Where to see the big blockbusters for less in Edinburgh and Glasgow

View from the cheap seats

When money is tight but you need your cinema fix, there's still plenty of options

If you love cinema too much to wait for films to come out on Netflix, don't worry: Edinburgh and Glasgow have plenty of independent cinemas which offer a unique place to kick back and shovel down some popcorn. Most of the big chains operate across both cities too, and there are plenty of deals for students to take advantage of, for when you just can't wait to see that new Star Wars, or when Mamma Mia 3 is inevitably pushed out.


The Filmhouse on Lothian Road is Edinburgh's best-known independent cinema, and it's an absolute jewel in the city's film-loving crown. It's home to regular festivals and special seasons, and has a good mix of blockbusters and indie features on the bill. Student membership is just £5, and gets you £1.50 off future ticket purchases, plus 10% off DVDs, merchandise, snacks and drinks. There's also a £2 screening every Tuesday as part of See You Next Tuesday, their weekly screening for student members. Elsewhere in the city, the Dominion is an art deco-style hub in the heart of Morningside, which screens big hitters and the occasional old classic. If you're feeling fancy, you can also rent out the entire place for private parties. And while it's not technically an indie cinema (since it's run by The Picturehouse) The Cameo has all the hallmarks of a film lovers hotspot, with comfy old seats and a selection of modern classics (and classic classics) on the reel. A student membership gets you two free tickets that can be used at all regional Picturehouse Cinemas, and up to £2 off tickets at all Picturehouse Cinemas.

Glasgow Film Theatre is the city's original independent cinema. It's also home to Glasgow Film Festival, the Glasgow Youth Film Festival and the Glasgow Short Film Festival, and like the Filmhouse, it hosts regular innovative seasons. If you join their free 15–25 Card scheme, you can get standard GFT tickets for just £5.50. You'll also earn loyalty points for every pound you spend on cinema tickets and get special offers by email. The Grosvenor Cinema in the West End screens the latest films plus a selection of old classics. Student tickets are just £7, too.

Big Chains

Both cities have the Vue (Ocean Terminal and Omnicentre in Edinburgh; The Fort in Glasgow). These guys operate a Super Monday deal, where you can get a promo code and activate big discounts on big films. If you get a Cineworld unlimited card (Fountainpark in Edinburgh; The Forge and Silverburn in Glasgow), you pay just £17.90 per month to see any film as many times as you like (terms and exclusions apply). So, if you go the cinema quite regularly, this deal could end up saving you a bundle. Or, if Odeon is your cinema of choice and you happened to get your student home insurance through comparethemarket.com, you can take advantage of Meercat Movies. Every week, you can get one voucher code to use on a Tuesday or Wednesday at any Odeon cinema (Lothian Road and Westside Plaza in Edinburgh, and Springfield Quay in Glasgow).

A Cineworld Glasgow Silverburn
Silverburn Shopping Centre, 763 Barrhead Road, Glasgow, G53 6AG
This is a 14 screen Cineworld including one Superscreen auditorium, which has a large screen, dual projectors and high end sound system. No train stations nearby but buses M6, M8, X8, 3, 10, 49, 57 serve Silverburn and X8 is an express from Buchanan…
B Grosvenor Cinema
Ashton Lane, Glasgow, G12 8SJ
A bar and restaurant complement the Grosvenor on Ashton Lane. Reopened in 2003 after an 18 month refurbishment, it now hosts two screens featuring leather seats.
C Odeon at the Quay
Springfield Quay, Paisley Road, Glasgow, G5 8NP
First opened in 1996, this 12 screen multiplex is part of a complex comprising a casino, hotel, restaurants and multi-storey car park. It is on the south of the Clyde, just off the Paisley Road to the east of the Govan Rd junction.
D Glasgow Film Theatre
12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB
Originally built as the Cosmo in 1939, this was the first art-house cinema constructed outside London. From 1974, the B-Listed building became better known as the GFT and now features three screens and hosts the Glasgow Film Festival.
E Cineworld Parkhead
Forge Shopping Centre, 1221 Gallowgate, Glasgow, G31 4EB
This is a seven screen Cineworld in the Forge shopping centre in the east end of Glasgow. Many buses run along Gallowgate and there is a large free car park.
F Odeon Luxe Edinburgh West
120 Wester Hailes Road, Westside Plaza, Edinburgh, EH14 2SW
This eight screen Odeon on Westside Plaze, was originally opened as part of the ABC group. This cinema is one of three in the UK that will have recliner seating installed in 2017 in a project initiated by AMC, the owners of the Odeon chain. There is…
G Cineworld Fountainpark
Fountain Park, 130/3 Dundee Street, Edinburgh, EH11 1AF
Edinburgh's Cineworld is located in Fountainbridge, within the Fountainpark entertainment centre, just west of the city centre. The 13-screen cinema contains Edinburgh's only IMAX screen. As well as the cinema, the complex also includes a Virgin Active…
H Dominion
18 Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH10 4RT
The B-listed Dominion opened in 1938. Now featuring four screens and a restaurant, the cinema features reclining armchairs and complimentary drinks.
I Filmhouse
88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9BZ
Beginning in 1979, Edinburgh's Filmhouse was gradually converted from St. Thomas Church into a three screen cinema. Sometime host of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, it features a café bar and monthly quiz.
J Odeon Lothian Road
118 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 8BG
A four screen Odeon on Edinburgh's Lothian Road. The Croma pizzeria now occupies the ground-floor lobby but the cinema is there, tucked away underground, although you may have to thread your way through crowded tables to get to it. The cinema contains…
K Cameo Cinema
38 Home Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LZ
Formerly the King's Cinema (opened 1914), a refurbishment and name change by owner Jim Poole led to Edinburgh's first art house cinema, The Cameo, in 1949. Since then it's been an important venue for the Edinburgh International Film Festival. All…
L Vue Omni Centre
Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EN
Found in the Omni Centre on Greenside Place, just five minutes from the East End of Princes Street, this 12-screen Vue was opened in 2002 and features two Digital 3D screens. Also within the Omni Centre there are numerous bars and restaurants and a…
M Vue Ocean Terminal
Ocean Drive, Victoria Dock, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ
Vue's 12 screen cinema at Ocean Terminal is located beside the Royal Yacht Britannia. It is well served by a variety of restaurants, plenty of parking, and is easily accessible from Edinburgh by bus.