If you’re under 25 and you love cinema, this is for you…


London is home to hundreds of cinemas but the pricing will often catch you out.

If you turn up in Leicester Square, the traditional home of London’s large cinemas, on a Friday or Saturday night expecting to watch a latest release at one of the Odeon, Vue or Empire cinemas you can find there, be prepared to part with your wallet. You might be paying £15 to £20 for a prime-time ticket and that’s not including the extra for 3-D glasses. Thankfully, some less commercially-minded institutions know that cinema is too important to become a financial burden. 

Just around the corner is the Prince Charles Cinema who offer much better prices (with weekly £1 screenings for members!), but for now we’re going to concentrate on the BFI Southbank, which is a 20-minute walk from Leicester Square down Charing Cross road. Occupying a beautiful, modernist space on the south side of the Thames, the Southbank is one of the London’s best destinations for cinephiles and tourists escaping the rain – not least because of the latest scheme they’re offering.

If you’re under 25 years old you can buy a ticket to any screening at any time for only £3. All you need to do is provide proof of your date of birth (with a driver’s licence, passport or ID card). You can’t buy tickets more than 45 minutes in advance – if you turn up one minute before and there are free seats you’ll be fine – so you can pass the time by browsing the excellent BFI shop. 

One of the big seasons they’re running at the moment, which lasts until 31st July, is a retrospective of the Hollywood master Steven Spielberg. What better way that to seize your youth in all its imaginative vitality than paying £3 to watch E.T., Close Encounters or Jaws

Photo: Maria Giulia Tolotti; licensed under Creative Commons.

Get to the BFI Southbank

To get to the BFI Southbank from Generator London, take the Northern Line from Euston (via Charing Cross) to Waterloo or Embankment and walk.