Do you remember Orange Wednesdays? I remember it fondly and can’t help but associate it with the ‘American Hot’ at Pizza Express. Orange Wednesdays first came into play on my Nokia 3310, then my Motorola Razr and even eventually my iPhone 3. I don’t think I nor any of my close friends were even on Orange. That was the beauty of it really; at school, we’d ask pals, siblings – even weird distant relatives if we got desperate for codes – and then plan our outing of pizza and a movie. Always the American Hot, tap water, and some sort of rom-com. I mean, I absolutely still like spicy pepperoni pizza and rom-coms but that was such a ritual for me circa 2008.
When I first moved to London, a friend and I went to Odeon in Camden, to see TWILIGHT OF ALL THINGS, I think it must have been peak time on a weekend because it cost something absolutely mental like £9.40 and I just remember being so gobsmacked that was the price and I was going to watch a really terrible movie. Now I know how parents must feel – sorry guys for all those awful adolescent movies I made you pay for AND sit through.
In general though, the cinema is obviously a nice way to spend a chill evening, particularly as we get into these colder months. It makes for a pleasant change from Netflix bingeing in bed, plus if you walk there and back it is basically the same as exercise. I try to support local independent film houses and stay clear of big chains.
Here are five ways to avoid spending £25 on two tickets to the cinema:
1. Become a member of Hackney libraries and go to the beautiful Grade II listed Rio on a Tuesday. Your tickets will cost a bargainous £4 a pop. Thirsty? Hungry? Grab a beer and some popcorn for an extra £6. They’ve been going for over 40 years and still have the old school red velvet curtains ( shown above). They also do £6 Mondays for all.
2. If you are under 25, sign up to Young Barbican and you can go to any showing between Monday and Thursday for a fiver. It’s a great scheme that gives young people discount across art, music and theatre as well as the cinema. If you are over 25, you can still go on a Monday and pay £6.
3. Make for Whitechapel on a Monday or Wednesday and hit up Genesis for £4.50 tickets. Genesis reminds me of my favourite cinema back in Edinburgh The Cameo, where you’ll catch people hanging out over coffee or a beer, not just to see a movie.
4. The steepest of the bunch at £7; you could visit Hackney Picturehouse on a Monday. I really like their lounge screenings, where they have bean bags instead of seats, soooo much comfier.
5. Rich Mix deserves the biggest shout out for its offerings. All tickets are £6 or 2-4-£10 on Mondays. Or, pick up another library card (everyone should read books, this is never a bad idea) from a Tower Hamlets library or Idea Store card and you can see any film for 5 quid on Mondays and Tuesdays. AND if you are under 25 you can actually see any film, any time for £5.
Not East but 100% worth mentioning….the legends at Peckham Plex offer £4.99 tickets all day everyday to everyone. I’d suggest going on a Sunday and pairing it with the £20 three course menu at Artusi; easily one of the best restaurants in London. Every time I’ve been seriously impressed.
Have we missed a cinema deal? Comment below to let us know…