If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you’re a dog lover and, as you probably know, dogs make everything better. Pubs, parks, beaches, bad days… even the cinema. The next time you want to go and see the latest blockbuster, you don’t have to leave your four-legged friend behind as a number of cinemas across the UK now host regular dog-friendly screenings – and they’re just as much fun as you might expect.
Picturehouse claims to love dogs almost as much as it loves cinema and many of its 26 branches put on pet-friendly events at least once a month. These are always well advertised and generally take place on Sunday mornings, when the cinemas are a little bit quieter. Well-behaved dogs are welcome to attend these screenings for free, with one pet allowed per paying adult.
When you’re inside the cinema, you can expect it to be just like a normal showing – with a few subtle differences. The main one is the fact the lighting level is left a little higher than usual and the volume of the soundtrack is reduced so there are no surprises or scares. Customers are also given a fleece blanket to cover the seat used by the dog, which doubles as a rug if your pet would prefer to stretch out on the floor. Water bowls are provided, too.
The cinemas – which are often small and stylish – restrict the number of tickets available for dog-friendly events so they’re never too crowded, but be aware that while pets are welcome in the screens, they are not allowed in any of the bar or dining areas. And, of course, if your four-legged friend won’t settle or repeatedly distracts others by barking, management can ask you to leave at any time without offering a refund.
Among the Picturehouse cinemas offering dog-friendly screenings are Duke of York’s in Brighton, The Little Theatre Cinema in Bath, City Screen in York, Harbour Lights in Southampton and The Cameo in Edinburgh. Many of the chain’s London cinemas welcome dogs too, such as Greenwich, Crouch End, Clapham and Fulham. Contact the individual venue to find out the latest ticket prices.
Similar rules apply at Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, which often hosts dog-friendly screenings on Monday mornings. The ‘pawpcorn’ screenings at Ducie St Warehouse in Manchester also take place every Monday in the super-cute 36-seat Mini Cini. The social hub, where you’ll also find a restaurant, bar and hotel, has also partnered with Dog Shop Manchester to offer canine guests access to a range of treats and toys.
The Rooftop Film Club, in London, caters for dogs and their owners too, with the Wooftop Film Club. Pets are welcome at all screenings at the Bussey Building in Peckham and they are also allowed in the Bussey Rooftop Bar next-door. Water and blankets are provided for pets and all films are watched via wireless headphones, so you don’t need to worry about any loud noises. Lounge seats – or deep-cushioned deckchairs, start from £16.95.