I’m kind of surprised that I’d never heard of this place before! I came across it one Saturday night in East London, after leaving a rather disappointing event early, and wandering along at a bit of a loose end on the way to get some sushi.
The place has a calm, slightly academic atmosphere and smells of coffee and cake. As you enter, there are tables, chess sets and people calmly tapping away on laptops or reading (scripts presumably). It feels very welcoming, a little refuge in the heart of all the bustle.
Lined with wall to wall shelves of DVDs, it houses an extensive film library, with some rare gems from every era, sections for various directors, and cult classics. You can borrow any of these as a member, pricing of which starts at just a £10 fee. And as a person who’s studied the subject, they really do have a good collection.
At the back, they have a beautiful screening room where they hold regular events and screenings, with cult and foreign cinema and other programs. You can also hire the cinema as a venue, more details of which are on their site. They are currently running a season of lost, banned and forgotten films, which is quite interesting.
Finally, they also have a publication called Vertigo, an online magazine for movie lovers and film buffs.
Their aim is to make film culture and history accessible, and they certainly do that. But they’ve also created a little film lovers oasis, and it’s truly delightful.
The Close Up Film Centre is at 97 Sclater St in London, E1 6HR. You can find their website HERE.
You can also find my movie site HERE, with movie news and reviews.