Even in a city as vibrant as London, it can be possible to fall into a rut – going to the same bars, eating at the same restaurants, occasionally seeing a concert or a movie. Themed nights out offer a great way to break out of the ‘same old, same old’ and make a night special. While we’ve all cringed through the terrible themed nights out hosted by The Apprentice candidates in recent seasons, London does offer many (professionally hosted!) themed nights out that are a ton of fun.
70s & 80s Disco and Funk
Disco never died! Well, at least it’s still alive and kicking at the Rivoli Ballroom during the monthly Rouges 70s & 80s Disco and Funk nights. Some themed nights are all about the period-appropriate cocktails or letting actors take the lead but at a Rouges night, you had better be ready to dance! Alongside a DJ spinning dance classics from the 70s and 80s, these nights also feature a variety of other performers, such as live bands, aerialists and hula hoop dancers. While fancy dress is not required, dressing with a bit of 70s flair is encouraged – a crowd that looks the part really adds to the vibe of the night.
Perhaps the classic themed night out is the speakeasy or cabaret night. The Roaring 20s captured everyone’s imagination: the age of flappers, bootleggers and jazz – how could it not? It was also the golden age of the cocktail, making it the perfect setting for a night out. London features several speakeasy-inspired bars, some complete with nondescript entrances and hidden doors. With gorgeous period decor, The Coral Room puts a decidedly British twist on cocktails from that era.
If you’re looking for a more complete night, however, the Candlelight Club is the place to go. The Candlelight Club hosts monthly parties and in keeping with their theme, the exact location of the venue is kept secret until two days before the event. While the 1920s is the general theme, some events have an additional twist – think Paris or Havana. Ticket prices cover entry and entertainment, though tables can be booked for an additional fee. But who wants to sit when the dance floor is swinging?
Wild wild west
The wild west theme has been popular for decades and things haven’t changed in recent years. Western films, both new and old, continue to be popular and dude ranches where you can play cowboy haven’t lost their charm as vacation destinations. The number of western-themed Rizk slots games keeps growing too, with titles such as Gunslinger Reloaded, Bonanza and Mustang Gold. So why not a wild west night out?
London’s Moonshine Saloon is just the place. The Moonshine Saloon offers an immersive western experience, complete with Stetsons and spurs! Guests are invited to bring their own bottles of alcohol in order to join the moonshine empire and kick off the outlaws vs sheriff storyline. There are card games and cocktails, and a real wild west ambience that will have you dying to saddle up and head out for the open range.
Prince Charles Cinema all-nighters
One of the best parts of going to a themed event is that you can be relatively sure that everyone else there is interested in whatever the theme might be, or at the very least, willing to have a bit of fun and be engaged with it. The all-nighters at the Prince Charles Cinema are a perfect example of this sense of community around a theme, even if they aren’t technically a themed night out.
Usually featuring five or six films (or three, if it’s the Lord of the Rings extended editions night!), the Prince Charles Cinema’s all-nighters are just that: a themed night of films. Sometimes they feature series such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, at other times there’s a theme like 80s fantasy, Italian horror or Disney classics. Doors generally open around 8pm and with short breaks between films and an intermission, the night typically ends around 8am. Some people wear fancy dress to match the theme but the regulars know that it’s all about comfort. One tip from a seasoned pro: bring a neck pillow!
Whether you’re in the mood for drinks and dancing, a murder mystery or a full evening of fun, London’s themed nights out offer something for everyone. Finding the perfect themed night out might take a bit of effort but it sure beats staying in!