The 10 best independent cinemas in the UK

  • The 10 best independent cinemas in the UK

If you're looking to view films in more 'intimate' surroundings, rather than the traditional multiplex cinema, then we've compiled a list of the country's finest independent cinemas.

10. Palace Cinema, Haverfordwest

In the South-west Wales market town resides the Grade II listed cinema, once dubbed a fleapit, it has been turned around and is now the toast of Haverfordwest.

The quaint cinema brings flooding back memories of the past, keeping with the tradition, you can't reserve or book seats either.

Visit their website

9. Zeffirellis, Cumbria

Nestling in the middle of the Lake District, Zeferellis houses a pizzeria, vegetarian restaurant, cinema and jazz bar - visitors can bag themselves a deal of a two course meal and cinema ticket for under 20 quid.

The 1930s-inspired cinema has tourists and locals returning time after time for its quality and value.

Visit their website

8. Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle

Designed and built by Dixon Scott, Great Uncle of directors Tony and Sir Ridley Scott in 1937, the Tyneside Cinema became home to Tyneside Film Society and by the 50s it was the UK's largest film society outside of London.

By 1999 was in a terrible state and on the brink of demolition, which prompted a £7 million restoration to the film's former glory, which now boasts one of the North East's finest film going experiences.

Visit their website

7. Plaza Cinema, Truro

Down in Cornwall, the Plaza opened in 1936 and boasted an art deco style and 1,176 seats.

Fast-forward to the 1990s and the cinema was forced to close, before being resurrected 20 years later by WTW Cinemas - now owners of four Cornish cinemas - whose extensive reconstruction of the art deco style saw the Plaza win Independent Cinema of the Year in 2006.

Visit their website

6. Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds

Built in 1914 as WWI was just kicking off, the cinema was dubbed "the cosiest in Leeds" and has remained a fixture in the south of Leeds ever since.

The small and characterful cinema was saved from closure by Leeds City Council, who now owns it through their independent company which preserves and restores Leeds' historic and culturally significant venues -maintaining its much-loved independent feel.

Visit their website

5. Cube Microplex, Bristol

Described as a 'social art experiment', in the building of an amateur dramatics theatre The Cube was opened in 1998 by a filmmaker, a screenwriter and two stilt-walkers who had been running an unlicenced screening event called Club Rhombus.

After a fire forced it to close for over a year in the early-2000s, it came back stronger than ever to host theatrical cinema releases as well as screening cult flicks, holding exhibitions, festivals and more weird and wonderful events.

Visit their website

4. Lynton Cinema, North Devon

In the small coastal town on the north coast of Exmoor, the theatre opened in the Grade II listed former Methodist Chapel in 2001 to bring a cinema to the film for the first time since 1961.

Boasting comfortable spacious seats, the cinema has a capacity of 68 people and - with the town's population of 2,000 - boasts itself as the UK's smallest town with a full-time cinema.

Visit their website

3. The Grosvenor, Glasgow

At the heart of Glasgow's West End since 1921, the cinema closed down in 2002 after falling into disrepair, only to be relaunched in 2003 after a multimillion-pound refurbishment.

With two screens, the cinema now houses two screens as well as a bar and restaurant in the roof.

Visit their website

2. The Scala, Prestatyn

The North Wales seaside resort saw its cinema closed down in 2000, and a group of community campaigners sprang into action to call for restoration to the 115-year-old building.

Local businessman Rob Arthur reopened the cinema in 2015 as The Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, with two 150-seat auditoriums offering a “more traditional cinema” feel.

Visit their website

1. The Rex, Berkhamsted

If the BBC dubs it "possibly Britain's most beautiful cinema," then it may well be the finest independent cinema in the UK.

Opened in 1938 in the historic Hertfordshire market town, The Rex was closed in 1988 before being lovingly restored to its art-deco brilliance and re-opened in 2004 and has never looked back.

Frequently selling out, the Rex forbids popcorn and "flaccid hotdogs", while interestingly, on the floor in the 'stalls' there are swivel chairs are tablecloth-draped, candlelit tables, making it feel more like an upmarket music venue or jazz club than a cinema.

Visit their website

Tell us what you think...

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.