An Electric Bel Ami

Located on Portobello Road in London’s Notting Hill the Electric Cinema offers a broad range of quality mainstream and art house films.

The Electric Cinema first opened in London’s Portobello Road on 24 February 1910 and was one of the first buildings in Britain to be designed specifically for motion picture exhibition. It was built shortly after its namesake the Electric Cinema in Birmingham, which predates it by around two months. The cinema was soon eclipsed by the huge picture palaces that became fashionable during the 1930s but, despite being shuttered for brief periods, it has remained in almost continual use until the present day.

In the late 1990s local property developer and architect acquired the site and re-established the commercial viability of the theatre. The critical element was acquiring the shop next door which would provide space for upgraded bathroom facilities, an air conditioning plant and a restaurant.

In 2001, the Electric Cinema was restored and reopened after a £ 2 million Pound facelift. Seating is now provided in 98 luxurious leather armchairs with adjacent tables and plenty of leg-room and 2 two-seater leather sofas at the rear. The Electric has now re-opened and is operated by Cityscreen, a small theater chain that exhibits mostly independent and art house films.

The concept for the interior is original and fresh with leather seating, footstools and tables for food and drink – generally more space for a more comfortable cinema experience. The bar is open half an hour prior to screening serving cocktails, wine, beer and champagne. Posh cinema snacks are also available prior to each screening, from chicken tikka & rice to cornish pasty & ketchup they offer something for everyone.

The Cinema’s film programme comprises a broad range of quality mainstream and art house films and features popular titles that are critically acclaimed and eagerly anticipated by filmgoers.

The Venue


BOX OFFICE – 020 7908 9696



TWITTER– @electriccinema

Bel Ami

This weekend, I enjoyed my first trip to Electric to watch the ‘erotic-drama’ film starring Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci, Bel Ami.

Robert Pattinson takes on the role of the charming and manipulative Parisien social climber, Georges Duroy, made famous in the classic Guy De Maupassant novel of the same name. The story of power and seduction in 1890s French society tracks Georges Duroy’s rags to riches ascent up the rungs of the social ladder via the beds of the most beautiful and influential women in the city.

Bel Ami is a brooding tale of sex and scheming that is brought to life by its cast. I thought it was more playful than you might expect, but it is still a deliciously dark period piece that, I have been told, stays true to the tone of the novel.

The film certainly hasn’t received the best of reviews from critics but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Have a read here but personally I recommend going and seeing it and making your own opinion of the good-looking costume drama.