Taking the time to see a movie while I'm traveling usually doesn't rank high on my list of priorities but when the cinema itself offers a unique experience or cultural offering, I'm more than willing to reconsider.
Roman Polanski opined that going to the cinema should make you forget you're sitting in a theater. The Everyman group of independent theaters in England greatly lives up to Polanski's standards, delivering an experience that is far more comfortable, enjoyable and entertaining than your average big box multiplex where $15 gets you a battered seat coated with popcorn remnants and legroom comparable to economy seating in an airplane. Standard seats are spacious and comfortable but pay the £2 extra for premium couches (plus foot rests!). Bar and waiter service is available until the film begins and goes beyond the usual junk fare to include homemade savory dishes, cakes, ice cream, light snacks, wine and teas.
Have lunch at Ottolenghi on Upper Street (Islington) before walking a few blocks toward Angel to Screen on the Green, the Everyman theater across from Islington Green, for a matinee. Films range from indie art house to mainstream so there's certainly something for everyone.
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A Late-Night Movie at Screen on the Green
Screen on the Green is a quintessentially British establishment, and actually, it has nothing to do with Union Jacks or tea and scones. Screen on the Green shows recently released movies during the day, but as it nears midnight, popular "classics" take over the single-screen. Built in 1913 and set in Islington, this theater is within walking distance to plenty of pubs and restaurants, but it is undoubtedly the main event for any pop culture loving night-owl: Watch "The Godfather," "The Big Lebowski," or "Mean Girls" with people who have equally excellent taste, as you sip a cocktail and recite your favorite lines.