I often write about the films I’ve seen at the PCC but never about the cinema itself and thought that it’s about bloody time!!
Situated in Leicester Place, just off of Leicester Square, The Prince Charles Cinema is one of a few independent, repertory cinemas in London. It was originally built in the early 60s as a theatre but soon became a cinema. It went through a period as a porn cinema but eventually became the cinema we know today.
It has two screens, one is a more modern looking screen upstairs with 104 seats and the downstairs screen, near the bar which as a very 70s/80s feel to it and has 285 seats.
It is known for showing a range of cult classics and regularly has seasons of either a certain film type, director or series. Most recently it has had a season dedicated to the late Stanley Kubrick and I have been able to see his Sci-Fi masterpiece, 2001:A Space Odyssey a few times in 70mm (It originally ran at The PCC back in 1968 when it was first released). There have also been seasons dedicated to 80s action films, Bond, Harry Potter and much more. Personally I have never had a problem with the quality of the image or the sound, especially when some of the prints used are more than 50 years old!
Downstairs, opposite the bar (which is awesome), it the film requests chalkboard where visitors can request films they would like to see. You are limited to 5 requests per person and the board can get very full. It’s good to see that lots of these requests are honoured as well.
The cinema is also known for showing sing-a-long films. A couple of years ago I was subjected to seeing Frozen Sing-A-Long when my niece wanted to go. I have learned to like the film over the years. Regular sing-a-longs include The Sound of Music and The Rocky Horror Picture Show to which many people dress up as they do for other films shown at The PCC (they actively encourage cosplay which is awesome!).
It’s also worth keeping a close eye on the canopy outside, as over the years cinema staff have been known to put funny messages up. A few examples are below.
Tickets are cheap and vary from film to film. The refreshments kiosk is just like it was back in the 70s/80s just like the rest of the establishment and I love it! You can become a member which gives you discount on tickets and snacks at £10 for a year (which I currently have) or £50 for life (which I keep meaning to get!). They also do members only screenings for £1.
If you want the big IMAX type screen this isn’t the place for you, but if you LOVE cult movies and like the feel of 70s/80s/90s style cinema and are slightly nerdy when it comes to film then this is the place!
If it’s good enough for Quentin Tarantino, it’s good enough for me! (Legend has it that The PCC is his favourite cinema in the UK)