Nothing gets you into the festive spirit like a feelgood Christmas film on the big screen, ideally enjoyed with a mulled wine. Plenty of London venues and pop-ups screen Xmas films in December — take a look below for some enchanting settings — way more interesting than your local multiplex. And no, we're not being dragged into the Die Hard debate...
1. Christmas films at Backyard Cinema, Wandsworth
For an atmospheric movie night out, Backyard Cinema is hard to beat. This year has a Northern Lights theme — hop into a 1920s train carriage and 'travel' to the North Pole, where you'll find your beanbag awaiting among twinkling stars and snow-dusted pine trees.
Though films runs all through the autumn and winter, the Christmas programme begins with Elf, sliding through Die Hard, Home Alone, Gremlins, Love Actually, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Holiday, The Grinch — and other festive favourites throughout November and December. Several days have multiple screenings, offering family-friendly films during the daytime, and grown-up options later on.
You can get a drink and street food at the Big Top Bar (open to everyone, even if you don't have a cinema ticket) before or after your film, although drinks and snacks are available at your seat throughout.
Christmas films at Backyard Cinema, 16 November-30 December 2022.
2. Rooftop Christmas Cinema at Kitchen at Holmes, Baker Street
European restaurant Kitchen at Holmes offers a dining and cinema package. Tuck into a festive feast before heading up to the roof terrace to watch festive films among fairy lights and Christmas trees — sounds ideal for date night. The menu includes smoked burrata, black ink cuttlefish croquettes and grilled octopus, with a separate popcorn menu to savour during the film. Elf, Love Actually and The Holiday are among the film choices.
Winter Movie Pop Up at Kitchen at Holmes, £70 per person (including dinner), 17 November-16 December 2022.
3. Festive Film & Fizz at One Aldwych
Swanky Strand hotel One Aldwych partners with Curzon for a year-round programme of film screenings in its intimate 30-seat cinema, accompanied by a posh menu.
The programme gets suitably festive for December, with screenings of Love Actually, The Holiday, Elf, It's A Wonderful Life, White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street. It's at the luxe end of festive screening spectrum— tickets (£95) include a three-course dinner (or lunch at weekends) in the hotel restaurant, Indigo.
Film & Fizz at One Aldwych, 24 November-26 December 2022.
4. Christmas films at Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square
The Prince Charles doesn't do things by halves, and its Christmas season is no exception.
Sure, you've got the usual classics such as The Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone, and It's A Wonderful Life, as well as not-specifically-Christmassy offerings in the form of Carol and Little Women.
Many of the films are screened multiple times in the run-up to the big day. For an independent cinema, the Prince Charles punches well above its weight, and it's been a rough couple of years for small businesses — so consider buying some popcorn and a drink on your way in.
Christmas at the Prince Charles Cinema, 1-24 December 2022.
5. The Luna Winter Cinema, Kensington Palace
Summer outdoor screening experts Luna Cinema head into the warm for winter, with a series of festive screenings inside the Kensington Palace Pavilion. The building is decked out for Christmas, with mulled wine and mince pies available to scoff as you watch Home Alone, Love Actually, Last Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol and other beloved classics.
Food and drink, including hot chocolate and mulled wine, is available from the Luna Bar, along with popcorn, nuts and the like.
The Luna Winter Cinema, 10-23 December 2022.
6. Christmas films at Crofton Park Pictures/Rivoli Ballroom
South-east Londoners; head for the glitz and glam of the Rivoli Ballroom for festive movie nights. Pop-up cinema Crofton Park Pictures screens Home Alone, Love Actually, Elf and Die Hard over an epic two-day run, with chandeliers hanging overhead, a stall selling sweets and popcorn and, of course, a bar.
Christmas films at Rivoli, 22-23 December 2022
Plus, the Eventim Apollo hosts concert screenings accompanied by a live orchestra. Choose from The Holiday In Concert (3 December), The Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert (4 December) and Love Actually in Concert (10 December).