Top 5 Independent Cinemas in the Midlands

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A multiplex is all well and good, but there’s nothing we love more than an independent cinema – the way it becomes a cultural hub for film lovers and Cinephiles, and the ever so friendly staff, always on hand with a recommendation about the newest releases.

Electric Cinema, Birmingham

Possibly the oldest cinema in the UK, the Electric Cinema was originally opened in 1909 and for over 100 years has been dedicated to showing the best of indie, mainstream and world cinema, as well as hosting events and screening old classics. There have been weddings held in its hallowed halls, and it features heavily in documentary The Last Projectionist, about the death of old school film projection in favour of digital. A champion of the best of cinema, it also houses Electric Flix production company who make dramas, documentaries and music promos. The art deco interior makes every film feel like an exciting cinematic experience.

Image Credit: The Electric Cinema

The Electric Cinema is located at 47-49 Station Street, Birmingham, B5 4DY.

Broadway, Nottingham

This glass fronted cinema with a Paul Smith designed auditorium screens old and new, arthouse and mainstream, and all in a way that’s accessible to as many people as possible. It hosts autism friendly screenings, dementia friendly ones, ones you can bring your baby along to and cheap ones for under 25’s. Broadway has two bars, and its own beer. It also holds film making schools for kids and teenagers during the holidays, fostering the next generation of British film makers, who one day might feature at the cinema’s annual sci-fi and horror film festival ‘Mayhem.’

Image Credit: Broadway

Broadway is located at 14-18 Broad Street, Nottingham, NG1 3AL.

Light House Wolverhampton

Located in the old Chubb Locks factory, Light House is not only the only independent cinema in the Black Country but also runs a prestigious media education centre, with courses in production and animation, conferences and workshops. As well as being a cinema Light House is also a gallery and media hub, hosting exhibitions, and a monthly jazz club. Screening independent films is not all Light House does however, also hosting the Flip Animation Festival and Deaffest - a deaf led film and TV festival and the only of its kind in the UK.

Image Credit: Light House via Facebook

Light House is located at the Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1HT.

Phoenix Leicester

Originally named the Digital Media Centre, Phoenix is run by a charity that aims to bring art and film to people, believing it enhances our lives. From tiny micro-budget indie films to mainstream blockbuster hits, the film programme at Phoenix is curated by the people who live and work in the area, meaning that the commercial success of a film is not a barrier to its programming. The cinema also hosts short courses for adults on film, and has a cosy bar café to sit in and intensely discuss whatever you’ve just seen!

Image Credit: Phoenix

Phoenix is located at 4 Midland Street, Leicester, LE1 1TG.

The Kinema in the Woods, Lincolnshire

Opened in 1922 and the 68th cinema to be opened in Britain, The Kinema in the Woods is the only cinema in Britain which still uses back projection - because of the low trusses there is no room to project from the back of the auditorium. Instead, films in Screen 1 of the Kinema are projected from behind the screen, onto a mirror, which flips the image. Until 1953 the first six rows of the cinema did not have flip seats but instead were much sought after deckchairs. In 1987 an organ was installed in screen 1, which is still played at Saturday night screenings by resident organist Alan Underwood. The cinema (or Kinema) continues to screen all the big releases as well as streaming theatrical events.

Image Credit: The Kinema in the Woods via Facebook

The Kinema in the Woods is located at Coronation Road, Woodhall Spa, LN10 6QD.