We don’t want to jinx it, but we are simply LOVING the sunshine. We can now complain about how hot it is, instead of how cold it is. And we’re all about people spending more time outside to make the most of it.
A great way to do this, and take full advantage of the long, bright evenings, is with outdoor cinema. All over London (and beyond) there are little pop-screens sprouting out of the parks and showing top notch blockbusters. Here are a few of our favourites.
1. The Luna Cinema
The Luna Cinema has to be one of the most well-known cinema pop-ups. They have more than 150 venues around the UK, so they know what they’re doing. They have little upgrades that you can add on to your ticket such as a comfy sofa or some blankets. There’s also plenty of food and drink to buy, and, depending on the venue, you can even bring your own picnic. In the likelihood that it rains (which it probably will, let’s face it) the event will not be cancelled! Just make sure to wear a scuba outfit or head to toe anoraks because umbrellas are banned.
2. Rooftop Film Club
Your own personal headphones. Check. A deckchair. Check. Bottomless popcorn. Check. The Rooftop Film Club has a pretty great checklist for a movie night. They have two London locations – one at Roof East in Stratford and one at the Bussey Building in Peckham. The latter is a firm favourite. Arrive early for some spectacular skyline views, munch on tasty pizza from Share A Slice, and sip on some cocktails.
Location: Peckham and Stratford
Arrive early for spectacular skyline views, munch on tasty pizza, and sip on some cocktails.
3. The Barbican Outdoor Cinema Weekend
Immerse yourself in The Barbican’s brutalist architecture with some summer open-air screenings. From dance films to art films to Hollywood films, these screenings are for the open-minded. There’s Pina Bausch’s unique choreography in Pina, as well as Sally Potter’s ode to self-love in Orlando starring the impeccable Tilda Swinton, followed by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and a whole host of others. It runs from 23 to 28 August.
Location: The Barbican, EC2Y 8DS
4. Summer By The River Free Films
From 30 May to 2 September, a short piece of the Thames by London Bridge and Tower Bridge is transformed into a summer hub. There’s food, drink, laughter, and, most importantly for this article, there are outdoor films. Think old classics like Dirty Dancing mixed in with a few kids’ favourites like Encanto. All of the screenings take place at The Scoop, which is the outdoor amphitheatre next to the former City Hall building. And guess what… they’re free! So you’d best get there early and grab a seat.
Location: London Bridge/Tower Bridge
Old classics like Dirty Dancing are mixed in with a few kids' favourites like Encanto.
5. Marylebone Summer Festival Film Night
For one night only, catch a film at the annual Marylebone Summer Festival. An open-air cinema will be happening on Saturday 18 June under the stars and, this year, the film is Bohemian Rhapsody. Sit back amongst the tranquil surroundings of the open gardens, and enjoy free table tennis, a cocktail bar and live music before the show. Tickets cost £15 and all profits go to the London-based Greenhouse Sports charity who use sport to engage young people and improve their lives.
6. Adventure Cinema
Choose from more than 200 locations for Adventure Cinema’s outdoor film extravaganza. Gain access to the most stunning venues around the UK, including the leafy Beckenham Place Park and the grand Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. You can literally pretend to be queen of your own castle. Only you’ll be sat on a rug with a bottle of whatever you had in the fridge.
7. Canary Wharf Summer Screens
From June until September, Canary Wharf are showing loads of stuff on their summer screens. There’s Wimbledon and Formula 1, Family Film Clubs and Movie Nights. Expect some big blockbusters and some old classics. What’s more, you can bring a picnic and the screenings are totally free! Win win!
Location: Canary Wharf
8. Everyman Secret Cinema At The Grove
Over at The Grove in Hertfordshire, they’ve partnered with Everyman to bring outdoor cinema to their secret Walled Garden. From 15 July–4 September, people staying at The Grove from Wednesday to Sunday can enjoy complimentary outdoor screenings of both new releases and everyone’s favourite classic films in the most beautiful setting. You can also add on dinner at one of their restaurants before you drift off in a big comfy been bag in front of the screen.
Location: The Grove, Hertfordshire, WD3 4TG