We may not have the best weather here in the UK but that hasn’t prevented the great British public from enjoying outdoor cinemas. For the numerous outdoor showings around London and the rest of the UK ticket sales are booming.
Cinemas are popping up everywhere – at old disused aircraft hangars, castles and factories. The latest London offering – The Shape of Water – was shown on the Victoria Embankment, within a mile of the Montcalm Hotel. And the general consensus is that if the genre of a film matches the venue in which it is shown, audiences enjoy the storyline just that little bit more.
This summer the latest Hollywood blockbusters are being shown around town, on rooftops, at swimming pools, parks and warehouses. Keep an eye out for screenings by, in particular, Nomad and Luna Cinema companies. Those are the Big Two when it comes to London outdoor cinema.
Prime locations such as Crystal Palace, Kensington Gardens and Kew are sought after for showings of films old and new (there was even a screening of the 1975 classic Jaws at Brockwell Lido recently). And most of the films on show are watchable, fun and gripping.
As well as pop-up cinemas there are outdoor cinemas showing regular films at the same venue. The Rooftop Film Club in Peckham, Stratford and Hoxton, Double Take screenings in King’s Cross and Pillow Cinema in Shoreditch. Keep an eye for mention of these in details about Afternoon Tea London Deals.
With so much to choose from it would be remiss of you not to enjoy an outdoor cinema once in a while. And if it’s your kind of thing then take a look at what these London-based outdoor cinemas are showing this summer:
St Katharine Docks Floating Film Festival
What could be more enjoyable than visiting St Katherine Docks to watch a movie? The setting itself is breath-taking: the former dock is flanked by mixed-use residential and commercial dwellings, in the heart of London’s Tower Hamlets. What makes this outdoor location even more unique is the fact that it is based on a barge.
With limited tickets available make this one of your first ports of call. Showings in July include A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody between the 16th and the 28th of the month. There is no wheelchair access and audiences sit on beanbags. You can’t bring your own chairs or food and drink but there is plenty on offer from the pontoons own café.
Summer on Screen, Wembley Park
Head west to Wembley Park where you will find a popular (and free) outdoor cinema. Summer on Screen hosts a wide selection of movies so if your family has an eclectic taste in cinema then this is the place to come to! Make sure you arrive at the venue just north of Wembley (Bridge Road) early enough.
This summer, Summer on Screen is showing some blockbusters from the world of musicals, including Mamma Mia, The Greatest Showman and La La Land. Grab a seat early and enjoy plenty of pre-show entertainment and plenty of food and drink. For more details take a peek at Wembley Park’s website.
Film4 Summer Screen
British broadcaster Film 4 has been on the road for a few years now. In 2019 they set up at Somerset House, built on the site of a Tudor House just next to the Thames and only a short distance from the Montcalm Hotel. This favourite setting for various events throughout the year Somerset House is the perfect backdrop to some stunning outdoor showings.
Films from Summer Screen include “Black Panther, The Princess Bride, Reservoir Dogs, and a mad Nick Cage double bill”. You ae not permitted to bring your own chairs but you can bring your own food and drink. Though you may not bring glass bottles to the show. For more details visit Summer Screen’s website.
Summer by the River
Summer by the river does exactly what it says on the tin. 2019 sees a three-month festival at London Bridge City, which stretches some way along the South Bank. Be amid the great landmarks of London as you watch the offerings from this great pop-up cinema company.
Films include The Crimes of Grindlewald and Hotel Transylvania 3. There are also factual programmes shown in and around City Hall. Summer by the River is, in every sense, a festival. Enjoy a great selection of food and drink from sellers around the South Bank.
Rooftop Film Club
With screenings at Peckham, Shoreditch and Stratford the Rooftop Film Club is one of the best-known outdoor cinema companies. Plenty of movies are planned for the summer months including The Nightmare Before Christmas, Booksmart and Train to Busan.
You can find out more about screen times and venues from their website. Rooftop’s Shoreditch venue supplies director’s chairs 30 minutes before screen time. All of the venues are catered for amply by independent food and drink outlets. The perfect place to include in your stay with Spa Hotels London.
As the name suggests pop-up screens comes to a park or warehouse near you, whenever they can. In July there are screenings in Fulham and East Dulwich. Films include the Breakfast Club (26/7), Dirty Dancing (27/7) and The Greatest Showman (28/7/). Pop-up supplies a drink and food outlet, but states that if you would rather bring your own grub then you are welcome to do so. Seats are NOT provided however so you will need to bring something to sit on – and something to wrap around you.
The champions of the pop-up, Nomad Cinema donates all of its profits from screenings to charity. At Citypoint, Ropemaker Street in July Nomad is proud to present a selection of classics old and new: Some Like It Hot, Green Book, Blade Runner (1982) and Do The Right Thing. Running since 2010 Nomad has earned its reputation as London’s best outdoor cinema.
The company is run by volunteers. Its charitable status and ethos of togetherness are what attract a lot of its audiences. Nomad tries to match the “flavour” of the film with the location in which the film is screened. Well worth seeking out a Nomad screening. Check the website for more details.
The Luna Cinema
Perhaps the best known purveyor of pop-up cinemas, Luna has been around for some time now and knows what audiences love. Arguably, Luna invented the pop-up outdoor cinema and has pop-up events all over the world. Bohemian Rhapsody is showing throughout July, August and September at various venues around London (and the rest of the UK) including Ascot racecourse, Chiswick House and Dulwich Park; none too far from the Montcalm Spa. Visit Luna’s website for more information.