Tours and Tickets
West End Cinemas Guided Walking Tour
5

West End Cinemas Guided Walking Tour

By Nigel Smith - Guided Walking Tours
Recommended by 100% of travellers
100% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus have always been home to London’s grandest picture palaces - this is where premieres take place, royalty brush shoulders with Hollywood stars and the biggest movies play on the biggest screens. Starting with the grand former Empire 'Theatre of Varieties' and taking in such as the London Pavilion, you’ll see architecture that spans from the late 19th century up to the present day and includes some of London’s most striking art deco and modernist gems. At cinemas past and present, you’ll hear stories about the high-kicking dancers who entertained audiences before films in the silent era, how cinemas coped with the blackout of World War II and about the varied - and often unusual - cinematic firsts that have taken place in these iconic buildings. You’ll also be tracing the footsteps of numerous famous names: Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Harrison Ford, the Beatles and many more have all put in appearances at cinemas we’ll see on the tour.

Ages 0-100, max of 10 per group
Duration: 2h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More


  • In addition to the tour everyone gets a free treat!
What's not included
  • Entry/Admission - Odeon Cinema West End
  • Entry/Admission - London
  • Entry/Admission - London
  • Entry/Admission - Vue West End
  • Entry/Admission - Prince Charles Cinema
  • Entry/Admission - ODEON Luxe Haymarket
  • Entry/Admission - London
  • Entry/Admission - Piccadilly Circus
  • Entry/Admission - Picturehouse Central


Start:
  • TKTS, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7DE, UK
    We meet next to the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square opposite the Odeon Luxe West End and Londoner hotel (across from All Bar One). Please note this is the smaller Odeon in Leicester Square and not the huge Odeon Luxe ('Home of Premieres').
End:
  • Picturehouse Central, 15 Great Windmill Street, Shaftesbury Ave, Piccadilly Circus, London W1D 7DH, UK

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 363230P2

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 363230P2

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Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    TKTS
    TKTS, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7DE, UK
    We meet next to the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square opposite the Odeon Luxe West End and Londoner hotel (across from All Bar One). Please note this is the smaller Odeon in Leicester Square and not the huge Odeon Luxe ('Home of Premieres').
    See address & details
  • 1
    Odeon Cinema West End
    Stop: 10 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 2
    Cineworld Leicester Square
    Stop: 10 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 3
    ODEON Luxe Leicester Square
    Stop: 10 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 4
    Vue West End
    Stop: 8 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 5
    Prince Charles Cinema
    Stop: 7 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 6
    Grosvenor Casino The Rialto London
    Stop: 10 minutes
    See details
  • 7
    ODEON Luxe Haymarket
    Stop: 20 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 8
    Vue Cinema London - Piccadilly
    Stop: 10 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 9
    Piccadilly Circus
    Stop: 25 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • 10
    Picturehouse Central
    Stop: 10 minutes - Admission excluded
    See details
  • You'll end at
    Picturehouse Central
    15 Great Windmill Street, Shaftesbury Ave, Piccadilly Circus, London W1D 7DH, UK
    See address & details
About the operator
Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
  • Nigel Smith - Guided Walking Tours
    116
    London, England
    Joined in September 2022
  • CSVision
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent, highly recommend
    Nigel's tour was excellent. He is an engaging and informative guide who holds your attention throughout, and entertains with delightful historical anecdotes. I work in Clerkenwell and pass many sights from his Clerkenwell cultural tour on a regular basis, but new nothing about the many historical, cultural and modern day references of the area. I'll look at Clerkenwell in a new light now! Thank you Nigel, it was amazing.
    Written 21 April 2024
  • Y8192HAelenad
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cultural Clerkenwell
    We had a lovely Saturday walk ‘Cultural Clerkenwell’ with Nigel. He was very knowledgeable and also entertaining, two hours just flew away. Sending an email afterwards with the links to more info about the spots we visited and the books he mentioned was a nice touch too. Highly recommended
    Written 21 April 2024
  • 9mirelap
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    informative and fun
    The walking tour was informative and fun! Our guide was engaging, and we explored both landmarks and hidden gems. Highly recommend!
    Written 20 April 2024
  • johndO3228QE
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Local history brought vividly to life
    Nigel's depth of knowledge and his enthusiasm for his subject makes his tours well worth participating in, plus he enjoys interacting with those taking part. This time it was Acton Cinemas, a fascinating bit of local history from the last century. He backed this up with loads of background info, photos and film references.
    Written 7 April 2024
  • Wanderer547510
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Islington’s Big Screen Walk
    A fascinating insight into the history of cinema in Islington. Thoroughly researched and full of entertaining anecdotes. Strongly recommended.
    Written 19 March 2024
  • Mobile29787963621
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    West End Walk
    We received this Guided Cinema Walking Tour as a present from a family member who had already done this tour and the Acton Cinema Tour - and had obviously enjoyed both! Despite the drizzly rain that accompanied the first 30 minutes or so of our tour, we spent an extremely enjoyable, interesting and informative couple of hours wandering around Leicester Square and environs, learning amazing facts about our great cinema history. Highly recommended!
    Written 18 March 2024
  • O8121HCjonc
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Islington’s Lost Cinemas Walk
    Nigel's guided exploration through Islington's cinematic heritage was truly exceptional. Perfectly paced, it offered a wealth of information complemented by fun extras like vintage tickets and popcorn, along with delightful diversions like the Little Angel puppet theatre. It's an enriching journey through the borough, providing insights into its captivating history. Many thanks for an unforgettable tour!
    Written 16 March 2024
  • Meander44612553957
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great cinema walk with Nigel
    Nigel’s walk in Acton was so enjoyable. He brings a wealth of knowledge of cinema, both past and present, and was happy to be pestered with many questions as we walked, all of which he knew the answers to! The walk was well paced and the information well researched and presented. I am looking forward to doing more walks with Nigel and would definitely recommend this walk around Acton’s hidden cinema history.
    Written 26 February 2024
  • I9836SRjaneg
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Islington Cinema tour is a great experience
    The Saturday walking tour of Islington's cinema was a fantastic experience, well timed with just the right amount of information to take in while packed with relevant extras, from vintage cinema tickets, badges, popcorn to quirky non-cinema related sights of interest, such as the Little Angel puppet theatre and local taxidermist shop. It's a great way to see this beautiful borough and understand it's history. I particularly appreciated that it was easy to hear Nigel above the traffic and he always found places for the group to stop that were convenient with clear views. Many thanks!
    Written 4 February 2024
  • 462monicas
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Evolving Islington
    This tour covers aspects of Islington's history from 'cow town' to a venue for 'enlightened diners'. Nigel uses buildings and sites to juxtapose stories from Islington's varied past. If you think you know Islington, then this tour will add more unusual information to your perspective. It was a delight to learn more about one of London's most fascinating villages.
    Written 21 January 2024
  • Excursion482052
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Walk
    Our walk took place on a cold January morning and was titled Evolving Islington This was our first guided walk in an area of London we thought we knew well, but we learnt so much more from our guide Nigel who is not only knowledgeable but has a nice dry wit. Thoroughly recommend for Londoners, like us, and also for visitors who wish to learn more about London than the usual tourist sites.
    Written 14 January 2024
  • elodien769
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A great walk!
    Cultural Clerkenwell was our second tour with Nigel, and once again we were thoroughly entertained by his sense of humour, clear passion for his subject and deep knowledge of the area. Wear good shoes and dress warmly (in winter) as it is a full 2 hours of walking and sight seeing. Recommended for families with older children, couples and friends. You will be made to feel welcome if you are travelling alone too 😊
    Written 11 December 2023
  • hughmattfell
    0 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Clerkenwell Tales
    This tour was titled "Cultural Clerkenwell". I live in this area so although the sights were familiar, most of the histories (and the stories!) behind them that Nigel told were new to me. I now can regale my visitors with the information he shared - and I will never be able to walk down Passing Alley again without remembering why it bears that name!
    Written 11 December 2023
  • ukamybrown
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cultural Clerkenwell - hidden gems
    The two hours flew by! It was a joy to discover so many hidden gems in a part of town I thought I knew. Nigel is an excellent guide - his interest in the subject, and general sense of curiosity is infectious. He's knowledgeable, interesting and fun. I went with a small group of family and friends ranging in age from 14 to 70 and we all loved the tour.
    Written 10 December 2023
  • samjA3039UC
    0 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A top class guided walk.
    This walk was tremendous. Nigel Smith is a genial and eloquent host, full of facts, enthusiasm and good humour. His explanations for the areas we visited were clear and informative - and sometimes revelatory. I thought I knew Clerkenwell pretty well (the tour was titled Cultural Clerkenwell) but he took us to many places I had never seen or heard about ; many of them beautiful, and all of them fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed it, would recommend this walk to anyone and fully intend to book onto more tours with Nigel.
    Written 10 December 2023
See all 116 reviews
These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles18 reviews
Excellent
18
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0
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Terry W
London, UK2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
Captivating Islington Cinema History Tour with Nigel Smith

Nigel's expertise and passion transformed our journey through Islington into a captivating exploration of cinema history. With a well-balanced pace and a treasure trove of intriguing facts, he managed to engage every participant.

Despite the overwhelming interest, drawing in about 33 attendees, the tour retained an intimate feel, and everyone seemed thoroughly engrossed.

Nigel's proficiency as a film and cinema connoisseur shone through, especially during the Q&A sessions, where he provided insightful answers to all inquiries.

For anyone keen on diving deep into cinema's rich tapestry, I can't recommend Nigel Smith's walking tours enough.

Terry Williams
UCL
24 August 2023
Written 24 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
That's very kind Terry. Really good to meet you.
Written 2 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Julia West
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
Fascinating overview of existing and sadly lost cinemas around Leicester Sq and Piccadilly. Many symbols , carvings and other evidence of them hiding in plain sight - just need to look up !
All brought to life by Nigels stories and quotes from the press at the time - assisted by Nigels booming delivery ! Recommended for any Cinephiles out there.
Written 1 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for the review! I love delving into the newspaper archives so glad you enjoyed those.
Written 21 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

blondiemaria
London, UK2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
We went on the tour of West End cinemas on Sunday 5 November. Nigel was a very enthusiastic and informative guide on the history of these cinemas and made it extremely interesting indeed. It is great for once to look up at these cinemas' architecture when normally you wouldn't think to do so. We would thoroughly recommend these tours.
Written 7 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks a lot. - glad you enjoyed it. And you're right - there's so much to see in London if we tilt our heads 45 degrees up!
Written 11 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Harry R
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
We had such a fantastic time on Nigel’s walk. It was so interesting to visit all of the cinemas and hear the interesting tales and facts about them. Nigel is so passionate about cinema in general and it makes for a fun couple of hours.
Written 22 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
That's very kind! Hope to see you again.
Written 24 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Terry N
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
We joined the tour of West End cinemas on 22nd Oct. It was fascinating and absorbing, the 2 hours seemed to fly by. Nigel is an excellent guide, knowledgeable, interesting and amusing. Highly recommended.
It was interesting to walk around an area we knew very well and then see things we have never noticed before.
Written 2 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Terry! I really appreciate your continued enthusiasm for all of my tours.
Written 11 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

pezza
London, UK5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
Nigel knows his onions. Although 'Nigel knows his dairy' would be more appropriate for the start of the Islington Tour. He's knowledgable, affable, and relevant. A joy to do another tour with him having had such a good time on his Islington Cinemas Tour too.
Written 6 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Repeat visitors are the highest form of praise! Thanks and see you again soon.
Written 2 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

pezza
London, UK5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
Another excellent tour from Nigel. There's a reason I'm collecting the set! Nigel is affable, understandable, knowledgeable and with a seemingly rare inability to make up fact! Nigel really knows his cinema history and even though we've been on his other cinema tours almost all of this one was jam packed with new info. As a London resident of over two decades its amazing what you miss in the built environment. Nigel points it all out. This one is particularly well suited to visitors and tourists though.
Written 21 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks so much! I need to get cracking developing some new tours for you.
Written 24 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Brian P
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
An excellent tour. As a qualified guide Nigel knows how to make a tour interesting and enjoyable. His enthusiasm and passion shine through on a subject he has researched compiled and presents in detail to his guests. I think he must be the 'go to man' if you need to know anything about Cinemas in London as well as his other expertise in areas such as Clerkenwell & Islington.
Now looking forward to his 'Islington Big Screens' walk on Feb 3rd.
Written 8 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you! See you in Islington next month.
Written 16 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

robdavid
london, uk6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
Wow .. an amazing walk around the west end with an emphasis on cinemas .. Nigel was very friendly, enthusiastic and a font of knowledge .. can’t wait to join him again for another walk
Written 17 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Cheers! Look forward to seeing you for another tour.
Written 16 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nickyqueen
London, UK11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Solo
Loved Nigel’s tour! Really fascinating and fun walk around Islington discovering the sites of old cinemas and learning about the UK’s film history. Must do for a film fan.
Written 22 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks! See you again soon I hope.
Written 2 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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West End Cinemas Guided Walking Tour provided by Nigel Smith - Guided Walking Tours

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