There’s a lot you can learn from a year spent mainly indoors. As we emerge from lockdown we can all nail a banana bread, have better Zoom skills than the IT department at a medium sized enterprise and to a man we could all pass a GCSE in epidemiology. But mainly we’ve learnt that things are best when they’re outdoors. Including cinemas.

Every summer we get excited about open air cinemas, the novelty and romance of watching big hits under the vast expanse of the London sky. And in a post-pandemic world, huddling for heat as we collectively watch yet another showing of Grease is a variant free luxury we can fully enjoy.

Plus, of course, London has myriad (well, a handful of) options. Sure, you can visit your run-of-the-mill Odeon, with all its COVID-safe measures, and you go to a ‘drive thru’ but why would you when you can revel in an al fresco cinema? Pass me the brolly…

Luna Cinema

Luna Cinema are past-masters at the art of outdoor cinema-ing. Putting on screenings at iconic venues across the UK (castles and grand country homes like Chatsworth, Warwick Castle and Harewood House have served as backdrops) as well as familiar London sights/sites such as Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace.

From Brockwell Lido to Kenwood House, Luna Cinema’s outdoor experiences are perfect for enjoying newish releases like Bohemian Rhapsody  and classics like Grease.

This summer they’re back again, COVID-secure and ready to entertain.

Backyard Cinema

Backyard cinema is literally in our back yard! The new home of Backyard Cinema sits less than a four minute walk from The Handbook’s West London HQ at Wandsworth’s Capital Studios. But there’s more reason than that to visit.

Having just reopened, the mix of indoor and outdoor gives some protection from inclement weather, and also invokes a beach club with the LA Nights theme for 2021.

It’s an immersive, cinema experience with a line-up of movies to boot including the likes of Mama Mia, The Beach and Jaws. And, of course, Grease.

Where: Ram Quarter, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET
Website: www.backyardcinema.co.uk

Rooftop Film Club (And The Drive In Film Club)

This summer Rooftop Film Club is covering all the bases. They’re back on the roof but they’re also running their Drive-In for the second year running over at Ally Pally, in Brent Cross and Sundown Park.

The roof element occurs on select rooftops across town, currently in Peckham and Stratford’s Roof East and screening a mix of cult classics and latest blockbusters. Grab a box of popcorn and enjoy the main feature as the sun goes down across London.

Expect films including Sound of Metal, Clueless and, you guessed it, more Grease.

Somerset House

Film4 are bringing back their big screen in Central London’s Somerset House. The stately surroundings are playing host to a number of exciting pop-ups this summer, but the big screen promises to be one of the highlights of August.

Grab a hamper and settle down on the stone floor for the main feature. The schedule is yet to be released but viewers will be relieved that previous years haven’t included Grease…


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