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Notting Hill, London
171 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RS
- Notting Hill Gate Station (0.6 km)
- Royal Oak Station (0.7 km)
- Contact us:
020 7792 4433
20 reviews of cinephilia in English
Cinephilia is, as its name implies, for the cinephile. It's a private cinema, cafe, bookshop and DVD shop all rolled into one. With Polish film artwork displayed on its wall, Cinephilia also functions as a gallery.
From the outside, it would be very easy to walk by and mistake this for just another cafe. After all, the only things you see are the cafe and artwork. The books, DVDs and screening room are located in the basement. So I'm really glad Omnivore organised a Qype event which let this great little place be discovered.
Owner Yoram and his wife Nicky certainly put a lot of effort into the place. On the night we were there, we were served delicious tapas and homemade sangria, before Yoram explained the concept behind Cinephilia. From the way he spoke, it was clear that he's incredibly passionate about indie film and that this is a great labour of love on his part.
Before we headed downstairs to the screening room, we were all invited to take drinks with us. I opted for a choc-au-lait, which turned out to be a block of solid chocolate on a stick which was to be stirred into a mug of hot milk. Delicious!
The screening room was equipped with comfy benches and beanbags, and looked like it could comfortably hold between 40 and 50 people without it seeming cramped. We were treated to a selection of four short films chosen by Yoram: an animated film, an experimental narrative, a Danish non-fiction film and an American film which was a little more mainstream. On my part, I enjoyed the Danish film - 12 Notes Down by
Andreas Koefoed - the most.
As others have noted, Cinephilia offers a monthly membership scheme of £10 per month, which gets the member access to a whole host of cult movie events every month. Non-members are welcome to join, but have to pay £5 at the door. If the venue's full, then members are given priority.
Cinephilia also offers free wi-fi, so if you're not into the whole indie film thing (I concede reluctantly that it may not be for everyone), you can still pop in, grab a coffee and some lunch and utilise the wi-fi!
What I love about London is diversity of taste. There is something for
everyone. Just when you think this is not the case, you stumble across
a gem that proves it is.
Cinephilia is one such place. Hidden amongst the up market fashionable
shops, boutiques and coffee shops of West London, you will find
something a little different.
This place from the outside looks like a coffee shop but it is so much
more. Upon entry you are greeted by staff who are passionate about
independent film as an art form. They set the tone for what follows.
Inside you have free wifi and a table set up which encourages people
to sit in groups and chew the fat of film. From my experience, I found
that they serve a great selection of tapas. The Walls are adorned with
a gallery of artwork (currently displaying film posters re-imagined by
Downstairs is a cinema. The decor resembles a living room. Again no space
is wasted. The walls to one side house a bookshop of arthouse and
independent film. On the other, DVDs to buy on the same area of
Cinephilia regularly runs events and encourages like minded folk to
join their 'film club' which explores moving pictures which are off
the beaten track. They also allow the venue to be booked for functions
(again film related). Directors and producers invited to introduce
their work. All in all an unforgettable time.
You don't just visit Cinephilia, you experience it.
I would say that Cinephilia is primarily a local, independent, cinema club for those in the Notting Hill / Westbourne Grove area, with an excellent café during the day too. The downstairs screening area is best described as a large, friendly, living room with a DVD shop along the walls.
However there is much more going on here than just an independent cinema, Café, and DVD shop. Yoram and his wife bring a knowledge and passion to this space which only real film lovers have. There is currently an exhibition of Polish posters upstairs, which has spilled over into neighbouring buildings and the space, which can hold 20 – 80 people, can be hired for three to four figures depending on the level of catering you require.
If you are looking for a unique, friendly venue in London Cinephilia is definitely worth checking out, especially if you are interested in the film pedigree they have to offer.
Is it a cafe? A gallery? A book and DVD shop? Or is it an independent cinema? Believe it or not in this small space it is all those things and it has been well organised each area complimenting the other.
There are screenings through out the month, and if you are a member they are included in the cost. As well the space can be booked for private events. The care that is taken to make sure any private event is organised to perfection shows, and the food is top quality.
If you are serious about movies and movie making this is the place to be (you never know who you might find yourself next to at the large communal table drinking an expresso). Make sure to check out the downstairs where the wide selection of books and DVD's is fantastic (not your usual HMV fare)
I love to see an original idea done well and with passion as it is at Cinephilia
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Comment 1 comment on this review
Goonergunners, 15 July 2010:
Cinephilia in Notting Hill is an absolute must for all cinema lovers. By day, Cinephilia is a small and friendly cafe with communal seating set in a unique gallery of Polish film posters. The food is excellent without exception and the tapas selection ranges from tender meatballs to fresh breads with hummus. The home-made sangria deserves a special mention so be sure to try a glass or three when visiting!
Heading downstairs, visitors are treated to a generously sized but cosy cinema with and distinct homely feeling. Seating options range from the chaise lounge to the plush beanbags on the floor so there’s something for everyone. There are literally hundreds of DVDs and books to choose from, and while Cinephilia’s focus is the art-house film scene, there are plenty of mainstream movies to choose from.
Cinephilia is a members club with a great community feel and regular screening events which will keep you busy at least twice a week. Astonishingly, this will set you back only £10 a month! Anyone with an interest in film should check this place out – with superb food, welcoming people and a truly unique setting, you will soon come to think of it as your second home.
Located in Notting Hill, Cinephilia is a hidden gem. Although it’s an independent cinema at heart, it also manages to be many more things: it’s a cafe selling a fantastic range of beverage and baked goods, it’s an art gallery showcasing rare Polish movie posters, it’s a space to be hired, where the hosts can serve you up the best sangria this side of the Atlantic and it’s a private members club.
I attended the venue with Qype and therefore I was lucky enough to sample all the above aspects of Cinephilia – even the sangria, and yes it is as good as they say it is! We were also lucky enough to try some of Nicky’s home-cooking, a delicious selection of tapas that included chorizo sausages and hummus with olive oil. The rare film posters were also a talking point among us Qypers as we tried to identify the film titles in English.
The cinema downstairs is practically a home-away-from-home, there’s a chaise lounge, big squishy beanbags and plenty of floor space for those attending events at the cinema. Membership is £10 per month and this gets you free into any of Cinephilia’s monthly events. This is extremely good value, especially when you hear that one of June’s events was a Thai evening, in which guests were invited to dine on home-cooked before watching a selection of Thai movies downstairs.
Yoram, the owner, is clearly passionate about film and this is something that really comes across when visiting Cinephila.
Very original and unique concept in Notting Hill. I knew this place since several months ago (I read about it in Time Out or in some blog...) but haven't been there until yesterday.
Cinephilia West is, as the owner kindly explained to us, not a Cafe with a screening room and film club, but a film club that additionally has a Cafe. The Cafe is upstairs and it's got a communal table and I think one or two tables outside. It's really nice because the walls are decorated with pieces from ongoing exhibitions. When I went yesterday, there was one on Polish film posters. I loved it. Also, they have film magazines from customers to read and some books that they sell from the film bookshop downstairs. I haven't tried the coffee but delicious Sangria and tapas. They were the variety of tapas that in Spain we call "montaditos", that consists of a piece of bread with something on top, from chorizo with tomato puree to meatballs with cherry tomatoes or cheese, rocket and chutney, very very tasty!.
But the Cafe is just the complement to the place. The best is downstairs, where they have a cosy screening room with a sofa, cushions and bean bags. The walls are filled with film books and DVDs that you can purchase. During the day the screening room works like a lounge where you can sit with your coffee and food, browse the books and DVDs, read or use the free WiFi. In some evenings they host screening sessions for non-member (£5 on the door) and members (free entry). Don't expect to find the mainstream commercial films, this place is like a paradise for independent and alternative film lovers. The membership is £10 a month, what I think is very good value if you're very interested in independent and obscure films, because the evening screenings they hold are quite frequent and the members have also many other advantages (like taking a guest or private event hiring or even take part in the choice of films or topic for the screenings).
What I liked the most is that Cinephilia West is a completely independent business and in a city full of Odeons, Vues and Starbucks, I think it's really worth to support and enjoy venues like this.
Cinephilia has a vibrant underground atmosphere, with great food and better movies. It is an Art House cinema lover's dream, but for those that are a little dim-witted they have plenty of 'normal' movies too.
But wait theres more! You might think this is just a cafe from street level. There is all the normal cafe fare available too, with yummy things like Tapas, Sangria and good coffee.
For anyone even slightly interested in visual art this is an excellent venue to come get some inspiration on tap. The walls are well fitted with interesting poster art and there is plenty of cosy room to setup a laptop with their wifi or meet someone for business or pleasure.
This is the kind of joint you would expect to see the likes of Andy Warhol frequenting, if he were still alive and living in London probably close to Notting Hill and maybe had a bike so he could get to it easily and if he didn't have that disease that meant he couldn't move fast and hadn't been shot.
The only thing that is a bit strange about the venue is it only costs £10 per month for membership! I bet this time next year that price has tripled and there is a waiting list.
A very comfortable space with main cafe on ground floor – large communal table. You’ve got to have the sangria – best this side of LA. Moving pictures on the wall, gentle tunes in the background and I liked the Polish film poster art that they’ve got going. It’s very hard not to fall in love with this place on first impression.
The screening space downstairs is very inviting and feels like an intellectual uncle’s comfy living room, loads of beans bags, cushions and shelves stuffed with film buff books and DVDs. I found myself collapsing on to the floor and pulling a cushion during the screening. Even if you’re not a cinema buff (I’m not!), you will find this place fascinating. Looking forward to future screenings. Many thanks to Yoram and Nicky for introducing this very unique spot to London. Check it out. Independent too!
What an absolute hidden gem. As other reviewers have said, it's really easy to miss this place as from the outside, you might think it was just a cafe or a bookshop.
Even once you step inside, you wouldn't really know what was in store downstairs. You'd begin to get an inkling though with the wonderful film related pictures hanging on the walls. Currently there's an exhibition of Polish interpretations of classic films (the one for 'The Shining' is particularly scary).
There's a large canteen style white table & arty displays of flowers. The cafe area's a bright and airy place to hang out, especially as there's free wifi.
However, downstairs there's a living room style screening room. I say, living room, if you're lucky enough to have a living room that's about 60ft long with wall to wall DVDs of films & documentaries from around the world.
The Cinephilia shows regular screenings for both members and non members. You won't find Hollywood blockbusters here, but lovingly put together screenings of indie films, usually with an informal discussion with the directors, producers, distributors or people involved with the films.
Cinephilia's owners have worked hard to create a unique space in Notting Hill and I'm sure it will become a haven for indie film lovers.
If you like food, or cinema, this is DEFINITELY the place for you.
First off, it's a learned cinema fan's paradise. The basement is the ideal living room, stuffed full with cinematic books and DVDs for sale, and at the end a huge screen where they hold evening screenings. It's a fantastically chilled out place from where to watch your favourite obscure film (Brazil). They hold screenings of curated films once a week, and it sounds like a fantastic way to broaden your film knowledge.
The ground floor holds film exhibitions, and a very very good selection of film magazines that you can just pick up and read. Plus there's wi-fi if you want to work on your killer screenplay.
Alongside all this is a cafe, but not just any cafe. The sangria is gorgeous, and the cakes are oozing with seductive delights.
If I had one complaint about this place, it's that it's obviously not for your average-going Odeon mainstream person who prefers Doctor Doolittle to Doctor Parnassus. And the price for food heaven is a bit high ...
But for years I have often lamented the lack of film-centric places in West London. Now there is one, and I can't see how it could get better. (well, unless they held screenings of Doctor Who)
Don't miss this place! It looks like a book shop or cafe but it is an amazing indie cinema showing some of the most amazing array of films.
Every third Sunday is animation and there is an amazing array of films on offer. From student films to major films this place is amazing.
They can cater anything & have fantastic hot chocolate and sangria.
This is a hidden gem of a cinema with a fantastic offering & I'm surprised so few people know of it.
Support local independant cinema & get a great film or poster with your coffee!
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Not sure how I could have missed Cinephilia - apparently it opened way back in September! I first spotted it from the bus.
As I am a complete sucker for teatime treats I was happy to see a new cafe pop up. I had the yummiest plum cake - home made. Ottolenghi watch out!! My friend's hot chocolate also worked a treat - a generous lump of real chocolate-on-a-stick melted in frothy milk. Yummy!
What I didn't expect, however, was to go for a coffee and end up buying a rare Polish film poster!
The walls are currently decorated with the most amazing prints.
Very unusual, true art - just like the cinematic haven downstairs.
A very welcome addition to the neighbourhood!
If you’re a cinephile, or just crave a welcoming space with a community feel where you can get a great coffee, then this utterly unique new gem is a must-visit and must-join.
I stumbled on it by chance recently. I had passed it a few times and mistaken it for just another cafe, which is a shame as it has so much more to offer. Having finally gone in, I’ve discovered not only the cosy café upstairs with free wi-fi and gallery space, but the super comfortable screening room come lounge downstairs too.
Cinephilia is heaven for the intelligent, independent film lover as it offers the antithesis of the multiplex ultra commercial, ‘getting bums on seats’ approach. Here the emphasis is more on encouraging people to engage with independent cinema and each other rather than any commercial gain.
By day the screening room doubles as a generous lounge, with comfy sofas, backed by a wall of film books you can peruse and purchase on one side. The other wall displays independent and international DVDs, which you can also buy.
By night, Cinephilia offers regular screenings to members and non-members alike. However, forget about seeing the usual mainstream, blockbuster fodder; Cinephilia specialises in independent, arthouse films of all lengths and types from around the world. The vibe is free-flowing and interactive with regular discussions, director Q&As and more. As the place is so intimate, the members can also influence the choice of screenings.
Membership is very reasonable too at just £10 per month (for unlimited screenings), especially when compared to the Electric up the road. Members can also hire the place out.
I really recommend Cinephilia and may even join myself. Indonesian cult film evening, anyone?
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