Get ready for a summer of al fresco drinks in front of your favourite films, because the season of outdoor cinema is finally upon us.
The weather is finally heating up and we reckon that makes it the perfect time to take advantage of the excellent open-air cinema opportunities London has to offer.
1. Luna Cinema
Kicking things off with the godfather of summer cinema: The Luna Cinema. Fancy watching Jaws from a rubber dinghy at Brockwell Lido? Or swooning over a young Hugh Grant while watching Notting Hill in the grounds of the dreamy Chiswick House and Gardens? Luna cinema makes this (and so many more Insta-perfect viewing opportunities) possible with their famous summer season. This year they’re showing a host of old classics such as The Goonies, Ghostbusters, Dirty Dancing alongside a few new classics like La La Land and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Book your tickets here.
2. Film4’s Summer Screen at Somerset House
Somerset House is one of our favourite London landmarks and each season brings something different to the palace courtyard. In the winter it’s a magical ice skating wonderland and in the summer it transforms into a picturesque outdoor cinema. You’ll certainly feel like royalty watching Film4’s finest come to life in this stunning spot. They’re showing a mix of old and very new – you can find more details of their seasonal selections by reading this post – so there’s something for everyone. Book your tickets here.
3. Rooftop Film Club
While picnicking and BYOB is not encouraged at their rooftop showings, Rooftop Film Club does offer you an experience with a little more luxury than most other events. General admission tickets (priced at £15 per person) even include seats or you can upgrade to a ‘love seat’ for £25 per person with a double width deck chair to cuddle up in, bottomless popcorn, a pillow, extra leg room – it’s the premium economy of outdoor cinema experiences – plus a glass of Prosecco, beer, or wine for each of you. They’re showing a massive selection of films across four venues (Bussey Building, Queen of Hoxton, Roof East and Kensington Roof Gardens) from now until the end of August. You can book your tickets here.
4. Pop-Up Screens
A relative newcomer in the summer cinema scene, Pop-Up Screens offers a down-to-earth approach to outdoor screenings. Bring your own booze and a basket full of snacks and settle down for a night of cinema in one of London’s lovely green spaces. A simple inflatable screen, an affordable bar, and a selection of nostalgic classics and new releases make this outdoor cinema very popular.
Tickets are available for only £12, making Pop-Up Screens one of our most affordable options. While details of this year’s lineup haven’t been released yet, we do know that they’re going to be screening films at Greenwich Peninsula, Kennington Park, Hither Green, Coram’s Fields and the beautiful Guildhall courtyard. You can sign up for updates here.
5. Films at the London Bridge City Summer Festival
This one’s a 2017 special, because this year – during the London Bridge City Summer Festival – a series of film screenings will be taking place in The Scoop. They’ll be showing The Lego Movie, Johnny English, Cool Runnings, Finding Nemo, Avatar, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, plus a couple of special Royal Opera House screenings for all you London culture vultures. A truly unique venue and definitely an event to make the most of, because these screenings are completely free of charge and open to everyone.
6. Lost Format Society, Croydon
Forget everything you heard about Croydon in Peep Show, because it’s actually home to a really quite cool rooftop cinema. Don’t be fooled by it’s unlikely location – which happens to be the top deck of the Centrale Car Park – this place is definitely worth a visit. Choose Croydon for the atmosphere: you can expect live DJs, a covered lounge and bar area, and loads of delicious street food. This year they’re even screening Charlie Chaplin classic ‘The Gold Rush’ with a live orchestra. Book your tickets here.
7. Nomad Cinema
Nomad Cinema is a great all-rounder. There’s a focus on classic films – this year you can expect Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Big Lebowski – with a few modern hits thrown in – La La Land and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, anyone? – so, you can’t really go wrong with this one. They’re also joining forces with Proud East’s Pop-Up Japan to showcase some of Japan’s finest cinema. Book your tickets here.
8. British Summer Time Open House
This may not be the most glamorous outdoor cinema on offer but you get a lot more bang for your buck with this one. In fact, you get all of the bang for absolutely no buck. As part of British Summer Time Festival’s ‘Open House’ this July, there are free film screenings taking place Monday 3rd, Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th and Friday 7th July at 6pm and 8.30pm in Hyde Park.