Barbican Centre

 
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Major arts destination
An impressive if infuriatingly convoluted brutalist-style arts complex, the Barbican Centre (opened in 1982) was once the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company but now stages visiting international productions. Other features include an excellent concert hall with very good acoustics (mostly classical music), an art space and three cinemas (including two snazzy new 153-seaters added in 2012, access via Beech St) showing an eclectic range of indie, foreign and Hollywood movies at prices that are inexpensive by London standards. Plus a gallery shop, restaurants, indoor and outdoor cafés and myriad special events. Located between Smithfield and Clerkenwell — two areas worth investigating — and best reached via Barbican and Moorgate tube statiosn. Within walking distance of the City of London proper and, slightly further afield but well worth it for 17th/18th-century architetcture and atmosphere, Spitalfields. Recommended nearby restaurant: St. John [see entry]. The Barbican is a 12-minute bus ride east of Soho.

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