EUROPA Cinema @ The Institute of Light Hackney
Arch 376, 10 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB
0207 249 9906/https://the-institute-of-light
Hackney’s favourite collaborative space The Institute of Light has just launched EUROPA, its intimate railway arch cinema. Kitted out with sofas and reclining aircraft seats ticket prices vary from £6 to £30 with the option of having a 3 course meal at their rotating pop-up restaurant. With a new programme curated by Secret Cinema’s Harry Ross celebrating the transformative nature of European film it seemed like the perfect time to check it out.The programme includes classics such as Spirit of the Beehive, Pan’s Labyrinth, Solaris and The Man who Fell to Earth, more recent releases including High-Rise, and new films such as Almodovar’s mother/daughter film Julieta, which I got to see. The cinema is fairly intimate but has a big screen and I couldn’t have been happier sitting on a sofa nibbling on three plates of starters from the modern European menu and drinking a glass of Luminoso (£7) a delicious Portuguese orange wine. The film was a more restrained Almodovar than in the past-a meditation on guilt and loss with, as always, some great frocks and interiors.I’ve eaten before at the Institute of Light and was surprised at the quality of the food which has been sustained with their new modern European pop-up. Roman style deep-fried ‘Jewish’ artichokes were crisp and full of flavour and accompanied by a soft pillow of fresh creamy Burrata (£9.20). A rustic Socca (chickpea pancake from Liguria) was studded with courgette and rosemary (£4) and a well-laden cheese board with homemade membrillo was delicious.The IOL also houses a vinyl store, curated by highly respected independent record label BBE [Barely Breaking Even] and a bookshop courtesy of Pages of Hackney so there is no excuse not to get your culture thing going. So put down your laptop, get off your sofa and go and support The Institute of Light. It’s showing great movies in a cool space with a food and wine offer that is both interesting and well -executed. What’s not to like?