Nothing gets you in the festive spirit like a feelgood Christmas film on the big screen, ideally enjoyed with a mulled wine. Loads of London venues and pop-ups screen Xmas movies 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...
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 Christmas, with screenings of It's A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Love Actually, Elf, Home Alone 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, 27 November-24 December 2023.
Taste Film 'eatalong' screenings of The Holiday and Home Alone
You've heard of singalong screenings, but what about 'eatalongs'. That's what Taste Film does best, pairing the action on screen with a themed dish or drink, served to audience members at the appropriate moment. They're tackling two Christmas films this year: The Holiday, and Home Alone.
Christmas films at Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square
The Prince Charles doesn't do things by halves, and its Christmas season is no exception.
You've got the usual classics such as The Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone, and It's A Wonderful Life, as well as some unexpected entries in the form of Eyes Wide Shut (well, it does take place at Christmas) and The Shop Around The Corner (ditto). There's a Christmas Pyjama Party all-nighter on Saturday 2 December, when The Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf, Home Alone, Gremlins and Die Hard are shown back to back.
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 2023.
The Luna Winter Cinema, Kensington Palace and Battersea Arts Centre
Summer outdoor screening experts The 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, showing Miracle on 34th Street, The Holiday, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, Love Actually and other beloved classics.
Food and drink, including hot chocolate and mulled wine, is available from the Luna Bar, along with popcorn, nuts and, of course, mince pies.
New for this year, The Luna Winter Cinema also heads to Battersea Arts Centre for the first time, offering a choice between sofas, beanbags or chairs, and screening a similarly festive selection of films the week before Christmas
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 both Home Alone films, Love Actually, Elf, Gremlins and Die Hard over an epic three-day run, with chandeliers hanging overhead, a stall selling sweets, ice cream and popcorn and, of course, a bar.
Christmas films at Rivoli, 20-22 December 2023.
Christmas films in concert
Sometimes, certain venues screen films with a live orchestra accompaniment playing the soundtrack.
The Eventim Apollo offers:
- The Holiday in Concert (2 December)
- The Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert (3 December)
- Love Actually in Concert (9 December)
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas (10 December)
Meanwhile, the Royal Albert Hall hosts: