With the film award season upon us, we thought it would be fitting to take a look at some of the best holiday destinations for film buffs. We ask which destinations offer the best cinema experience, where are you most likely to run in to your favourite actors, and where can you visit the most filming locations?
- Go supersize. Head to Kinepolis in Madrid to experience the world’s largest cinema complex. There are a massive 25 screens, so there will always be a film that takes your fancy. The cinema shows local film, as well as Hollywood blockbusters. These films are adapted for a Spanish audience, but if you have little or no knowledge of the Spanish language, there are also a number of screenings in the original language. If you watch a film in one of the biggest screens at Kinepolis, you could be sharing the experience with just under 1000 other audience members! If you fancy watching a film on the world’s biggest screen, you will have to wait until 2019 for the reopening of the LG IMAX Theatre in Sydney, Australia. The screen there measures 35.72 m x 29.57 m, which is huge compared to standard cinema screens, which generally measure 9 - 27 m x 3 - 9 m.
- Silver screen luxury. If you fancy a cinema experience with a difference, all sorts of weird and wonderful cinemas are popping up around the world. One that has been around for a while, though, is the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill, London. This cinema, which was first built in 1910 still retains its early 20th-century charm. It offers sumptuous seating, with cosy armchairs, couches and even beds in the front row. There is a bar within the auditorium itself from which you can purchase wine and beers, plus other beverages and snacks. These can be enjoyed comfortably from your seat as side tables are provided. Other quirky viewing experiences include the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Orlando, where you can eat from your Cadillac-shaped table while watching sci-fi movies on the big screen. Or why not try a Hot Tub Cinema event during the summer months in New York or at a number of locations across the UK. This involves exactly as the name suggests ‒ watching a film from the comfort of a hot tub!
- Celebrity spotting. If you love nothing better than catching a glimpse of celebs, then Los Angeles has to be the obvious choice. LA is home to several film and TV studios, which means there are plenty of actors living there. You could take a tour of Beverley Hills and see where lots of Hollywood actors live. Better yet, why not catch the celebs out and about by having lunch at one of the celebrity haunts, such as Fig & Olive or Little Dom’s? As the home of the blockbuster movie, Hollywood features many sights and attractions for movie fans. If you don’t see them in person, you can look out for your favourite actor on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Or, you could walk where they have walked by seeing a movie in the Dolby Theater ‒ the permanent venue for the Oscars Awards Ceremony.
- Go on location. If you watch a film that is set in a US city, chances are this city is New York. Films such as the romantic comedy, Sex in the City, Christmas classic, Home Alone 2, and supernatural comedy, Ghostbusters, were all filmed in New York City. Many of the locations used in films are there for anyone to see (from the outside at least) and you could spend hours, if not days, visiting them all. Maps are available from helpful websites such as On The Set of New York.com, allowing you to pinpoint the locations used in your favourite films and to make sure you visit them all. So why not see the Daily Planet News Building from Superman, MIB Headquarters from Men in Black or Fox Books Store from You’ve Got Mail?
- Go on set. Of course not all films are shot on location. Recording at film studios is a major part of making a movie. Many of these studios offer tours that allow visitors to get a feel for what it is like to be on a movie set. The best of these tours can, once again, be found in LA. Warner Bros and Paramount have excellent tours allowing you to see backstage at what are still active studios. You can visit their prop departments too, with Warner boasting over 450,000 items. Paramount has an alternative ‘After Dark Tour’ that allows you to experience the studios by moonlight and flashlight! But it’s not just the US that has a healthy movie industry. India creates around 1000 Bollywood films a year, and, if you head to Mumbai, you can visit FilmCity where many of these Bollywood films are made. If you go on the right day you could even see a film being recorded before your very eyes.
Get your holiday off to the best start by travelling luggage free. You can send your luggage with Send My Bag to any of the destinations mentioned here. Your luggage will be waiting for you at your hotel and can be picked up again when you are ready to head home. Read ‘How it Works’ to find out more.
If history or shopping is your thing, check out our guides to the ‘Best Destinations for History Lovers’ and the ‘Best Shopping Destinations in Europe’.
Returning to work after the Christmas holidays can be pretty soul destroying. But why not keep the holiday spirit alive by planning a winter break this January? A break from the drudge of the daily commute will help you sail through the winter months and you can have lots of fun deciding where you want to go and planning what you are going to do when you get there. Why not choose from one of these five destinations that will be sure to chase away those winter blues?