The Summer season is a perfect opportunity to combine some fun chilling out activities…Films, the outdoors and a drink (or a few) with friends! There are now a clutch of imaginative, independent and cosy outdoor cinemas that have popped up in recent times that are worth checking out while London is basking in the hot weather. Here are some of the more adventurous venues specifically for that purpose.
Rooftop Film Club, The Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
First held in Shoreditch in 2011, the Rooftop Cinema Club has hosted elevated screenings across the rising London skyline, from Kensington in the west to Hackney in the east. The Club invites cinema-goers to ascend the staircase of its original venue, The Queen of Hoxton – a bar, club and art gallery with stunning rooftop views across the City – and the industrial-scale Bussey Building in Peckham Rye which towers high above south east London.
The panoramic views of the always bustling City in combination with the giant cinema screen, rows of comfy deck-chairs, and a well stocked bar, effortlessly give you the ideal alfresco film experience.
Where: 1-5 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
Closest station: Liverpool Street
Backyard Cinema, Camden
Somewhere amongst the madness of Camden market and the many food stalls is the Backyard Cinema – a charmingly rickety big screen that has evolved from a popup idea to something more permanent. The original sheet has been replaced by a proper screen, but the spirit remains with 200 deckchairs, big slouchy beanbags, burgers from Honest Burgers, an usherette serving frozen cocktails and an old school style popcorn machine. Can there possibly be anything else you could dream of…
Where: Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AF
Closest station: Camden Town
Nomad brings the experience of outdoor film screenings to a completely new level. This year screenings take place in the coolest locations – from creepy Brompton Cemetery to gorgeous Hyde Park Lido. In addition, all the income goes to charity, which is what we love them for too! Needless to say, the festival atmosphere also makes this a must-experience event. It makes for a perfect way to revisit some classic films. Talking of which, when was the last time you saw “Casablanca”?
Venues Include: Brompton Cemetary, Hyde Park Lido, Belgrave Square, Bushy Park and Fulham Palace
The Floating Cinema, across London
The Floating Cinema, based on a specially designed canal boat, offers a new perspective on both the city and the cinema screen as it travels from east to west London. This year it takes place from August to September with a programme named “Extra-terrestrial” (makes us wonder…), where science meets art. It explores our relationship with the outer space, which includes imagined alternative worlds and even alien invasions (makes it even more interesting…)! The programme combines the absurd with the factual offering also enlightening commentary on contemporary issues.
Pop-up screens, across London
Throughout the summer London’s lesser-known parks transform into film venues courtesy of Pop Up Screens. There’s no seating provided at these slightly rag-tag affairs, so guests are encouraged to deck out the grounds with a mosaic of picnic blankets and camping chairs. But the Lack of seating is made up for with the beer, wine and London Kettle popcorn on offer. A particularly pleasant way to spend an evening if you’re lucky enough with London’s weather to catch some evening sun setting behind the trees.
Where: Greenwich Peninsula Central park, Tudor Barn in Eltham, Bishop’s Park in Fulham, Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith, Manor House Gardens in Lewisham