Don't get me wrong, if you like going to the movies, going to the cinema can make for a great night out whatever the weather. But pouring with rain on a London summer's day, it was the perfect place to be. I love going to the movies. I like the feeling of escape a big cinema screen gives you. I can be easily distractible so the fact you're in a dark room means you just focus on the screen and can lose yourself in it. I also love stuffing my face with pop corn and chocolate!
With movies (and cinema-like screenings) now so easily accessible at home with improving technology, there are folk working to make the cinema experience a little bit different and a little bit more special to attract people from the comfort of their homes.
Cinemas that have been around for years have been having a good go at the boutique cinema experience for a while no. Want a comfy sofa and bar service? You could have it for not much more than a ticket at a West End cinema at places like the Everyman in Hampstead and the Electric on Portobello Road. A relatively new player in 'boutique cinema' is on a narrow street amidst the urban hipster oasis that is Shoreditch in East London.
Located in the basement of British design store, Aubin & Wills is the Aubin Cinema.
I quite like the clothes too… Their logo has a fox in it. And actually, it's pretty apt! It's all a little bit countryside chic and very London at the same time. I was out with a couple of friends from Portugal and having spotted a fox just strolling through a car park in East London, they were quite surprised. But if you've lived in London long enough, you'll know the urban fox is a familiar sighting.
Wine and candy
Showing just how sophisticated I can be, I opt for milk bottle sweets to go with my vino, oh yeah!
There is a small bar just outside the cinema where you can order drinks and snacks… All quite fitting for a boutique cinema, you can order something to munch on from wasabi peas to stilton walnut cookies. Sadly, they'd run out of chocolate when we were there so we settled for the tub of mixed candy (basically those penny milk-bottle type sweets). We also had a bottle of Malbec from Argentina (you're right, milk bottle sweets and red wine aren't a match made in heaven but I still rather enjoyed both!). Served with a couple of glasses (or if you're ordering a hot drink, you'll have a proper mug), we took it into the cinema where there are small lit-up stands by each sofa you could plonk it on. Lovely!
Lit up stands and foot stools
Woollen blankets are also provided to make it all the more cosier (an evening to the Aubin is certainly date-night material!).
They just have the one cinema screen and films range from blockbuster types to indie and cult type films. We went to see the new Spiderman flick in 3D and I loved it. Sometimes I wish people would wear spandex more often… especially if you're Andrew Garfield.
Taking the movie-going experience to another level - Edible Cinema
I have also just noticed that they're doing Edible Cinema at the Aubin! Partnering with Soho House and featuring food from experimental food designer, Andrew Stellitano, the Aubin Cinema will be showing the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away (which is a fantastic film if you haven't seen it yet) as part of the Edible Cinema series. Organisers first did Pan's Laybrinth (also another great film, they seem to like matching up fantastical films with fantastical foods) at the Electric cinema. You can see a review by Ruth Jamieson in the Guardian here. I love the idea but will just have to wait to see if they do a third showing somewhere as I'll be out of the country for this one. Still, if you're around, I reckon it's worth checking out. Screenings for Spirited Away (in edible form) are on 25 and 26 August and tickets will be on sale at the Aubin Cinema's website from 13 August. (I'm guessing you'll have to be quick!).
Shopping in boxes
Photo by mashmoom.blogspot.co.uk. A series of shipping containers house items for sale from headphones to trainers, mini art galleries and places for food and drink over two floors.
And if you fancy food and drink before or after - you're in Shoreditch so you'll find plenty on offer to keep your stomachs happy. As it was cold and the rain pretty heavy, we went for something warming - pie and mash from Pieminster in Box Park (it's a pop up mall that's hard to miss on the corner of Bethnal Green Road and Shoreditch High St.
Aubin Cinema66 Redchurch StreetLondon E2 7DP
Box office: 0845 604 8486www.aubincinema.com