Oxford has a flourishing arts scene, with 5 cinemas and anything between 4 and 50 theatres, depending on how you're counting. Many productions are held in college gardens in the summer.
Tickets for many Oxford events are available through the Oxford Playhouse's TicketsOxford service (or calling their box office on 01865 305305). Tickets for shows at the New Theatre (formerly the Apollo) and the OFS Studio (formerly the Old Fire Station) – both in George Street – can be booked online at newtheatreoxford.org.uk.
Aka Abingdon College and District Film Society. ...read more
Blockbuster Headington 73-75 London Road,
Oxford OX3 9AA Tel: 01865 769643
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-10pm Sun 12pm-10pm
Still going despite the collapse of the (seperated) American mother company. ...read more
Centrally located 6-screen cinema (very near bus station) showing current popular releases. Wheelchair ...read more
Centrally located 2-screen cinema showing current popular releases. Wheelchair access to Screen 1, plus ...read more
Oxford's 2 screen arthouse/world cinema (and Oxford's oldest, in continuous use since 1913). Fully licensed ...read more
Organised by local people, the Thame Cinema shows an eclectic range of films, many of which you may not ...read more
Pub-flavoured gig and DJ venue where the Gloucester Arms used to be, opened Dec 2012. Also has cinema ...read more
East Oxford's cult cinema, with 1 screen and a long, colourful history. All the classic films you ever ...read more
- Lava & Ignite, Cantay House, Park End Street. 01865 250181
- Central Oxford's largest club, Lava & Ignite (formerly the ubiquitous Park End) boasts 5 different rooms playing 5 variations of standard club-noise, with the odd bit of R&B and cheese thrown in. Boasts poles (for dancing, not behind the bar) and long queues.
- The Coven II, Oxpens Road. 01865 242770
- Large (for Oxford!), dark, cave-like venue hosting techno, trance and hard(ish) house. Gay-friendly. One of the few Oxford refuges for semi-serious clubbers. Recently installed Oxfordshire's biggest sound system.
- Filth, Westgate Centre. 01865 245136
- One of Oxford's most popular student venues, charmingly located round the back of the Westgate Centre. Some big-name DJs, some local. Cheap and nasty, but you're bound to pull.
- The O2 Academy, 190 Cowley Road.
- Within days of the ex-Zodiac being reborn as The Carling Academy (Sept 2007) not only had it been popularly renamed but a band called the Cardiacs had sprung up like a mushroom. The new venue is cleaner, glossier and bigger, and while the indie ambience has gone and it doesn't present as many local bands as it used to, it's, well, cleaner glossier and bigger and attracting bigger-name bands. It's now (2009) been taken over by the O2 group, and is clean, big and still fairly glossy. It's also the home of Wednesday student night Fuzzy Ducks, as you can tell by the carnage and empty cash machines up and down Cowley Road on Thursdays.
- The Bridge, Hythe Bridge Street. 01865 242526
- Slightly classier version of Filth we think, although not with any authority. R&B.
- Oxford Brookes Student Union, Headington Hill Campus. 01865 484750
- Biggest venue in town, therefore second only to the O2 Academy in playing host to the town's most crowd-pulling visitors (bands with stuff in the charts, top drum & bass and other DJs, etc.).
If you're nostalgic for the club where you danced in the New Millennium (to the strains of Robbie Williams no doubt) check out our Nightclubs & Bars archive page.
Current listings for Oxford theatres and outdoor shows can be found here.
- New Theatre, George Street. 0870 6063500
- Owned by entertainment multinational Ambassador Theatres Group (as of winter 2009), Oxford's largest theatre hosts a great variety of entertainment (large popular musicals, touring dramatic productions, opera, ballet, pop) with some famous names (recently: Chuck Berry, Brian Wilson, Jamie Cullum, the Welsh National Opera). Website • New Theatre: What’s on now
- Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street. 01865 305305
- Oxford’s serious receiving house also hosts musicians in concert, literary events and an annual Christmas panto. Has two theatre bars (one upstairs, one down) and full facilities for disabled people. Website • The Oxford Playhouse: What’s on now
- The Burton Taylor Studio, Gloucester Street. 01865 305305
- Studio theatre sharing box office with the Playhouse. Mainly term-time student productions but also some performances by small theatre companies. Tickets bookable in advance - advisable as the theatre seats only about 60 people. Drama workshops during vacations encourage participation by children and people with disabilities. Website • Burton Taylor Studio: What’s on now
- The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Summertown, OX2 7NN. 01865 319450
- Modern, award-winning, 240-seat theatre converted from a Victorian swimming pool. Specialises in programming original (and often quirky) contemporary theatre, comedy, music and dance, and ticket prices are very reasonable. The light, airy space in the foyer is used as an art gallery. Part of St Edward's School. Website • North Wall Arts Centre: What’s on now
- Pegasus Theatre, Magdalen Road. 01865 722851
- Home of Oxford Youth Theatre. Experimental shows and innovative professional performances. Website • Pegasus Theatre: What’s on
- The Theatre at Headington, Headington School. 01865 759138
- 240 seat studio theatre with a programme encompassing everything from professional productions from leading touring companies to concerts, lectures and workshops. Website • Pegasus Theatre: What’s on
- Creation Theatre, 01865 766266
- Also worthy of a mention are Creation Theatre company, whose various semi-permanent abodes include the Amphitheatre at Said Business School, the Mirror Tent at BMW, Headington Hill Park and the Courtyard at Oxford Castle. Specialising in Shakespeare, they’re at their best with sprightly comedies and spangly fairy stories.
- OFS Studio Theatre (formerly the Old Fire Station), George Street. 01865 297170
- Temporarily out of action, but due to reopen in 2012. It's becoming a homeless hostel and arts centre.