London's best Christmas film screenings, 2019
From the screen at Selfridges to immersive wintry wonderlands, we round up the best Christmas film screenings London 2019 has to offer
And as temperatures drop, what better way to explore fresh corners of London than in new places that feel just as comfortable as home? And, in some cases, even more comfortable...
The Cinema at Selfridges
In need of a pit-stop inbetween Christmas shopping? The time is right with the latest addition to the Selfridges family: a plush three-screen cinema. The new project was opened by Olympic Studios founder Stephen Burdge, who notoriously turned the Rolling Stones' favourite recording studio into a community cinema.
Everything has been thought through, from a cocktail lounge and private members area, to the comfort of Norwegian reclining seats, and popcorn that doesn't rustle or smell. Kicking off the season, take your significant other to see Le Mans '66, or bask in the festive spirit with a screening of Frozen II.
Christmas at the Prince Charles Cinema
The Prince Charles Cinema never disappoints when it comes to screenings that are themed, immersive, interactive or just a bit different in any other way. While their full festive programme is still being finalised, there's still already plenty to bookmark including singalongs of The Muppet Christmas Carol, quote-alongs of Elf, reruns of Die Hard, Love Actually, The Holiday and more. The central London location boasts a cosy and familiar atmosphere and its audiences are the most vocal cinema lovers we've found in the big smoke.
Our pick: A hidden gem from 1940, The Shop Around the Corner has become a firm staple in the PCC programme and for good reason. The charming romantic comedy stars Margaret Sullavan and Jimmy Stewart on top form, as director Ernst Lubitsch proves that, really, they just don't make 'em like this anymore.
The Rivoli Ballroom Christmas Pop-Up Cinema
Did you know that the Rivoli Ballroom is the only intact 1950s ballroom remaining in London? With regal reds and glittering golds, it sets the perfect scene for a one-off festive film screening this Christmas period. With a select number of classics, from Home Alone to Die Hard, the space is offering extremely affordable (tickets start at just £5) pop-up events from Monday 9 and Friday 14 December. It's some kind of Christmas miracle.
Our pick: Amidst all the usual big hitters, a familiar classic has made its way into the festive mix – don't miss the screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to bask in the regal settings, onscreen and off, of a mid December festive celebration.
Love Actually: film with live orchestra, Eventim Apollo
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without Love Actually, so why not kick off December with a particularly classy viewing of the festive rom-com. Back due to popular demand after last year's magic, the film is touring the UK again for live screenings in sumptuous settings. On Sunday 1 December, Richard Curtis’s 2003 classic will be accompanied by live orchestra, amidst the epic setting of the Eventim Apollo. Tickets are already running low, but you can get ahead of the game now for a Christmas to remember.
Festive Film & Fizz with Curzon, One Aldwych
Film & Fizz graces One Aldwych all year round, but come November and December the luxurious experience complete with a three-course dinner at Indigo is given a festive twist too. Booking now, from the feelgood factor of The Holiday to the timeless magic of It's A Wonderful Life, there's sure to be something to add a bit of sparkle to your festive season this year.
Our pick: For the new release this year, One Aldwych are screening Last Christmas, a brand new comedy penned by Emma Thompson and starring Emilia Clarke. It's showing in cinemas from 15 November onwards, but will certainly still fit the mood when it screens on 20, 21 and 22 December as part of Film & Fizz.
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Home Alone at the View from the Shard
He might have missed the holiday – but there's no reason for you to not enjoy the view. The Extraordinary Travelling Film Show is bringing one of our festive favourites to greater heights than ever before, with a sky-high screening of Home Alone with one of the best views of the big smoke.
Every ticket to the screening includes a complimentary Mermaid Gin and Tonic and freshly made popcorn – keep those expectations high for a reason.
The Secret Forest Bar & Kitchen, Harvey Nichols
Up on the fifth floor of the Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge store, an immersive adventure awaits. The bar has been transformed into a secret forest, where visitors will be guided on a journey through mystical woodland lit from above by the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis. The Nordic theme is continued on the menu, where kantarellmacka (mushroom and Gruyère toasties), köttbullar (meatballs) and kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) all feature. Those with a sweet tooth can wash these down with a retro ice-cream cocktail.
The best time to visit is on Wednesday and Sunday evenings (8 November - 5 January), when the Secret Forest bar doubles up as a secluded cinema. Expect a host of family favourites, from Home Alone to Miracle on 34th Street, plus festive rom-coms including Love Actually and The Holiday.
Backyard Cinema's Snow Kingdom and Winter Night Garden
The titans of immersive cinema are back with not one but two magical experiences this festive period. Taking over TV studio Capital Studios, Backyard are bringing back interactive cinema with a twist for their two different voyages – the Winter Night Garden asks guests to travel through a wardrobe (Narnia lives on) and journey through an enchanted forest, while the Snow Kingdom sees travellers discover a magical ball pit river, secret passageways and password-protected frosty worlds.
Both venues offer the same decadent Backyard experience – cosy beanbags, festive snacks (including top-tier street food from Honest Burgers and Mother Clucker) and of course, all the best festive flicks. Elf, The Holiday, Love Actually, The Greatest Showman, Home Alone and more are all on the cards.