When the weather in London finally plays ball, it’s alfresco or bust, so check out these outdoor cinema pop-us for a refreshing new way to experience film favourites and new releases everywhere from Crystal Palace Park to Kensington Palace…
1 Rooftop Film Club
Rooftop Film Club is back on Thursday 4 May with classics, cult films and recent releases. The first week will celebrate all things rooftop with a series of films famous for iconic rooftop scenes in two London locations – Peckham’s Bussey Building and Stratford’s Roof East, followed by screenings at The Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch (7 May) and Kensington Roof Gardens. Catch Hitchcock’s Vertigo at the Bussey Building on Thursday 4 May, while Mary Poppins screens at Roof East – in anticipation of the impending remake – on the same day. There’s also The Matrix, The Shawshank Redemption, Zootropolis and Moonlight to look forward to. Tickets are £15 each or £25pp for the Rooftop Love Seats for two (including a glass of prosecco and bottomless popcorn) at the Bussey Building and Roof East. Street food and cocktails are on hand too. Running until 30 June.
2 The Luna Cinema
The Luna Cinema has a long list of fabulous venues from Alexandra Palace to Brockwell Lido, Kew Gardens and Westminster Abbey. Screenings start on 14 June with Dreamgirls at Victoria Embankment Gardens, and you can catch Pretty Woman (Morden Hall Park, 17 June), Ghostbusters (Crystal Palace Park, 24 June) and La La Land (Hampton Court Palace, 21 July), under the starry night sky. Sadly, as ever, tickets to watch Jaws from a dingy on Brockwell Lido have already sold out, but there are oodles of other location-perfect screenings running right up until 7 October so do visit the website. Each venue has different food and drink options.
3 Film4 Summer Screen, Somerset House
The ever-popular Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House lands in August for two weeks of classic and contemporary cinema. DJ will warm up the crowds pre-film with sets inspired by the upcoming movie while you enjoy food and drinks from the surrounding stands. This summer’s lineup includes All the President’s Men, Cruel Intentions, My Neighbour Totoro and the Oscar sensation Moonlight, enhanced by the state-of-the-art screen with full surround sound in Somerset House’s lovely echo-chamber courtyard. This experience is so London it hurts! Full details announced in May…
The Strand WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk
4 The Nomad Cinema
The Nomad Cinema keeps things interesting with a variety of unique locations for their cinematic screenings, from the Royal Academy of Arts and the Brompton Cemetery. This spring, enjoy the likes of Godzilla at Proud East and Ghostbusters at The Hoxton (both on Sunday 23 April), as well as Battle Royale at Proud East on Wednesday 3 May. Keep an eye on their website for further dates and locations… Food and drink are sold from a variety of street food vendors at the event. Tickets start at £10 and Nomad donates 100% of its profits to The Sustainability Institute.
5 Lost Format Society, Croydon
Looking for an edgier cinema experience? Try the Lost Format Society rooftop cinema and bar, which is set to open on 18 May with a screening of Sully. Other highlights include Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush accompanied with live music by The London Mozart Players (£15), as well as La La Land on 27 May and Donnie Darko on 1 June. Funk Me, the legendary rooftop party, returns on 28 May. Running until 17 June with gourmet vendors and pop-up games thrown in to boot. Most tickets £10.
6 BP Big Screens 2017 with the Royal Opera House
BP Big Screens 2017 beams live, free outdoor relays from the Royal Opera House to screens across London. See The Royal Ballet’s The Dream / Symphonic Variations / Marguerite and Armand on 7 June at 7.30pm at Trafalgar Square, The Scoop in London Bridge and General Gordon Square in Woolwich. On 4 July it’s The Royal Opera’s La traviata, Richard Eyre’s much-loved production of Verdi’s tragic love story, at Trafalgar Square, Lyric Square in Hammersmith and General Gordon Square in Woolwich. On 14 July it’s The Royal Opera again with Puccini’s final opera, Turandot, at Lyric Square in Hammersmith, The Scoop in London Bridge and General Gordon Square in Woolwich.
7 Open House at British Summer Time Festival, Hyde Park
British Summer Time returns to Hyde Park with another huge line-up from 30 June to 9 July 2017, and between the two weekends of music, Open House steps up to fill the void with open-air movie nights (full timetable to be released soon), plus live music and entertainment, street food, pop-up bars, tennis screenings and more. Running Monday 3, Tuesday 4, Wednesday 5 and Friday 7 July with two films showing each evening, starting at 6pm and 8.30pm. Sign up at bst-hydepark.com/openhouse to be the first to hear about the movie line up and the chance to book your place before the general announcement.
8 Free Film Festivals
FFF moves around various locations across south east London from Catford and Deptford to Herne Hill and Peckham, but also pops up in Ealing and Streatham. Screenings are predominantly indoors, but there are some great alfresco events, like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Electric Pedals – yup, it’s powered by bikes! Not everyone has to pedal though. Wrap up warm, take something to sit on and enjoy the bar, BBQ and Wonka Tribute sweet stall on 22 April at Telegraph Hill Upper Park, Kitto Road SE14 5TY (starts 8pm). Other outdoor screenings include The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at Brockwell Park on Saturday 20 May at 9pm and La La Land at Herne Hill Velodrome on Friday 26 May (also 9pm). Free entry on a first-come-first-served basis.
9 Pop-up Screens
Pop-Up Screens has yet to announce its alfresco summer season, so keep an eye on the website… popupscreens.co.uk