Published on November 7, 2012 | by Amy Tanikie-Montagnani

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A cheap theatrical date

The cinema was once nearly turned into a McDonalds [Picture courtesy of the Coronet Cinema Website]

Rating: ★★★★★

As you come out of busy Notting Hill Gate tube station, you are instantly surrounded by an abundance of modern-day, generic shops and businesses; McDonald’s sits across the road like it does on almost every other high street in London, but standing there, no more than a minute’s walk away is the Coronet Cinema.

Built over 100 years ago, it has the external architecture of another era compared to a generally very modern looking chain of corporate cinemas – there is also a shabby chic charm not present in most modern buildings.

The Coronet is a cinema with two screens. Screen One is part of the original building; this holds two impressive balconies that add a magical feel.

Screen Two, created in 1996 is a smaller, more modest space and this creates a kind of quaintness you would not experience in larger cinemas.

One of the disadvantages of the Coronet would have to be that the limited screenings do not allow the featured films to be shown regularly; typically it is a choice of four films a week shown up to twice a day so it is best to plan ahead.

Snacks like popcorn are sold in the shop situated in the foyer. Although the choices are less varied than larger cinemas they do sell a selection of wines. There are shops and restaurants close by if you are feeling particularly peckish.

Monday nights are student friendly with student ID there is only a £3.50 admission and a choice of any item from the kiosk for just £1.50.

As a whole, the prices at the Coronet are very reasonable, with the usual adult price placed at £7.50, and under 15’s costing £4.50. Shows on a Tuesday night are £3.50 for everyone and weekday matinee shows are only £4.50.

Overall, I found the Coronet to be a very enjoyable experience and – despite some of the limitations it may face due to its size – I wish there were more movie houses out there with the Coronet’s charisma and old-fashioned grandeur. Thank goodness that plans to turn the cinema itself into another McDonald’s at the end of the 1980s fell through.

For films playing this week visit the Coronet’s website at www.coronet.org

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