Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane, SW2. Tel: +44(0)20 7737 2121.
Tube: Brixton. Mon £4. Tue-Fri until 6pm £4. Tue-Fri after 6pm £6.50.
Sat/Sun £6.5. „
Brixton's cute Ritzy cinema is part of of the small Picturehouse chain which owns 18 cinemas across England and Scotland. I feel very lucky to have the Ritzy as my local cinema. In comparison to London city centre cinemas it's cheaper, has friendly and knowledge staff, a relaxed, arty atmosphere and a great bar. It often hosts Q&As with actors and directors, live screenings of operas and other concerts and regularly participates in niche film festivals. Each Picturehouse cinema offers a membership system which is great value for money and makes a perfect gift too. A single membership costs £30 per year (£22 for concessions) while two people living at the same address can get a joint membership for £50. Each membership comes with three free tickets to use at your local Picturehouse (and given regular tickets cost £9 then this almost covers the cost of the membership). You also get £2 off full price tickets, discounts at other Picturehouse cinemas, a printed programme mailed to you regularly, discounts on food at the Ritzy bar and you don't pay any booking fee on cinema bookings made over the phone or online. I've just renewed my membership mainly to take advantage of the free preview screenings of upcoming releases which take place occasionally. These are usually on Sunday mornings and are a great way to check out films you might not otherwise pay to see. Recent highlights include the brilliant Looking For Eric and the fantastic French thriller Anything For Her. Whether you fancy a membership or not, it's also worth signing up for the Ritzy's weekly email newsletter which contains details of all screenings and music events in the bar. So if there's a Picturehouse cinema near you, consider a membership as a gift for a film fan this year - you'll be in their good books for a very long time!
The Ritzy in Brixton isn't to far away from where I live, I can jump on a bus (or get on normally) and it won't take long. An added bonus is that Oyster cards make travel on buses and some other public transport free. If not it is always cheaper with an oyster card. I don't tend to watch that many films, more DVD's etc. Going to a place just to see a film seems a bit pointless, but I watched 'Spirited Away' here for the first and, yes the film was great - even with just subtitles - I have seen it roughly 5 times now, but the Ritzy itself Was like a little café/Village Cinema kind of theme. Everything seems so wooden and Red, unlike the Odeon which is blue, and other places. It was quite cosy and the film quality was equal to anywhere else. The writing that tells you what films are on is done letter at a time and it has a nice square outside it. The other differences are that it shows some other films aswell as the big ones so I know a lot of older people like to go and watch these things you might never have heard of. I don't mean to be rude but Brixton seems like an unlikely place for the Ritzy. But with the varieties Brixton has It doesn't stand to out of place, plus it's fairly on the outskirts. Brixton is counted as Central London and so has a tube station or a train station which means that It is very easily accessible. Another good side is that it is independent (ish) - part of the picture house group - and is very clean. It has been reffered to as a theatre/cinema and When you line up in a grand hall with a red carpet it feels quite special. My personal downside is that I don't care for foreign films and films no one really knows about so I would be more drawn to the Odeon or the Vue. And price wise it is similar to anywhere else (apart from Under 16's only pay £2.50) but doesn't have a "cheap night" however if you become a member and expect to go A LOT then it works out well and you get many discounts.