One of London’s few luxury cinemas has some unconventional décor, cosy seats, and the latest blockbusters. Just don’t be surprised if someone asks for your autograph on your way out.
When you first step into the Soho Hotel, it’s difficult not to notice what appears to be an enormous ceramic cat. The arcane décor in general gives the feeling of walking into a shop of giant curiosities – a welcome break from the grandiose, glitzy, and garish-looking hotel decorations you’re more likely to see gracing lobbies around the capital.
Perhaps the best thing about the Soho Hotel is its screening rooms. And perhaps the best thing about the screening rooms is that they put on a special show every Sunday night, which at least for a few hours distracts you form the fact it’s back to work the next morning. If you’re lucky enough to be a guest at the hotel, that won’t be a problem, as the only thing on your mind will be the complimentary night cap waiting for you in your spotless, immeasurably comfortable room.
Conveniently, in addition to the screening rooms, the downstairs section of the hotel also hosts the cocktail lounge, which provides a good way to cull that waiting-for-the-film-to-start limbo. Alternatively, the library and drawing room are adequate places to retreat to if the bar is overcrowded.
The screening rooms themselves are good representations of the rest of the hotel. Intimate and comfortable by design, both rooms are fitted with 45 and 100 cowhide and red leather seats respectively. These seats regularly support the derrieres of the rich and famous, who often visit the cinema to observe the endeavours of their colleagues on screen. Luxury cinemas in London such as this one are surprisingly difficult to come by, and the big names are the first to appreciate this. If you find yourself in such company, expect a melee of photographers waiting outside.
Perhaps it would be wise to say something about the films you’d expect to see. Firstly, the Soho Hotel’s screening rooms will put on an amalgam of the old and new – from the monochrome classics of cinema’s early days right up to the finely polished, highly anticipated, and star-spangled releases we see gracing the screens today. At the time of writing, blockbusters such as The Riot Club, Gone Girl, and Fury were being shown, while the festive season bought with it the promise of Christmas classics like Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Love Actually.
We shouldn’t also forget to mention the Soho Hotel’s successful Film Club, which rewards those coming back on a Sunday with the option of either a three-course lunch or an afternoon tea with champagne. With a film thrown in as well, of course.