The programming of the British Film Institute (BFI) is mind-bogglingly broad and savvy, from classics to mainstream to historic—more than 1,000 titles a year. For example, on a day in a recent July, its three screens unspooled a retrospective of Indian director Satyajit Ray, Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder in 3-D, a mid-century series from the largely forgotten Boulting Brothers, and outdoor screenings of gothic monster schlock. As the country’s preeminent archive and exhibitor, it also programs plenty of talks, special previews, and the occasional free screening. The on-premises Mediatheque is an arcade for quiet, on-demand viewing of tons of titles you’d never see abroad because of rights issues, and its shop stocks an incomparable list of rare DVDs, including many treasures the BFI has personally restored and re-released—Charlie Chaplin’s 1914 Keystone films being a recent triumph. There are also two popular bars, one in the lobby and one on the water.
Belvedere Rd., South Bank, SE1
Our Rating Transportation Tube: Waterloo Phone 020/7255-1444 Web site BFI Southbank
MapBelvedere Rd., South Bank, SE1 London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.