Riverside Studios: use it or lose it

Monday July 9th 2012

Look away now, 65% of this blog’s readership: this is a London-centric post. Yesterday I made one of my all-too-infrequent visits to Riverside Studios, ‘London’s pre-eminent space for risk, inspiration and creativity’ (though they say so themselves) and home to one of the city’s best rep cinemas, notable for a program made up almost entirely of double bills.

In 2012, it’s pretty incredible that London even has double feature cinema, let alone one as brilliant as the Riverside. The auditorium features stadium seating, pristine sound and picture, and is probably the best place in the UK to watch movies in 1.37: 1. The staff are friendly, the tickets are cheap (£9.50 for two films) and the program is a thing of beauty. Just look at some of the stuff they’ve got coming up in July and August:

Thursday 12th July

Weekend / Romeos

Friday 13th – Saturday 14th July

Whisky Galore! / The Angel’s Share

Sunday 15th July

French Cancan / The Rules of the Game

Tuesday 17th July

Borat / The Dictator

Sunday 22nd July

Out of the Past / The Bad and the Beautiful

Tuesday 24th July

Sket / Ill Manors

Thursday 26th July

2 Days in Paris / 2 Days in New York

Friday 27th – Saturday 28th July

The Kid with a Bike / Polisse

Sunday 29th July

Exterminating Angel / Belle de Jour

Monday 30th – Tuesday 31st July

Dead Ringers / Cosmopolis

Thursday 2nd August

À bout de souffle / Bande à Part

Sunday 5th August

Mildred Pierce / Laura

Friday 10th – Saturday 11th August

Blood Simple / Killer Joe

Sunday 12th August

Apocalypse Now – Redux / Hearts of Darkness

Tuesday 14th August

Woody Allen: A Documentary / Manhattan

Thursday 16th August

Antichrist / The Hunter

Sunday 19th August

Some Like It Hot / The Apartment

Wednesday 22nd – Thursday 23rd August

Happiness / Dark Horse

I’m not entirely sure how the place has managed to weather the storm of Tory cuts that have done such damage to other art spaces in the capital and around the UK. Perhaps it’s the Riverside’s popularity as a TV studio (for such ‘risky, inspirational and creative’ shows as Celebrity Juice) that allows it to continue its wildly eclectic, offbeat approach to cinema programming. Whatever the reason, you’d be a fucking idiot not to get yourself down to Hammersmith ASAP and catch a double bill before they realise their mistake and start showing Prometheus back-to-back, six shows a day.