Promising red-carpet glamour, and with those often-tearful acceptance speeches mercifully limited this year to 45 seconds apiece, the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday will deliver a feast of fantasy, wherever you happen to be.
But for the cosiest of viewing experiences, what could beat pouring a glass of red and kicking back in the comfort of your apartment block’s private cinema?
Six of the best: London's new homes with cinemas
Six of the best: London's new homes with cinemas
1/6 Thirty Casson Square
From £650,000: the latest phrase at Southbank Place consists of 164 homes featuring a communal screening room. Launching on March 3, it's a tribute to Sir Hugh Casson who was the director of architecture during the Festival of Britain. Call 020 7001 3600.
2/6 The Heron
£10 million: the 36-storey residential tower in the Square Mile boasts two plush penthouses that come with their own cinema rooms. The complex also has its own six-seater private cinema - providing the perfect setting for a cosy night in with tartan cushions and fluffy blankets. Call 0845 533 8000.
3/6 King’s Cross Quarter
£740,000: residents and guests can watch their own DVDs projected on the big screen. The flash screening room is included in service charges of £4.07 per square foot. Call 020 7328 7171.
4/6 South Bank Tower
£2.45 million: with floor-to-ceiling curtains and plush chairs, this six-seater cinema will add some stylish comfort to a Friday night. Whatever the hour, residents can book the cinema for their private use. Call 020 3267 1048.
5/6 The Atlas Building
£628,000: this 40-storey development off City Road includes a private cinema in the service charges. With a kitchenette attached, it's the perfect venue to entertain friends. Call 020 7205 4284.
6/6 Goodman’s Fields
£699,500: the 28 super-comfy, electric-motor reclining seats are the star attraction of this private cinema. The cost of the online reservations system for the 24-hour cinema is included in the annual service charges. Call 020 3217 1000.
Cinemas and screening rooms for the exclusive use of residents are a big feature of the latest new apartment blocks. Goodman’s Fields in Aldgate, E1, a seven-acre development, has the usual five-star leisure facilities but home owners there love its cinema best of all — in particular the 28 super-comfy, electric-motor reclining seats, says Piers Clanford, managing director of Berkeley Homes (north-east London). He went hunting in New York for ideas for glam apartment add-ons, returning to bring the Cinema Club to Goodman’s Fields.
Sunday lunchtime is most popular for viewing — the children’s film club is always packed. Equally noisy affairs are key sporting events, such as the Six Nations rugby tournament, attracting a lively adult crowd.
The cost of the online reservations system for the 24-hour cinema is included in the annual service charges of £5 a square foot. Studios at Goodman’s Fields start from £699,500, while a 3,800sq ft triplex penthouse is £5 million. Call 020 3217 1000.
SIT BACK IN SOUTHBANK
Back in the Fifties, the 400-seater Telekinema drew hordes of excited film fans to the South Bank during the Festival of Britain, but it was demolished when the National Film Theatre, known today as BFI Southbank, moved into its current home.
Now on the five-acre former Shell Centre site, Southbank Place’s latest phase is Thirty Casson Square, a tribute to Sir Hugh Casson who was the festival’s director of architecture. Residents can watch films in the communal screening room. On March 3 a total of 164 homes will be launched, including studios priced from £650,000 up to three-bedroom apartments from £3.6 million. Call 020 7001 3600.
In Hammersmith, Queen’s Wharf by Fabrica and Mount Anvil incorporates the redevelopment of Riverside Studios, the original home of Doctor Who, which is being transformed into apartments plus an independent cinema, theatre and TV studios. The cinema will be open to all, and Riverside Studios is currently compiling the film programme. One-bedroom flats start from £715,000. Call CBRE on 020 7182 2477.
Choose 11 friends to join you in Shoreditch at The Atlas Building’s super-modern 495sq foot cinema, which sales director Andrew Hawkins says is “just the right size to make it well used”. A kitchenette is attached for preparing drinks and nibbles and Hawkins thinks the facility won’t just appeal to film buffs: “Residents can use their Sky Sports packages to invite friends over, and also use it for corporate events.”
By 2018, the 40-storey development off City Road in the heart of Tech City will contain 302 apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedroom homes and penthouses. The cinema is included in service charges of £6.07 per square foot. Studios start from £628,000. Call JLL (020 7205 4284).
The cinema at Two Fifty One Southwark Bridge Road in SE1 also seats 12, on a first-come first-served basis via the 41-storey tower’s app. Private dining helps if something more than popcorn is needed to see you through those Oscars speeches. The cinema is included in service charges of £4 per square foot. One-bedroom apartments start from £654,000. Call 020 3468 9251.
Residents have now moved into 41-storey South Bank Tower in Stamford Street, Southwark, where the cosy six-seater cinema is bookable day or night. It may be small but floor-to-ceiling curtains and plush chairs add glamour. Developer CIT’s George Kyriacou says cinemas now top wish lists of the five-star facilities that buyers expect, and adds: “We’ve designed it as an extension to residents’ home entertaining — it’s the ultimate in comfort and luxury.” Prices start from £2.45 million for a two-bedroom flat. Call 020 3267 1048.
PRIVACY IN A PENTHOUSE
Sweet-paper rustlers are distracting but they won’t be a problem at The Heron, a 36-storey residential tower in the Square Mile, where two penthouses come with their own cinema rooms.
The development also has its own six-seater private cinema complete with tartan cushions and cosy blankets, perfect for watching The Revenant, while next month, the nearby Barbican is hosting a week of Oscars screenings with winners and nominated films.
The 4,000sq ft North Penthouse is for sale at offers above £10 million. Call Heron Sales on 0845 533 8000.
Residents and guests can watch their own DVDs projected up on the big screen at King’s Cross Quarter, where the screening room is included in service charges of £4.07 per square foot. One-bedroom flats start from £740,000. Call Regal Homes (020 7328 7171).
New public cinemas are further signs of regeneration across London. Curzon Goldsmiths opened last month at the university’s New Cross campus in SE14. Aptly, Goldsmiths alumni include Steve McQueen, director of Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave, and master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock.
The refurbished Odeon in Tottenham Court Road is near for Rathbone Square residents but they could stay put and enjoy screenings for eight with chilled drinks in the fridge. Stepped seating guarantees no neck-craning at this major West End project. Prices on application. Call 020 7580 1100.