ELL picks the best local festive film screenings

'It's a Wonderful Life' Pic: Creative Commons

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Pic: Creative Commons

With special screenings of festive films planned all across the ELL boroughs this Christmas, there’s plenty of opportunity to indulge in the magic of cinema.

So ditch the gift shopping, nurture your nostalgia with some cult classics and share the season’s greetings through the magic of the big screen at one of our featured Christmas film events.

Cycle-powered cinema screening of Home Alone

December 18, St John-at-Hackney, Clapton

If you’re feeling energetic, you can use pedal-power to help run a cycle-powered screening of ‘Home Alone’. Indulge in the nineties nostalgia, revert to your childhood self, and earn second helpings of Christmas pud at the same time. Perfect!

Presents from the Picture House

Until December 24, Hackney Picturehouse, Hackney Central

For a more conventional cinema experience head to Hackney Picture House to take advantage of their fantastic Christmas line-up. There are a few family favourites on the bill such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Gremlins, Mary Poppins, It’s a Wonderful Life – but also a more unusual one-off screening of Bolshoi: Sleeping Beauty. When world-class Russian ballet and festive fairy-tale combine you can surely expect to be spellbound.

Sydenham Film Club Christmas Special: Female Trouble

December 19, The Golden Lion, Forest Hill

The outrageously dark Christmas comedy Female Trouble (1974) is the perfect film choice for those who find the season’s greetings a little too saccharine.  Festive treats and mulled wine will be on offer, and if runaway rebel Dawn Davenport appeals to your hedonistic side, the Golden Lion pub is the ideal place for a proper Crimbo knees up.

Downham Library kids Christmas films

December 20 – 22, Downham Library

In addition to their regular weekly adult film nights, the helpful staff at Downham Library have promised additional family-freindly festive film sessions in the run up to Christmas. Enjoy the classics with your kids, or take the opportunity to settle in the corner with a good book…

Future Cinema presents Ghostbusters: a live cinema experience  

Until Dec 23, the Troxy cinema, Limehouse     

Who you gonna call?... It might not be quintessentially festive, but the Future Cinema is screening the ghoulish ‘Ghostbusters’ as part of Christmas at the Troxy. Known for their “live cinema experience,” expect phosphorescent green slime in place of tinsel and turkey.

Snapshots Christmas Festival

December 21, Rich Mix, Bethnal Green

Rich Mix has lined up a day and night of festive fun for their Snapshots Christmas Festival. Families are invited to enjoy Tim Burton’s creepy animation ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ followed by hot chocolate, goody bags and a meeting with Santa in the Rich Mix grotto – assuming you’ve not been too naughty this year.

The evening also offers a classic screening of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to warm your heart, followed by mulled wine and a Christmas Ceilidh.

‘Scrooge’ at Ruskin House

December 21, Ruskin House, Fairfield

Brian Desmond Hurst’s 1951 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ is the epitomy of seasonal film watching. Relax and let Alastair Sim (as Ebeneezer Scrooge) and Michael Hordern (Marley’s ghost) remind you just what you have to be thankful of this year. There will also be a raffle, and a bar. Double win.

Christmas at Vue Croydon

For a more modern take on the festive film head to Croydon Grants or Croydon Pearly Way Vue cinemas to immerse yourself in the latest box office releases.  The family friendly Disney animation ‘Frozen’ breathes new life into fairytale of evil Snow Queens and spells of eternal winter, ‘Black Nativity’ sees a streetwise kid discover the true power of Christmas, and a one off screening of ‘Rise of the Guardians’ (2012) sees Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and the Easter Bunny unite as one incredible tag team against the forces of evil.


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