Blog Archives

Backyard Cinema Snow Kingdom review: Travel through an ice cave to a fantastical festive film screening

© Backyard Cinema

Travel through an ice cave to reach Backyard Cinema’s Snow Kingdom

Now November is here and the clocks have gone back, it’s all getting a bit festive. The nights are drawing in and it’s getting a bit cold and gloomy outside, so no wonder we have a need to brighten up our evenings. The appeal of cosying up in front of your favourite movie seems that bit more appealing. This winter, roaming cinema club Backyard Cinema’s new Snow Kingdom theme is bringing a bit of fairy tale magic to your favourite festive film.

To those uninitiated, Backyard Cinema create immersive cinematic experiences in various unique venues. I’ve previously watched their Romeo + Juliet screening accompanied by a live choir in a church and their ‘Lost World’ and ‘Miami Beach’ themes in their current home at Mercato Metropolitano. The premise of their latest theme is a ‘hidden ice kingdom buried in London’.

Backyard Cinema is located in the street food haven of Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle. There’s a host of Italian and other international food and drink stalls, so you could easily make a night of it and come for dinner before watching a movie. The entrance to Backyard Cinema is certainly intriguing with a small tunnel beckoning you in. An attendant outside offers you a lamp to guide you on your journey through to the Snow Kingdom, which certainly adds a touch of magic to proceedings and provides good Instagram fodder. The entrance and the subsequent ice cave are fabulous, you’ve really got to applaud BC for their great set design. We carefully edged our way over the moving drawbridge through the ice cave, before arriving at the warm enclaves of the screening room.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Cosy up on a beanbag and watch a classic festive film in the grand surroundings

Before heading to our seats, we popped to the bar serving a choice of winter warmers, craft beer, bubbly, snacks and other refreshments. As it was still quite warm in the capital on the night of my visit, I wasn’t quite ready for a hot toddy so opted for my usual g&t with a packet of sweets and gourmet popcorn to share. The screening room itself was decked out like a ballroom in a grand castle, with chandeliers, tapestries and a throne. On the night in question, we were there to seeing the new live action Beauty And The Beast. We grabbed a pair of bean bags loungers near the front and settled down to watch Emma Watson and co. The surroundings of the Snow Kingdom could easily be the film’s setting of the Beast’s castle so they complemented each other well.

Through a combination of the setting and the film itself, we were certainly transported to a magical kingdom for the evening, so I would definitely recommend to everyone for a festive and fun night out. Children in particular will love the journey through the ice cave, while Instagrammers have a lot of posing potential with the throne and the drawbridge. Over the season, BC will be screening a selection of festive and family classic to new releases, such as the Princess Bride, E.T., Labyrinth, Harry Potter, Baby Driver, La La Land, so there’s something for everyone. A lot of screenings running up until Christmas are sold out already so I’d advise booking asap if you’re interested.

  • Backyard Cinema: Snow Kingdom is on from now until early 2018. Backyard Cinema, Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. Tickets from £17. For booking and listings, visit the Backyard Cinema website.

For the latest what’s on guide, click here.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Advertisements

Granada Tooting: A neo-renaissance cinema masquerading as a bingo hall

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The interior of Gala Bingo Club in Tooting – formerly the Granada Cinema

In cinemas’ heyday in the early half of the 20th century, there were film theatres on every high street, often several on the same road. However, in recent decades, a host of cinemas have been bulldozed or converted into bingo halls, churches and even pubs. However, while one such venue is no longer screening movies, the stunning, original interiors have been largely preserved.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The grand entrance features four Corinthian style pillars

In the heart of Tooting stands a very grand branch of Gala Bingo. Located on Mitcham Road, Gala is residing in the former Granada Tooting, a Grade I listed, Art Deco cinema. Although bingo players are welcome to visit during game-playing hours, I joined a guided tour early one Sunday morning during Open House London for a more in-depth look and to find out about the history.

The cinema was originally built as one of a chain, owned by Essex-born media baron Sidney Bernstein (1899-1993) and his younger brother Cecil (1904-1981). After his eldest sibling Selim was killed during World War I in 1915, as next in line Sidney inherited the family business following the death of his property tycoon father Alexander (1870-1922). The business included several music halls and the Empire group of ‘Kinemas’ in Ilford, Plumstead, East Ham, West Ham and Willesden. Together, Sidney and Cecil established the Granada Cinema chain – named after the Spanish city of Granada after the former had been there on holiday. Granada is home to the stunning Alhambra complex, so the name would have sounded very exotic to the average early 20th century Brit, most of whom would have never been abroad. Sidney wanted people to be drawn to the cinema itself, rather than the film, and thought of his businesses as temples of entertainment. Although his initial ‘Kinemas’ were converted music halls and theatres, his first purpose-built cinema was the Granada Dover, which opened in January 1930 (it was demolished in 2014). Read the rest of this entry

‘Jungle Juice’ cocktails, abandoned ruins and super comfy seating at Backyard Cinema: The Lost World

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Backyard Cinema: The Lost World is an atmospheric viewing experience of your favourite adventure films

As one of London’s roaming film clubs, Backyard Cinema gives movie fans the chance to watch their favourite films in more comfortable surroundings than your typical Odeon or Vue. I’ve previously checked out BC’s outdoor summer screenings at Camden Market and, earlier this year, watched Romeo + Juliet accompanied by a live choir in a church. The last Backyard event I attended – those star-crossed lovers – brought two different elements to one of my favourite films so when I heard about the company’s latest experience, I had high hopes.

Backyard Cinema Lost World © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Get into the spirit: Cinema goers travel through an abandoned temple to get to the screening room

Backyard Cinema have created a Lost World in a corner of the capital’s latest foodie paradise Mercado Metropolitano. The premise is screenings of your favourite adventure movies complemented by a suitably atmospheric setting. After lunch at one of the Mercado’s Italian food stands, it didn’t take long for us to find the entrance to the Lost World. A friendly staff member, dressed in a khaki safari ensemble, greeted us outside a rather diminutive entrance and explained the ‘perils’ of our journey to our seats. We then crouched down and made our way through the ‘abandoned jungle’, with low-lighting, eerie calls and nature sound effects putting you in the frame of mind. Finally, I tentatively jumped into the foam pit (the lighting made me somewhat unsure of judging how deep I would plunge), but found there was plenty of the soft stuff to cushion my landing as I emerged into the cinema.

The screening room was full of comfortable bean bag chairs against a backdrop of what I would describe as ‘Indiana Jones chic’ interiors and continuing sound effects. Before taking our bags, we headed to the bar and embraced the theme by ordering the cocktails, ‘Jungle Juice’ and ‘Fire Monkey’. We went in blind as had no idea what was in them, but they were fruity, suitably alcoholic and tasted good. We accompanied our sweet drinks with even more sugar – popcorn and sweets – as we were clearly having the afternoon off being healthy (well, it is the cinema!).

Finally, the movie. On this occasion, we were here to see Finding Dory – the recent sequel to Finding Nemo. Backyard are screening a lot of classic adventure films such as Goonies and Jurassic Park, but also a few new ones too. One of the first things which struck me was that no one was ruining my shot of the screen. I often find heads in the way, but the spaced out bean bags meant this wasn’t a problem. I usually get pretty uncomfortable in traditional cinema seating, but settled back in my bean bag and was incredibly cosy and settled. The film itself, was exactly what I hoped it would be and I really enjoyed it.

Overall, we had a good few hours in the Lost World. The quirky entrance and the décor of the screening room was a fun way to start proceedings. The staff were, as ever, friendly and helpful. I would particularly recommend the Lost World to families as they have screenings during the day on weekends. The 1hr 45 minute film whizzed by in the comfort of our bean bags… which I’m not considering buying for my own home actually.

  • Backyard Cinema: Lost World, Mercado Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. Tickets start from £16.50. The Lost World runs until 11 November 2016. For booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Backyard Cinema Lost World: Watch your favourite action movie in a tropical jungle

backyard cinema The Lost World

This autumn, film fans are in for a treat as they journey to a forgotten jungle to watch their favourite action and adventure movies. London’s theatrical cinema experts Backyard Cinema are creating a lost world, full of ancient labyrinths and tropical temple ruins.

Launching this September, explorers will be able to watch classic childhood movies, including The Jungle Book, Hook and The Goonies as well as action-packed blockbusters Jurassic Park, Predator and The Legend of Tarzan.

Tickets holders will enter through a secret entrance of temple ruins as they travel to a land that time forgot. After finally emerging into the jungle, the screening room will feature a huge screen and giant beanbags surrounded by tropical trees and plants, jungle sounds and temple ruins. Before settling down to watch the film, enjoy a jungle-themed cocktail from the bar.

The Lost World is the latest offering from Backyard Cinema, a roaming, theatrical cinema which started in the back garden of its founder. Among their productions include Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet at St Mary’s Church and Winter Night Garden at Winterville. Backyard Cinema are famous for bringing extra dimensions to classic films using set builds, actors and live music.

Backyard founder Dominic Davies, said: ‘We can’t wait for people to experience the Lost World. This is a theme that is close to our hearts, this is a true homage to the action and adventure movies we grew up on and keep coming back to. We want to enhance your nostalgia for them by creating a real sense of adventure as we take you on a journey to another world. A great excuse to all be kids again for a few hours. Just imagine watching Hook, in a JUNGLE!’

  • Backyard Cinema: Lost World takes place from 16 September – 11 November 2016. At Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. Tickets: Standard £16.50, Child £9.50, Cocktail Ticket (includes jungle-themed cocktail0 £25, Date Night for two £65 (includes x2 tickets, bubbly, popcorn, ice cream and blankets). For tickets, visit the Backyard Cinema website.
  • For Metro Girl’s review of Backyard Cinema: Lost World, click here.

For a guide to what else is on in London in November, click here.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Guide to London’s open air and pop-up cinemas in summer 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Watch classic films, such as Back To The Future, which was shown by Pop Up Screens at Morden Hall Park

Londoners don’t get anywhere near the amount of warm weather we would like. So when it is sunny, we all head outside. Of course, this leaves film fans in a predicament – who wants to be stuck indoors when the weather is so glorious? Over the past few years, pop-up and open air cinemas have been steadily rising in popularity and this summer will be no different. Of course, sometimes the weather isn’t so kind, so many roaming film clubs are hosting screenings in unique London indoor venues as well. Here’s a guide to the capital’s open-air and pop-up cinemas so you can enjoy some alfresco entertainment with an ice-cold beer or glass of wine… sounds good doesn’t it?

  • March until 30 July : Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet With A Live Choir

Backyard Cinema are marking the 20th anniversary of Baz Luhrmann’s cult classic Romeo + Juliet with a screening accompanied by a live choir. Ice cream, bubbly and popcorn will be on sale. Tickets start from £20. St Mary’s Church, Wyndham Place, York Street, Marylebone, W1H 1PQ. Nearest station: Baker Street and Edgware Road. For booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • 3 May – 17 September : Rooftop Film Club

The Rooftop Film Club is for rooftops only (obviously). Screening a mix of films including recent releases and classics. Venues include the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, the Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, Roof East in Stratford, Tobacco Dock in Shadwell and Kensington Roof Gardens. Ticket includes headphones, blankets and deckchairs. Tickets: £15. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.

  • 22 May – 24 September : The Nomad Cinema

Travelling cinema company returns this summer with a new roll call of venues. Locations include St Mark’s Mayfair, Paddington Street Gardens, Grosvenor Square, Bushy Park, Hoxton Hotel, Brown Hart Gardens, Royal Academy Of Arts, Belgrave Square, Brompton Cemetery, Victory Park East Village, Hyde Park Lido and Queen’s Park. Ticket prices £5-£33 (vary depending on package, some include food and drinks and other bonuses). To find out more, visit the Nomad Cinema website.

  • 2 June – 10 September : Cult Screens

Roaming UK pop-up screen will be coming to London for several dates at Twickenham’s York House Gardens, featuring your favourite movies with a twist. Tickets: Floor cushions £12, Deckchairs £14.50, Bean Bag £16. York House Gardens, Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 3AA. Nearest station: Twickenham. For more information, visit Cult Screens. Read the rest of this entry

Revisit the romance and energy of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet with Backyard Cinema

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

St Mary’s Church has been decorated with echoes of Baz Luhrmann’s vision of Verona, with the neon crosses and the floral altar for the Backyard Cinema screening of Romeo + Juliet

Twenty years ago, Australian film-maker Baz Luhrmann turned Shakespeare on his head with his movie adaptation of Romeo + Juliet. Set in the vivid and violent setting of ‘Verona Beach’, a very youthful Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes played the star-crossed lovers. Thanks to the photography, acting and soundtrack, the 1996 film soon became a cult classic.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

The screenings take place in St Mary’s Church in Marylebone

To mark the film’s 20th anniversary, pop-up film club Backyard Cinema are hosting a very special screening of the movie, complete with a live choir, in the stunning Georgian church St Mary’s in Marylebone. Last week, I went along with a friend (who I was surprised to find out had never seen the film) to check out Backyard’s take on one of my favourite flicks.

Upon entering the darkly lit building, we were immediately drawn into the atmosphere with the church decorated Luhrmann-style, with neon crosses and a floral adorned altar – immediately making you think of the setting of Romeo and Juliet’s marriage and deaths [spoiler alert ;-)] in the movie. There are various ticket options available depending on seating and packages, but we had a VIP package of cosy seats, along with bubbly and snacks. Open for a couple of hours prior to the screening, the crypt downstairs is somewhat of a pop-up nightspot with a licensed bar and food vendors selling popcorn, ice cream and sweets with plenty of seating dotted around so you can have a chat and mingle before spending two hours in silence watching the film.

As someone who has watched the movie many times before, I loved watching it in this environment – it certainly beats my old sofa and DVD player. With the soundtrack being such an integral part of the film’s success, the Some Voices Choir really bring a whole new dimension to it. With seamless transition, the choir sang tracks such as Kissing You and Young Hearts Run Free during the pivotal moments, which really brought the tragedy and romance of the movie to life. For fans of the film, I highly recommend you get a ticket while you can as they’re selling out fast. And if you haven’t seen it at all, you’re in for a treat.

  • Backyard Cinema are hosting screenings of Romeo + Juliet from now until July 2016 at St Mary’s Church, Wyndham Place, York Street, Marylebone, W1H 1PQ. Nearest station: Baker Street and Edgware Road. Tickets start from £20. For more information and tickets, visit the Backyard Cinema website.

For a guide to London’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Backyard Cinema Film Festival @ Camden Market: Watch classic, new and indie films in alfresco surroundings

© Backyard Cinema

Backyard Cinema are setting up camp in Camden Market this summer for six weeks
© Backyard Cinema 2015

Returning to Camden Market this summer is the brilliant pop-up film club Backyard Cinema. Having already checked out their screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet earlier this year with a live choir, I was looking forward to their next alfresco venture.

For six weeks, Backyard Cinema are hosting not one, but two pop-up movie theatres on two nearby sites in Camden Market. The main stage in Camden Lock Place will be screening new and classic mainstream movies, while the intimate Cuban Screen will feature indie flicks, documentaries and foreign language movies.

Last week, I was invited to the launch of BC’s season at Camden with a screening of this year’s blockbuster Kingsmen: The Secret Service. There’s different ticket packages available, but we had the ‘Full Monty’ (£29), which included the screening, a drink and a burger. Screening only tickets – including seating – start from £14 (Cuban screen)/£16.50 (main stage) .

Accompanying all screenings over the festival, are food/drink stands and trucks, including Brooklyn Brewery, Honest Burgers, The Craft Cocktail Co and Chin Chin Labs Ice Cream. The cinema opened two hours ahead of the screening so we were able to chow down on the delicious burger and fries (with rosemary salt… gorgeous!) from Honest Burgers. We also enjoyed some Moscow Mule cocktails from the Craft Cocktail Co which were lovely and refreshing.

© Backyard Cinema

This summer, a second more intimate screen in The Cuban courtyard will show indie and foreign language films
© Backyard Cinema 2015

The screening couldn’t start until the sun went down so we headed to our seats shortly before. There’s a choice of deckchairs or beanbag loungers – we opted for the latter which were incredibly comfortable. As the night in question was a bit chilly, the usherettes brought out some blankets for us so I was incredibly cosy curled up on my bean bag watching the film. The movie was an action comedy, starring Colin Firth, Sir Michael Caine and newcomer Taron Egerton (my new celebrity crush now actually…), who managed to look incredibly dapper while kicking some major bad guy butts! A really funny film.

Overall, the whole evening was really enjoyable. Although the drizzle during our dinner threatened to ruin the evening, it fortunately stopped in time for the screening. The Backyard crew also have waterproof ponchos available if you’re unprepared. The food, drink, seating, staff and film were all great. I recommend getting down there this summer, as I certainly hope to be making a return visit. With screenings of films including Birdman, The Goonies, Pride, The Babadook, Empire Records, Dirty Dancing, It Follows, Mad Man and Northern Soul, there’s something for everyone.

  • The Backyard Cinema Film Festival runs in Camden Market until 4 September 2015. Screenings take place in Camden Lock Place and The Cuban bar’s courtyard, Camden, NW1. Nearest station: Camden Town or Chalk Farm. Tickets start from £14 at the Cuban screen and £16.50 at the main screen. For more information and booking, visit the Backyard Cinema website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in August, click here.

 For a guide to open air cinemas in London this summer, click here.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Cinema under the stars: Guide to London’s open air and pop up cinemas this summer 2015

For the updated 2017 guide, click here.

© Backyard Cinema

Backyard Cinema are setting up camp in Camden Market this summer for six weeks
© Backyard Cinema 2015

Us Londoners don’t get anywhere near the amount of hot weather we would like. So when it is warm and sunny, we all head outside. Of course, this leaves film fans in a predicament – who wants to be stuck indoors when the weather is so glorious? Over the past few years, pop-up and open air cinemas have been steadily rising in popularity and this summer should see no difference. Here’s a guide to the capital’s open-air cinemas so you can enjoy some alfresco entertainment with an ice cold beer or wine… sounds good doesn’t it?

  • 19 April – September : Rooftop Film Club

The Rooftop Film Club is for rooftops only (obviously). Screening a mix of films including recent releases and classics. Venues include the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, Roof East in Stratford, Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, and Kensington Roof Gardens. Ticket includes headphones, blankets and deckchairs. Tickets; £14-22. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.

  • 26 April – September : The Nomad Cinema

Travelling cinema company returns this summer with a new roll call of venues. Locations include Belgrave Square, Grosvenor Square, Coram Secret Garden, Queen’s Park, Bushy Park, Fulham Palace, Brompton Cemetery, Hyde Park Lido, Hoxton Hotel, Hippodrome, Middle Temple Gardens and more. Ticket prices vary depending on package (some  include food and drinks and other bonuses). To find out more, visit the Nomad Cinema website.

  • 15 May – September : Pop Up Screens

Travelling pop -up cinema appears in both alfresco and indoor venues, with food and alcohol stands accompanying them. Locations include Morden Hall Park, Bishops Park Fulham, Mycenae House Blackheath, Ravenscourt Park Hammersmith, Manor House Gardens Lewisham, Coram’s Field Holborn and East Greenwich Pleasaunce. To find out about screenings and bookings, visit the Pop Up Screens website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of Pop Up Screens at Morden Hall Park here

© The Nomad Cinema

Spooky: The Nomad Cinema returns to Brompton Cemetary
© The Nomad Cinema

  • 3 June – September : Backyard Cinema

Watch a selection of classic or newer films on cosy beanbags or deckchairs as Backyard Cinema goes to various locations, including Camden Lock Market and the Lynx pop-up in Brick Lane. For more information and listings, visit the Backyard Cinema website. To read Metro Girl’s review and details of the Camden pop-up (on over August), click here.

  • 9 June – 7 July : Drive In Film Club

A drive in cinema at Alexandra Palace for cars and their occupants. Films including Grease (singalong), Birdman, Top Gun, Pulp Fiction, Back To The Future and 50 Shades Of Grey. Rollerskating attendants will bring hotdogs, popcorn and snacks to your car. Price: £22 per car (all occupants included). Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. For more information and tickets, visit the Experience Cinema website.

  • 19 – 25 June : British Summer Time Film Festival

As part of the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, there will be 10 free film screenings over five days (19, 22 – 25 June). Access is on first come, first served basis so grab a blanket and head down. Films include Wizard Of Oz, Pride, Casablanca, Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters and Singalong Grease, among others. There will also be a street food market on site and performances by theatre company Chickenshed. Screenings at 6pm and 8.30pm. Hyde Park, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the British Summer Time website.

  • 20 June – 17 August : Pillow Cinema

Enjoy a cosy night in… outside on a giant pillow with snuggly blanket if it gets cold. Films include The Notebook, Birdman, Fifty Shades Of Grey, Clueless and The Imitation Game. Tickets: £12.50pp (2 people per bean bag). Pillow Cinema, SNAP Studios, Wimbourne House, 151-155 New North Road, Shoreditch, N1 6TA. Nearest station: Hoxton, Old Street or Essex Road. For more information and booking, visit the Pillow Cinema website.

  • 1 July – 20 September : Luna Cinema

As well as venues outside London, Luna Cinema will be popping up at various venues across the capital this summer. Locations include Alexandra Palace, Battersea Park, Brockwell Lido, Crystal Palace Park, Dulwich Park, Hampton Court Palace, Hatfield House, Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens, Modern Hall Park, One New Change, Opera Holland Park, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Tooting Common. Blankets and wedges available at every screening. For more information and listings, visit the Luna Cinema website.

  • 7 – 28 July : Vauxhall One Summer Screen

Vauxhall One host four free screenings over the summer in the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Films include Clueless, Zoolander, Dazed & Confused and a public vote choice. There will also be street food from Grill My Cheese, Busan BBQ and Rotli Crew. 7pm onwards on Tuesdays in June. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens (Entrance on Kennington Lane), Vauxhall, SE11 5HY. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Vauxhall One website.

  • 22 July – 9 August: Classic Films @ Canary Wharf

Watch digitally-restored classic films from the BFI National Archive on the big screen. Movies include Penny Points To Paradise, The Salvage Gang, Night Ferry, Godzilla, Let’s Go Crazy and others. Free. Screenings at 6pm and 11am on Saturdays. Canada Square Park, Docklands, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.

  • 5 August – 4 September : The Regent’s Place Summer Cinema

Several free film screenings a week, including Mamma Mia, Grease, Frozen and Jumanji. Free. Screenings take place at 6.30pm Wed-Fri and 3.30pm Sat. Regent’s Place, NW1 3HF. Nearest tube: Warren Street. For more information, visit the Regent’s Place website.

  • 6 – 7, 14 and 15 August : East Village Film Fest

East Village in Stratford have teamed up with Nomad cinema for a four day free film festival. Films including Thelma & Louise, Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind, The Lost Boys and Paddington will be watched on a big screen, while listening to headphones. Priority will be given to residents of East Village. East Village, Stratford, E20 1AT. Nearest station: Stratford. For more information, visit the East Village website.

  • 6 – 19 August : Film4 Summer Screen @ Somerset House

The courtyard of Somerset House hosts two weeks of alfresco summer screenings. Includes screenings of premieres, double bills and classics. Movies include Gemma Bovery, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Graduate, Do The Right Thing and West Side Story. There is also an opportunity for film fans to vote for their favourite film to be screened on 19 August. Tickets start from £16. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.

  • 19 – 21 August : Summer Cinema Series

The gardens of the Trinity Hospice in Clapham will be open to the public for screenings over three nights with screenings of The Breakfast Club, Casablanca and Mrs Doubtfire. Tickets sales go to the Hospice. There will be a licensed bar serving alcohol, as well as popcorn and cake. Tickets: Adults £15, Children £10. Trinity Hospice, 30 Clapham Common North Side, SW4 ORN. Nearest tube: Clapham Common. For more information and booking, visit the Trinity Hospice website.

  • 27 – 29 August : Summer Love Weekend @ British Museum

Three open-air screenings from the BFI in the front courtyard of the British Museum. Featuring A Room With A View, Badlands and The Princess Bride. 8.15pm. Tickets: £15. British Museum, Great Russell Street, Holborn, WC1B 3DG. Nearest station: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road. For more information and booking, visit the BFI website.

  • 2 – 24 September :  More London Free Film Festival

There will be free screenings of films in The Scoop, near Potter’s Field Park. Films include The Imitation Game, Paddington, Ghostbusters, Frozen, The Thoery Of Everything, Moulin Rouge!, Big, Zoolander and The Sound Of Music. 7.30pm. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the More London website. While you’re there, why not get food or drink from the nearby London Riviera pop-up.

  • 17 – 26 September : Hot Tub Cinema

Watch your favourite film while relaxing in a hot tub with your closest pals. Films include Bridesmaids, Dirty Dancing, Superbad and Free Willy. Fully licensed bar available. Tickets start from £24pp. 18 Warburton Road, Hackney, E8 3RT. Nearest station: London Fields. For booking, visit Hot Tub Cinema’s website.

  • Once a month : Trader Vic’s Tiki Cinema

Although not outside, Trader Vic’s in the London Hilton are hosting monthly screenings in their Tiki-themed bar and restaurant. Movies include Dr No (8 June), 50 First Dates (13 July), The Rum Diary (10 August), Jaws (14 September) and Top Gun (12 October). Film starts at 7.30pm, food is served from 6pm. Tickets: £13 (including screening and a cocktail). Trader Vic’s, 22 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1BE. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Trader Vic’s website.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Watch Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet with a live choir with Backyard Cinema

© Backyard Cinema

Watch Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet accompanied by a live choir
© Backyard Cinema

Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo + Juliet is an iconic 1990s film. The vivid imagery, amazing soundtrack and stunning performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes have made the film a modern classic. Personally I’m a huge fan of the film and soundtrack.

This month, fans of the film will be able to have the chance to watch the movie in a totally different way – accompanied by a live choir in a candlelight church setting. Roaming pop-up cinema company Backyard Cinema are setting up camp for three days at St Mary’s Church in Marylebone for a special screening of Romeo + Juliet. Singers from the Some Voices Choir will be performing some of the film’s most popular tracks, such as Kissing You and Everybody’s Free.

Depending on your budget, you can sit in traditional balcony seats (£20), on comfy sofas and deckchairs in the main seating area (£28) or on front row double beanbag with blankets and cushions (£65 for two people). To accompany your screening, there will be a choice of drinks and snacks, including Cream & Country luxury ice cream, Backyard’s posh and unusual flavoured popcorn while a licensed bar will be serving alcohol.

  • Romeo + Juliet screenings by Backyard Cinema are taking place on 28, 29 and 30 May 2015. Doors open 7pm, Film screening starts 8pm. St Mary’s Church, Wyndham Place, York Street, Marylebone, W1H 1PQ. Nearest station: Baker Street and Edgware Road. For more information and tickets, visit the Backyard Cinemas website.
  • 2016 news! The screenings are returning to St Mary’s Church from 29 March – July 2016. For a review of the 2016 experience, click here.

For the latest what’s on guide in London, click here.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

London Short Film Festival 2014: Interview with film-makers of Catch

© Matthew Markham and Jennifer Sheridan 2014

This week sees the 2nd week of the London Short Film Festival 2014. The annual event, now in its 11th year, runs from 10 – 19 January at venues across the capital, including the BFI, Curzon Soho, ICA and Hackney Picturehouse. The festival celebrates the best in short film-making, giving a platform to rising talent.

On Sunday 19th January – the final day of this year’s festival – Hackney Picturehouse is screening a collection of shorts films during their New Shorts: A Winter’s Matinee of Romantic Films event. One of the films being shown is Catch, directed by Londoners Matthew Markham (@mmmarkham) and Jennifer Sheridan (@boatstring) . The three-minute film is an original script by Markham and was filmed on location in Loch Na Droma Buidhe and Drimnin, Scotland, in October 2012. Ahead of Sunday’s screening, Markham and Sheridan spoke to Metro Girl about the making of the film.© Matthew Markham Jennifer Sheridan

Q: Where did the idea for Catch come from?

A: We were inspired by the location and the untamed beauty of Scotland. Matthew wanted a concept which could utilise that stunning location. In such a quiet piece of the world, the subject of loneliness and solitude came up with its pros and cons. The appeal of loneliness in terms of seeking peace and quiet, but also the negative aspects of lacking support or company. Our lead is a fisherman, who lives in such an environment where he would find it impossible to find a mate. A surreal turn of events in Catch provides a surprising introduction with a potential soulmate. We actually got engaged a week before we filmed it, which was a lovely prelude to shooting a romantic-themed film.

Q: What was the biggest challenge during shooting on the movie?

A: Working in a tidal environment was incredibly challenging as the tideline kept changing. We had to keep lowering the camera to keep to the waterline. We ended up having to anchor the boat because it kept moving. Trying to sustain continuity while working with water is really tough. There was the added stress of trying to protect the expensive camera equipment from the water.

Q: What’s the message of the film?

A: There’s plenty more fish in the sea. Expect the unexpected. Love comes along when you least expect it.


  • Catch is being screened during the ‘New Shorts: A Winter’s Matinee of Romantic Films’ collection of short films during the London Short Film Festival on Sunday 19th January at 1pm at the Hackney Picturehouse. Tickets: £7.50. Click here to buy tickets.
  • For more information on the London Short Film Festival, visit the official website.

For a list of what else is on in London in January 2014, click here.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin