Popcorn, red carpets, and fish ‘n’ chips on the way home… A trip to the cinema is a real part of the British seaside holiday experience. We’re spoilt for choice for cinemas in St Ives, with a variety of cinemas scattered around locally, as well as our very own picture house in the town centre.
St Ives’ cinema is the Royal Cinema, a proper traditional-looking movie theatre. It has three screens and shows a mixture of the latest releases and recorded events from international theatre, dance and opera companies. It’s run by the Merlin Group, whose cinemas are often found in small seaside towns.
If the St Ives film programme doesn’t fit in with your schedule, it’s a short drive across to the Penzance Merlin cinema, the Savoy. Or, nip up the A30 to the Regal in Redruth, Merlin’s flagship cinema. It’s been recently-renovated and now boasts outrageously comfy seats, bar service, and private boxes for hire. All three cinemas are close to car parks – but if you’re staying in St Ives itself, what could be nicer than that evening stroll home from the cinema?
Head west to Newlyn and visit the newly-opened Filmhouse. Beautifully converted from old fish merchants’ buildings, this small independent cinema shows a combination of popular blockbusters, more off-beat films, and screened theatrical events.
The café bar serves fabulous food from the best Cornish produce, and has a fantastic wine list courtesy of Scarlet Wines in Lelant. A real local affair, the cinema also serves gorgeous Moomaid of Zennor ice-cream – and has a welcome “no crunchy food” rule in the two auditoria. There are a couple of car parks nearby; or park in Penzance and walk along the prom to Newlyn.
OK, this is a bit more of a drive from St Ives; however as Truro’s Plaza is film critic Mark Kermode’s cinema of choice, it’s definitely worth mentioning.
Entertaining Truro since 1936, the Plaza has undergone several restorations, but has kept true to its lush Art Deco design. It’s recently opened its fifth screen, enabling it to show a varied programme of films and event cinema. Try and catch one of the Mark Kermode Presents sessions for a really unique cinema experience. The closest car park is Moorfield, two minutes away.