The 405's Nicole Engelmann paid a visit to the iconic Prince Charles Cinema in London for our latest cinematic-flavoured behind the scenes feature. Check out the full gallery below, along with a brief Q&A we did with the cinema's Head Programmer, Paul Vickery.

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Prince Charles Cinema

Could you tell us a bit of history about the cinema?

The site itself sprang to life as a Theatre before making the rather interesting shift to becoming a film-house of ill repute in 1962, which is when the site went on to famously host to the UK's longest theatrical runs of both Emmanuelle and Caligula!

Then in 1991, the early seeds of The Prince Charles Cinema were planted and from there this mighty little cine-behemoth began to grow. We now find ourselves as one of the most popular independent cinema's in the UK.

So what kind of films do we screen? To the uninitiated you may think we only allow the Back To The Future and Indiana Jones movies to reach our screen, but that's merely the tip of the cinematic iceberg. In the past we've seen seasons dedicated to Paul Thomas Anderson run in the same month as an all-nighter dedicated to the Jurassic Park series (yes, even the not-so-good ones). We've also had Jacques Rivette and Ingmar Bergman 'sampler' seasons run alongside those for 007 and Studio Ghibli. Epic 70mm presentations of 2001: A Space Odyssey in one screen whilst people Aca-Alonged to Pitch Perfect in the other.

To put it plainly; we screen everything!


Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema

What would you say sets you apart from other cinemas?

The structure of our programme is very different to most cinemas; we have a core of repertory (older) films served up as seasonal strands or singular events which run alongside that of New Release / First Run films. This gives our programme a rather distinct shape and flavour. Some chain cinemas dabble with the odd repertory screening her and there, usually slotting them in at times which aren't particularly popular, but we're dedicated to giving the history of cinema the same space as current releases which is why every evening you'll be able to find a classic film running at the same time as a current release.



Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema

What does the future of cinema look like to you?

For a cinema like us as long as we continue to invest in keeping the history of cinema on a cinema screen, programming interesting first run films our audience wants to see and making sure our prices as remain reasonable (we haven't raised our New Release ticket price in 4 years) we'll be fine.


Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema

What's been the cinema's proudest moment to date?

That's a tough one as there's been a few, but for me it was when Paul Thomas Anderson picked us as the London Premiere venue for Inherent Vice a couple of years back. He's been a hero of mine since Boogie Nights (though Magnolia is actually my favourite film of his) and being told that he'd singled us out as the site to screen the film was mind-blowing. On the day of the screening, he came down to tour the venue and do a tech rehearsal with his personal 35mm print of Inherent Vice, and he couldn't have been nicer. Sitting in our downstairs screen watching Inherent Vice sat next to Paul Thomas Anderson is not an experience I'll be forgetting anytime soon.


Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema

Lastly, what upcoming film should we be excited to see?

Old film: Vertigo, which we're screening from 70mm in the coming months.

New film: Richard Linlater's Everybody Wants Some!!, which is every bit as great as you're expecting. Oh and Green Room! Go see that too.


Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema

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