1: The Renoir

A lovely little art-house joint in the middle of a concrete canyon, namely the Brunswick Centre nr Russell Square. Two well situated, cool auditoriums showing almost exclusively non-English language films, the Renoir is a dream venue for many London cineastes.

It is, unfortunately, a dream venue for me for other reasons. I always fall asleep in there. Perhaps it is due to the architecture. The slight sloping floor means I rarely have my feet on the ground which gives it a bed style feeling to me. It is a very dark, very quiet cinema where everything happens in sleepy hush. But it is probably due to Artifical Eye, the distributors who also own the cinema, who distribute some of the dullest films to be seen on British screens. I have been burned so many times by them that I stay away. Even films of theirs I have liked (say Koktebel), have put me to sleep in the Renoir more often than not. So my dislike of Abbas Kiarostami, and much modern French output is down to the sleepy old Renoir.

Its not cheap either. But it is very close to the Hare & Tortoise noodle bar.