The Prince Charles Cinema has been around since 1991, although its location has changed over the years (from a “West End Theatre and a film-house of ill repute”) it now resides in Leicester Square. It’s the only fully independent cinema in London, receiving no funding from the Arts Council or the Big Lottery Foundation. It’s this freedom that makes this not just a regular trip to the cinema, but an event not to be missed.
If I were to sum up the PCC in a word, that word would have to be Epic. And I don’t mean in the cool hipster way which teenagers use to describe boring every day occurrences (“I just got a bar of chocolate” “epic”) I mean the true meaning of the word. A heroic, awe-inspiring journey: the actual meaning of the word.
So, I can see you’re wondering, what sets the PCC aside from other cinemas? They show every day releases that you can see in other cinemas (but without the really bad ones such as 21 Jump Street for example). They also show more indie films (being an independent cinema). Before The Artist got a lot of attention because of award season, the PCC was showing it whereas my local cinema in Kent was not. But the best thing about the PCC is the events they put on. Here are a just a few examples:
- Sing-a-long The Little Shop of Horrors
- Flash Gordon quote-a-long
- Back to the Future trilogy (yes all three films in one sitting)
- Batman – Adam West version
- The Big Lebowski- the dude abides quote-a-long
- Classic film season
- Die Hard trilogy (one sitting)
- Director Q and A screenings
- Double Bills
- Friday the 13th all night marathon I-VIII
- Ghostbusters quote-a-long
- Quote-a-long Anchorman
There are plenty more, but I’m running out of space to list them. As you can see there is something for everyone. For people who like horror movies, to people who like classics, to a Wayne’s World quote-a-long. There is something from every genre, therefore something for everyone. One of the many attractions to the PCC, is that it is not just for movie loving Geeks. Even if you only own 1 DVD and it is a Rom Com with either Jennifer Anniston or Hugh Grant (delete applicable) it doesn’t matter, because there will be something on at the PCC that will tickle your fancy. (the Grease sing-al-ong maybe? Or The Princess Bride quote-a-long. As you wish…)
Its not just the wide variety of films available, it is the way you get to interact with them. It’s not just the norm, of sitting in a darkened room with strangers. Everyone in that cinema is the same as you, there to enjoy the film in every way, be that singing your heart out along with the Von Trapps in the Sound of Music, or singing “F*** yeah” with the World Police in Team America. It’s the getting involved that makes the PCC an unmissable attraction in London.
I will quickly tell you about my first time at the PCC. It was at the Labyrinth Masquerade Ball. Yes that’s right. Labyrinth, that 80’s movie with David Bowie . Not only a brilliant cult classic, but in the careful arms of the PCC some of the most fun I have ever had in my life. First of all, everyone is dressed up, either in costumes from the movies (there was some wonderful Goblin King outfits, some truly brilliant puffy 80’s white dresses, another man dressed as the worm, and the oddest… just a man in a gimp mask). If the absolute crazy dressing up isn’t for you, don’t worry, I just wore a mask, and loved it!
There is an MC dressed as David Bowie as Jareth (he also speaks like Bowie – it’s beyond awesome) and there is a best dressed competition. He warms up the audience and gets you to sing and make as much noise as possible. You also get free bubbles to blow during the dream sequence, and a party popper for when Sarah finally remembers that last line. You talk and sing along with your favorite characters and can even get up and have a dance.
If you haven’t guessed. I had a ball. A masquerade ball some could say (yeah that’s right I had so much fun I now make bad puns).
If you have seen The Artist and want to see more silent films, the PCC are doing a silent movie night – with a live piano. Experience silent films the way they were meant to be viewed!
The cinema itself is a delight. But you will have to go and find out for yourself.
You’re reading all this and thinking – wow how much is that going to cost. The answer. Not that much. It is a relatively cheap cinema, considering it is the heart of London’s Leicester Square.
So if you’re in London and you fancy doing something different, pop down to the PCC. You won’t be disappointed.