When the weather in London 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 to Kensington Palace
Lead image: Rooftop Film Club at Roof East, Stratford
Words: Trinity King & Josh Eastern
1 Rooftop Film Club
Rooftop Film Club returned on 3 May 2018 with classics, cult films and recent releases across three London venues – Peckham’s Bussey Building, Stratford’s Roof East and The Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch. Tickets are £15.95 each or £18.50 with bottomless popcorn (Rooftop Love Seats for two are also available in Peckham and Stratford). Street food and cocktails are on hand too, with burgers and hotdogs available at both Peckham and Queen of Hoxton (plenty on offer for veggies and vegans too), and a scattering of street food at Roof East. Running throughout the summer till September.
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 22 May at Luna’s first London venue, Victoria Embankment Gardens, running right up until 6 October with the final screening, Moulin Rouge, at Hampton Court Palace. London highlights include The Italian Job with full orchestra at Opera Holland Park on 1 August, Blade Runner 2049 in Battersea Park on 19 September, and The Shape of Water at Brockwell Lido on 27 September. Ticket prices range from £13.50-£20 for adults and £9-£13.50 for children. Each venue has different food and drink options. thelunacinema.com
3 Film4 Summer Screen, Somerset House
The ever-popular Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House runs from 9-22 August 2018 for two weeks of classic and contemporary cinema. The theme this year is ‘dreams, fantasies, nocturnes and reveries’, with films ranging from Sleeping Beauty to Selma. a particular highlight is the Labyrinth + The Wizard Of Oz double bill on 11 August. It is of course enhanced by the state-of-the-art screen with full surround sound in Somerset House’s lovely echo-chamber courtyard. General admission from £19.75-£26.75. Doors open at 6.30pm and a DJ plays from 6.45pm till the film starts at 9pm.
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 Brompton Cemetery to Hyde Park Lido. Things kick off on 16 June with Four Weddings and a Funeral at Paddington Street Gardens and end with The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, featuring a live score, at LSO St Luke’s on 26 October. There’s plenty of food and drink available, from burgers to scampi and champagne to Sipsmith (varies according to venue), and tickets are around £15 (again varies according to venue). Nomad donates 100% of its profits to The Sustainability Institute.
5 BP Big Screens 2018 with the Royal Opera House
BP Big Screens returns this summer to beam three amazing Royal Opera House productions onto a big screen near you. There are four London locations to catch the action: Trafalgar Square, Lyric Square in Hammersmith, Canada Square Park in Canary Wharf and General Gordon Square in Woolwich. On 12 June it’s Swan Lake, on 26 June it’s La bohème and on 12 July it’s Don Giovanni. Arrive early so you don’t miss out!
6 Open House at British Summer Time Festival, Hyde Park
British Summer Time returns to Hyde Park with another huge line-up, and between the two weekends of music, Open House steps up to fill the void with free open-air movie nights, live music, street food and more. Running 9-12 July, there will be two films showing each evening: on Monday it’s The Lego Man and Matilda; on Tuesday it’s Grease and The Greatest Showman; on Wednesday it’s Lion and The Budapest Hotel; and on Thursday it’s 80s classics, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures and Flash Gordon. Free entry, first come, first served (films start at 5.30pm and 8.30pm).
7 Floating Film Fortnight at St Katherine Docks
London’s only floating cinema graces St Katherine Docks for two weeks this summer, running 16-29 July. Floating Film Fortnight screens modern classics including Black Panther, The Post, Baby Driver, Dunkirk and Top Gun. Screenings start at 7pm (gates open at 6pm), and there are a few matinee shows at weekends, too (gates open at 1pm). Hop on board the pontoon and nestle yourself into a bean bag or deckchair and enjoy the films with snacks, cool craft beer and cocktails. Tickets are £15.92 from eventbrite.co.uk.
8 Pop-Up Screens
Pop-Up Screens kicks off on 20 July 2018 at Bishops Park in Fulham with The Breakfast Club, running till 23 September with a screening of Easy A in Russell Square. New locations this year include Ruskin Park in Denmark Hill, Guildhall in central London, Canbury Gardens in Kingston and Priory Park in Crouch End. Highlights include La La Land on Greenwich Peninsula on 19 August, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in Crouch End on 7 September. The Seaside Pizza Co will be serving sourdough wood-fired pizzas, and you can bring your own blankets, beanbags and cushions, or hire a deckchair for £4. Tickets from £12.50 (kids £7).
9 Hammersmith London Summer Festival
It seems The Greatest Showman is all the rage this summer with multiple outdoor locations showing the film. But as part of the Hammersmith London Summer Festival, they will be showing a free sing-along alfresco screening of the Hugh Jackman showstopper, complete with lyrics on the screen so you can sing your heart out without missing a beat. The screenings take place in Lyric Square on 20 June and 20 July from 6.30pm. Limited deckchair seating is provided on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t forget to take a blanket or cushion.
10 Lost Format Society, Croydon
Looking for an edgier cinema experience? Try the Lost Format Society rooftop cinema and bar. The 2018 schedule is yet to launch, so stay tuned to their social media accounts for the announcement. Last summer they had gourmet vendors and pop-up games are thrown in to boot, while most tickets were just £10.