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?
- 4 May – 30 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, Queen Of Hoxton in Shoreditch and Kensington Roof Gardens. Ticket includes headphones, blankets and deckchairs. Tickets: £15. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.
- 23 May – 23 September : The Nomad Cinema
Travelling cinema company returns this summer with a new roll call of venues. Locations include Proud East, Paddington Street Gardens, The Hoxton Hotel, CityPoint, Grosvenor Square, Queen’s Park and Festival Gardens by St Paul’s Cathedral. Ticket prices £10-£25. For booking, visit the Nomad Cinema website.
- 6 June – 25 July : London Bridge City Summer Festival Screenings
Free film screenings every Tuesday throughout June and July. Get to the steps early to grab a spot. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the London Bridge City website.
- 7 – 18 June : Westfield Open-Air Cinema
Westfield will be hosting an open-air cinema during at London Food Month’s Night Market. A host of international street food stalls and bars will be serving grub and refreshments so keep you fuelled while you watch a mix of classic and new films. Cinema tickets are Adults £4, Children £2 when added to food market entry (Adults £15, Children £8). Perks Field, 7 Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, W8 4PU. Nearest station: Queensway or High Street Kensington. For booking, visit the London Food Month website. Read the rest of this entry
This is the 2014 guide, for the up to date 2015 guide, click here.
They’ve been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years and I for one, have become a big fan of the open-air cinema concept. Whether it’s a new release or an old classic, watching a film alfresco is a very different experience to your usual chain cinema outing. Many are set up against a stunning backdrop of an old building, a graveyard or a rooftop. The chance to grab your favourite cushion or deckchair, grab a bottle of wine and some plastic picnic glasses and head to a rooftop, park or other venue is a great way to spend a warm summer evening. Here’s a guide to open-air cinema venues and companies in London this summer. (NB: Booking in advance is strongly recommended).
- May – 30 September : Rooftop Film Club
The Rooftop Film Club is for rooftops only (obviously). Venues include the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, Roof East in Stratford, Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, Springbridge Car Park in Ealing and Kensington Roof Gardens. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.
- 20 May, 15 July, 17 September : BP Big Screens
Not quite films, but Royal Opera House productions will be broadcast live on big screens in Trafalgar Square, Walthamstow Town Square , Woolwich’s General Gordon Square and Canary Wharf. Productions include La Traviata on 20 May, La Boheme on 15 July, Rigoletto on 17 September. Free. For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.
- 12 June – 25 September : Floating Cinema
An intimate cinema on a specially-kitted out barge, which will travel around London over the summer. As well as screenings, will also include workshops and themed nights. For more information, visit the Floating Cinema website.
- 21 June – 27 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 Cemetary and Hyde Park Lido. Films include When Harry Met Sally, Hairspray, Dirty Dancing, Pulp Fiction, The Matrix and Cinema Paradiso, among others. To find out about screenings, visit The Nomad website.
- 3 June – 22 July : Vauxhall Village Presents Summer Screen
Vauxhall Village host six free screenings over the summer in the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Films include Best In Show, Mean Girls, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Slumdog Millionaire, This Is Spinal Tap and The Big Lebowski. Although free, you must reserve a place. Rent a deckchair or blanket or bring your own. Popcorn, food vendors and on-site Kopparberg bar on-site. Nearest tube: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Vauxhall Village website.
- 2 July – 28 September : The Luna Cinema
Venues including Battersea Park, Brockwell Lido, Crystal Palace Park, Dulwich Park, Hall Place at Bexley, Hampton Court Palace, Hatfield House, Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens (aka Kew The Movies), One New Change, Opera Holland Park and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. For more information and listings, visit the Luna Cinema website.
- 10 July – 31 August : The Power Of Summer
Seven weeks of pop-up events in the grounds of Battersea Power Station. Featuring Street Feast food festival, screenings of films (Pulp Fiction, Drive, Jungle Book and more) and the World Cup final. Park open from noon daily. Tickets: Free entry before 5.30pm on weekdays, general admission weekends and evenings: £5.50, screening tickets: £16.50. Battersea Power Station, 188 Kirtling Street, SW8 5BN. Nearest train station: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Everyman Cinemas website.
- 11 July – 27 September : Pop Up Screens
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. (Check out Metro Girl’s review of Pop Up Screens at Morden Hall Park last summer here). To find out about screenings and bookings, visit the Pop Up Screens website.
- 16 July – 14 September : Backyard Cinema
Watch a selection of classic or newer films on cosy beanbags or deckchairs as Backyard Cinema returns to Camden Lock Market. Including a pop-up BBQ from Honest Burgers (check out Metro Girl’s review of the original Brixton branch here) and 1950s usherettes serving you at your seats. Camden Lock Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AB. Nearest tube: Chalk Farm or Camden Town. For more information and listings, visit the Backyard Cinema website.
- 30 July – 29 August : The Regent’s Place Summer Cinema
Several film screenings every week from Wednesday to Saturday around 6.30pm. Films include Clueless, Chicken Run, Cool Runnings, Up, Top Gun, Pretty Woman and The Wedding Planner, among others. Regent’s Place, NW1 3HF. Nearest tube: Warren Street. For more information, visit the Regent’s Place website.
- 31 July – 31 August : Secret Cinema presents Back To The Future
Immersive film company Secret Cinema have recreated a life-sized version of Hill Valley from the 1985 film classic Back To The Future. In a secret East London location, film fans will have the chance to dress up and experience good ol’ 1955 America before watching the movie. Tickets £53. For Metro Girl’s review of the event, click here. For booking, visit Secret Cinema’s official website.
- 7 – 20 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. 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.
- 14 – 16 August : Trinity Summer Series Cinema
The gardens of the Trinity Hospice in Clapham will be open to the public for screenings over three nights with screenings of Some Like It Hot, Blues Brothers and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Tickets sales go to the Hospice. 30 Clapham Common North Side, SW4 ORN. Nearest tube: Clapham Common. For more information and booking, visit the Trinity Hospice website.
- 26 August – 6 September : Drive In Film Club
A pop-up film club at Brent Cross Shopping Centre’s South Car Park. Films including Dirty Dancing, Grease, Pulp Fiction and the new release Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Rollerskating attendants will bring popcorn and snacks to your car. Price: £22 per car (all occupants included). Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Drive, The Hyde, Brent Cross, NW4 3FP. For more information and tickets, visit the Experience Cinema website.
- 3 – 26 September : More London Free Film Festival
There will be free screenings of films in The Scoop, near Potter’s Field Park. Films include Philomena, Life Of Pi, The Goonies, Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom and The Truman Show. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the More London website.
Watching films in the open air has long been a fantasy of mine since I watched Danny and Sandy go the drive-in in the classic film Grease. On previous holidays to visit my family in Canada, I have been to the drive-in a few times and absolutely loved it. However, when it comes to London, not many of us have cars, and with traffic and parking a bit of a nightmare, drive-ins aren’t such a good idea for the capital.
In recent years, the ideas of pop-up open air cinemas in London has been growing steadily in popularity. The great thing about these pop-ups is the possibilities for locations are endless – parks, rooftops, museums, cemeteries… They screen a mix of new and classic films and appear in venues across the city so there is always something on near you during the summer.
Two weeks ago, a friend and I booked tickets for the Pop Up Screens’ screening of Back To The Future. The 1985 film is a classic and has been a favourite of mine since childhood. While the film has long been a part of my DVD collection, I have always wanted to watch it on the big screen as I never had this opportunity when it was first released. The venue for this particular screening was Morden Hall Park in South West London. Located 10 minutes walk from Morden tube station, or with ample on-site parking for drivers, the park is a lovely large space run by the National Trust, with streams, lots of woodland and the historic Morden Hall and Cottage. Parked outside the 18th century buildings was a DeLorean replica time machine, complete with flux capacitor, which excited the BTTF geek inside me!
We had booked our tickets online – £8 per person – and I was pleased to see the company encourages you not to print out the tickets, but showed your email with reference number at the date on your smartphone in a bid to save paper. Armed with our deckchairs and hoodies for when it got colder later, we pitched up a good spot in front of the screen. Also on site were toilets, a licensed bar selling wine, cider and beer, a Drum & Kernel Popcorn stand and a food stand serving burgers, etc. The prices were reasonable for both and the popcorn serving was very generous and a tasty fusion of sweet and salty flavouring. As always, the film was brilliant, but is special to watch it in a large group. There was a wide range of ages in attendance, including families. When (SPOILER ALERT!) George McFly knocks out bully Biff in one of the film’s pivotal scenes, there was a cheer from the audience, and when the movie ended, there was a round of applause – not what you get in a normal cinema. Overall, it was a great opportunity to watch a classic film on a big screen, be introduced to a part of London I hadn’t seen before and share the cinematic experience with a group of people I didn’t know. Highly recommended.
- Pop-Up Screens host screenings at locations across London during the summer and early autumn, including Fulham, Shepherd’s Bush, Lewisham, Hammersmith, Parson’s Green, Holborn and Greenwich. For more information and tickets, visit their website Pop Up Screens.
For a full list of pop-up cinemas companies, read Cinema under the stars: Guide to open air cinemas in London.
This guide is out of date. For the 2015 guide to London’s open air cinemas, click here.
There’s something a bit romantic about watching a film outside. Although for most of the year it’s too darn cold, over the past few summers, open air cinemas have been steadily growing in popularity. The chance to grab your favourite cushion or deckchair, grab a bottle of wine and some plastic picnic glasses and head to a rooftop, park or other venue is a great way to spend a warm summer evening. Here’s a guide to open-air cinema venues and companies in London this summer.
- The Nomad Cinema
Travelling cinema company returns this summer with a new roll call of venues. Locations include Brompton Cemetery (!), Bushy Park, Coram Secret Garden, Ealing Summer Screenings, Fulham Palace, Homelanz Festival (10 August), Horniman Museum, Hyde Park Lido, Queen’s Park, Roundwood Park and Willesden Sports Centre. To find out about screenings, visit the Nomad Cinema website.
- The Luna Cinema
Locations include Battersea Park, Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Park, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens (Kew The Movies), One New Change, Opera Holland Park, Regent’s Park. For more information, visit the Luna Cinema website.
- Backyard Cinema
Locations include Beach Blanket Babylon, London Fields Brewery and Camden Market. For more information, visit the Backyard Cinema website.
- Pop Up Screens
Locations include Fulham, Shepherd’s Bush, Morden, Lewisham, Hammersmith, Parson’s Green, Holborn and Greenwich. To find out about screenings, visit the Pop Up Screens website. For Metro Girl’s review of a recent Pop Up Screen screening, click here.
- Rooftop Film Club
The Rooftop Film Club is for rooftops only (obviously). Venues include the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, Roof Gardens at Kensington and Netil House in London Fields. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.
- Hot Tub Cinema
Unlike the other pop-up cinemas, this company in winter too because cinemagoers sit in hot tubs while watching the films. Also features a BBQ and licensed bar. This summer, the cinema will be on the rooftop of Rockwell House in Shoreditch. Single tickets £30 or an entire hot tub for up to six people £180. To find out more, visit the Hot Tub Cinema website.
- BP Big Screens
Not quite films, but Royal Opera House productions will be broadcast live on big screens in Trafalgar Square, Canary Wharf and Victoria Park on select dates over the summer. For more information, visit the ROH’s BP Big Screen page.
- Floating Cinema
An intimate cinema on a specially-kitted out barge, which will travel around East London over the summer. As well as screenings, will also include workshops and themed nights. For more information, visit the Floating Cinema website.
- More London Free Festival
From 11-27 September, there will be free screenings of films in The Scoop, near Potter’s Field Park. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information, visit the More London website.
- Trinity Summer Series Cinema
The gardens of the Trinity Hospice in Clapham will be open to the public for screenings over three nights (21-24 August) with screenings of Dirty Dancing, Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Top Gun. Tickets £15 with sales going to the Hospice. 30 Clapham Common North Side, SW4 ORN. Nearest tube: Clapham Common. For more information, visit the Trinity Hospice website.
To find out what else is on in London this summer, read Guide to what’s on in London in September 2013