Azana Francis gets comfy at the cinema.
Behind Shoreditch High Street station and adjacent to Allen Gardens, there is a heavily graffiti’d, half-hidden building that could be easily mistaken for a derelict warehouse.
But look closely at what seems like graffiti and you’ll see this is ‘Pillow Cinema…The cosiest night in night out’, followed by a list of times and screenings.
Behind the small black door, a friendly staff member greets us and leads us to a large, loft-like space, half-open to the elements. The décor is basic, with two large speakers and decks playing quiet, mellow music.
The bar is in full swing with alcoholic, soft and hot drinks available. Popcorn and other snacks are also available at a decent price (unlike your local multiplex). The general vibe is laid back, customers are typically young, cool 20-30 year-olds – basically your average Shoreditch types.
But unique to this picture house are the slippers, pillows and blankets. Plus you’ll be sitting on a giant beanbag; whether you’re on your own or snuggling up with a partner, it’ll still cost you £10.
We were led down some old rickety stairs with only back drapes keeping the weather out. The screening room is located down in the basement of what was once Shoreditch station.
Again black drapes are used to shield out any light or cold air. Heaters are on full blast while the large bean bags are lined up in rows on the floor. And these are our seats for the afternoon. It takes a while to get comfortable but once you do, it is a very relaxing experience.
The vibe is informal…but when you’re lying down on the floor with no shoes, a blanket and a pillow, you can’t help but be informal!
It can all come as a bit of a shock, especially if you are not from these parts and don’t really know what to expect. However, it is a fun day/evening out, and the staff are polite, welcoming and easy going. But best of all it is fantastic value for money – especially in the evening when the vibe of the venue fits well with the time of day.
It is not the IMAX, and I wouldn’t expect to see anything in 3D, but it is relaxing, fun, and a movie-watching experience that no other cinema in London currently offers.
I had a great time and I would definitely go again!