In years to come, when people ask Gwen about her very first trip to the cinema, she’s unlikely to remember it. After all, she’s only two-and-a-half. BUT, as far as first experiences go, you’d have to try pretty hard to beat Gwen’s debut at the flicks.
We were lucky enough to have been invited to a private screening of Frozen, at the Electric Cinema, on Portobello Road in Notting Hill, London.
What is the Electric Cinema Notting Hill?
Electric Cinema Notting Hill address: 191 Portobello Rd, London W11 2ED
This was my first time at the Electric Cinema Portobello, which is on the other side of London from where we live. It opened its doors to the public all the way back in 1911, and carried on showing films throughout WWII. (They issued refunds if the air-raid siren sounded, and they had to evacuate the building!) The interior reflects an old-school charm, with a colour scheme of gilt accompanied by a stately red. Every filmgoer reclines in comfort; the cinema is furnished with cosy armchairs, footstools and table lamps. It’s a real cinema de lux.
And – much to our excitement, when we arrived early and had the pick of all the seats – the front row is made up of….KING-SIZED BEDS. (In fact, they might have been even bigger than King size. You could certainly fit two adults and two children onto one, with room to spare….)
There’s more than one Electric Cinema
As well as Notting Hill, there’s now also an Electric Cinema in White City London. At both cinemas you can expect a luxurious experience, with cocktails on sale at the bar and private hire available.
The Electric Cinema Portobello was dressed by the White Company for this one special occasion
The Electric Cinema was dressed with quilts, cushions and soft toys from the White Company’s children’s bedding ranges, including their Autumn collection. This featured four themes: Knights of the Round Table (applique medieval-inspired motifs); English Garden (embroidered, vintage-style detailed floral prints – this one was my own personal favourite); Safari (animal motifs, aimed at babies and younger children); and the set that Gwen plumped for when we were picking out our bed, Circus (featuring bright colours and hand-placed animals).
We were treated to popcorn (or ‘potcorn’, as Gwen charmingly put it) and drinks before settling down to watch the film. And, as far as first cinematic experiences go, this was a fine one for our youngest. She’d watched Frozen at home already, and although she wasn’t quite old enough to stay rapt throughout a whole film, it was one of her favourites.
Watching Frozen from a bed
I LOVED snuggling up with her on the bed. The White Company quilts added an extra touch of fun to the whole experience. I’m hoping that Gwen doesn’t expect beds every time we go to the cinema, and she was a tad confused by them: at one point she popped her head up off my chest and said ‘but why are we sleeping, Mummy? It’s the daytime!’ Towards the end, she became more fascinated by the ladies room, with its scented handcream, than the film. After a half-hour spent traipsing backwards and forwards to the toilet, the film ended, and Gwen wailed ‘but now I’ve MISSED FROZEN!’
All was put right, however, by a stage invasion led by a dozen or so children, who stormed the area in front of the screen after the close of the film; danced around for a couple of minutes; then were ushered off by worried-looking cinema staff. Gwen (just about the smallest of the bunch) perked up at that little bit of mischievous merriment.
Have you been to the Electric Cinema Notting Hill?
As well as Frozen the film, we were also lucky enough to see Frozen on Ice, at the O2. You can read about it here.
Disclosure: we were invited to a private screening of Frozen at the Electric Cinema by The White Company, and were given a small bag of samples afterwards. All views expressed here are my own.