand-up show is the trendy thing to do, see listing: http://www.thecomedystore.co.uk/
There are hundreds of cultural events happening on any given day in London so the best thing to do is to check out Time Out magazine:
Time Out: http://www.timeout.com/london
Time Out publishes each Wednesday and is available at news agents around the city (and online!). The magazine details everything going on in the capital for a given week. Movie and theatre reviews and week-specific events are some of the occurrences Time Out covers.
VisitLondon: http://www.visitlondon.com/ is the official, comprehensive and up to date London guide for all things related to entertainment.
Living in London, you will possibly have an endless stream of visitors, friends and family. It would be wise to point them out in the direction of a London Pass: http://hwww.londonpass.com This pass allows you to visit all sites at a reduced price. There are several tiers from one day to a whole 6 days. It can be used by residents, too.