— Ellie Broughton


For many casual cinemagoers, the Picturehouse venues look like they have all the kudos of an independent cinema with all the perks of being part of a network. The programming is great, food and drinks are good quality and the staff are super helpful.

But look behind the scenes and the story’s quite different. Staff at Picturehouses in both Hackney and Brixton have committed to strike over the network’s failure to pay London Living Wage.

Independent cinemas are not without their wage disputes either – for example, staff at the Dalston Rio went on strike last May over wages and job cuts. But if you were a Picturehouse fan until the strikes, you might want to show solidarity by taking your ticket money elsewhere.

The map above covers the following cinemas in London, so you can find the nearest indie to your home and work, or just explore cinemas you’ve never visited before:
Regent St Cinema
Close Up
Prince Charles Cinema
Rich Mix
Genesis Mile End
Dalston Rio
Institute Of Light
The Barbican
Finchley Phoenix
The Horse Hospital
Arthouse Crouch End
Ciné Lumière
The Lexi

A note on the ‘independence’ of cinemas featured on this list: the Arthouse, Prince Charles, Phoenix, Lexi, Genesis, Peckhamplex, Rich Mix, Horse Hospital and the Rio are independent, the BFI is independent registered charity, Close Up is part of a company that reinvests is profits into film resources, and Ciné Lumière is part of the Institut français, which is funded by French public funds.

The Electric Cinemas in Notting Hill and Shoreditch, although lovely, aren’t featured – they are owned by the Soho House Group – and Picturehouse cinemas (owned by Cineworld) aren’t  featured either.

Curzon cinemas, since they are not part of a giant like SHG or Cineworld, are also featured: unlike Picturehouse, the brand pays staff London Living Wage.

Cinema clubs and temporary venues for screening are not featured – everywhere on the list is a dedicated bricks-and-mortar cinema.

To add something to the list, make suggestions or syndicate this information, email elliebroughton@gmail.com.

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