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The Filmhouse - The Edinburgh Cinema That Celebrates Film

BY: Laura Pearson Smith | 7 Jan 2016

If you are looking for an Edinburgh cinema, you don’t get much better than the Filmhouse. The Filmhouse Edinburgh is passionate about movies old and new. Their screenings are varied and the atmosphere has a real touch of Hollywood.

The Filmhouse Edinburgh on Lothian Road is an independent cinema with three screens that’s housed in a converted church. It opened its doors in 1979 and screens independent films alongside movie blockbusters and foreign offerings. It is also home to the longest-running film festival in the world. The Edinburgh International Film Festival, which attracts global talent, has held many of its events and award ceremonies here since it began. They also hold dedicated film genre seasons so that you can really immerse yourself in a style of filmmaking. Previous seasons have included The First World War in Cinema and The Cinema of Childhood.

The décor inside still pays homage to its prior existence as St.Thomas Church with many art deco touches, and the front of the building is listed. The Filmhouse Edinburgh is publicly funded (by their charity Centre for the Moving Image), so it has a real community atmosphere. The excellent licensed café bar, serving a variety of freshly cooked food, is always alive with movie analysis chatter. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options and you can even take a plastic glass of wine into the screening with you. There is also an excellent shop filled with texts on the movie business and on key players, if you want to expand your knowledge further.

If you live close to the Filmhouse, it may be worth taking out a membership. A single annual membership fee is just £30 and it entitles you to money off tickets, discounts in the gift shop, priority booking for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and exclusive email offers and events. This Edinburgh cinema hosts over 700 film screenings and events per year, so it could save you a fortune. The price of your membership also goes towards keeping the cinema running and it continuing to develop.


A photo posted by Rosie-Jane (@rhinestone_roro) on

The Filmhouse Edinburgh offers cinema-goers the chance to get a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the film business with many Q&A sessions with talent and post-film discussion panels. They have a strong learning element to their operations through getting schools in for screenings and debates. They also try to make the cinema and film-seeing process as accessible as possible with many audio description and subtitled films, and they liase with organisations such as the Scottish Mental Health & Arts Film Festival and Refugee Week to ensure the whole community’s needs are being met by their programming. If movies are your passion, this is a perfect place to go to learn more and meet like-minded people.


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* Cover image credit Kim Traynor, via creative commons.

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