It’s almost Christmas! If you want a break from Star Wars mania this December, there are plenty of classic movies to watch over the festive period. Let’s take a look at the best Christmas films to enjoy in London this month.
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Frank Capra’s classic is revisited more than any other movie over the festive period, with the film celebrating its 69th year. James Stewart shines as businessman George Bailey, who learns what life could have been like if he never existed. The Union Chapel in Islington will host the film as part of their Winter Warmers Christmas Fair, including festive singing, games, crafts and Santa’s Grotto! All proceeds raised will go to the Margins Homelessness Project, which is based at the Chapel. Tickets are expected to go fast so head to www.unionchapel.org.uk for more details.
John Favreau’s timeless classic gets better with every passing year, thanks to an infectiously happy performance from Will Ferrell and the sweeter-than-pie Zooey Deschanel. Buddy the Elf has become a festive stalwart and it’s always a joy to revisit this feel-good gem. The 20th Century Theatre in Notting Hill hosts Pop Up Screens Christmas line-up this year which includes Elf, Santa Claus: The Movie, The Grinch and A Christmas Story. Visit www.popupscreens.co.uk for more info and tickets.
The glorious surroundings of The Soho Hotel will host the best rom-com Christmas movie of all time. Part of their legendary Film Club, you can enjoy the star-studded film in the luxurious confines of their private screening theatre. Comfort is of paramount importance and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better venue. The film itself is a 5-star gem with Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson and a whole host of famous faces delivering a wonderfully feel-good experience. And London has never looked so festive in Richard Curtis’ affecting ode to Christmas in the capital. Check out www.firmdalehotels.com for more info and their full yuletide line-up including White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street.
NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION
Firmdale Hotels are hosting amazing Christmas screenings across all of their London sites this year, with Christmas Vacation gracing The Charlotte Street Hotel. The pursuit of the ultimate family Christmas has never been funnier than this hilarious Chevy Chase outing. Full of belly laughs, a rampaging squirrel and Randy Quaid as a big-hearted relative from hell, join the Griswold’s once again for a truly festive treat. You can even combine the screening with one of their famous afternoon tea or dinner packages, making an unforgettable night even better. Again, www.firmdalehotels.com has all the info.
CHRISTMAS PYJAMA PARTY
The Prince Charles Cinema, so often the best kept secret in London, always knows how to deliver a great night out. Their line-up all year round is amazing but Christmas really brings out the classics. This year they’ll outdo themselves again with two helpings of their festive all-nighter, each comprising of The Muppet Christmas Carol, Home Alone, Elf, Gremlins, Die Hard and Scrooged. If that lot doesn’t get you in the spirit, nothing will! Go to www.princecharlescinema.com for all the ticket details for this and other seasonal gems.
Having wowed audiences during a summer of movie-love, the Rooftop Film Club has morphed once again into the Underground Film Club for Winter. Housed in the snug surroundings of The Vaults in Waterloo, their Christmas line-up is excellent with Home Alone a clear highlight. Who doesn’t want to see Macaulay Culkin outwit Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern again? Head to www.undergroundfilmclub.com to book this and other seasonal treats including mainstays like Elf, Gremlins and It’s A Wonderful Life.
The Nomad Cinema is the most socially-conscious of my picks with 100% of profits going to their chosen charity, which this year is The Sustainability Institute in South Africa. The Nightmare Before Christmas, Love Actually and Die Hard are just some of the highlights scattered throughout December but it’s Gremlins at Eccleston Place Courtyard near Victoria that delights the most. There’s even going to be piping hot festive meals, mince pies, mulled wine and hot chocolate. Just don’t get wet, eat after midnight or get exposed to bright lights. Click on www.whereisthenomad.com for more.