Christmas films are all the better for a novelty screening. From immersive Narnia-esque venues to nostalgic drive-ins, The Resident picks out the best festive film pop-ups in London…
Lead image: Backyard Cinema
1 Pop Up Screens Cinema in the Snow, Peckham
Independent cinema Pop Up Screens is back this winter, taking over Peckham’s popular Copeland Park and Bussey Building with Cinema in the Snow. The festive-themed cinema will kick off on 3 December with The Greatest Showman and feature new and classic Christmas movies including Last Christmas, Home Alone, Love Actually, Elf, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Miracle on 34th Street. The sell-out experience returns for its sixth year to a new home at Copeland Park, bringing the North Pole to south London. Visitors will enter through a magical wardrobe and discover an enchanting snow-filled winter wonderland before grabbing a mulled wine and cosying up among the icy firs for their favourite Christmas movie. Tickets from £19.50.
Unit 8 Copeland Park & Bussey Building, 133 Copeland Road, Peckham SE15 3SN; popupscreens.co.uk
2 Backyard Cinema, Wandsworth
From 3 December
Backyard Cinema returns from 3 December with two great winter-themed screens and experiences. As well as winter and Christmas-themed immersive cinema experiences, the converted TV studio in Wandsworth also boasts incredible drinking and dining spaces with street food from Honest Burgers and Backyard Cinema’s own artisan pizza, cocktails, craft beer and more. A Christmas experience like no other, with a build-your-own boozy hot chocolate bar, mulled wine and cider, festive live music will provide that extra sprinkle of magic to accompany your favourite seasonal classics that includes Elf, Home Alone, Love Actually, The Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Hidden deep inside Dr Portelli’s Curiosity Shop is a secret entrance to The Snow Kingdom, a magical world, complete with an indoor waterfall. There’s also the Winter Night Garden, an enchanted forest entered via a magical wardrobe. Both offer brilliant cinematic experience for film lovers.
Capital Studios, 13 Wandsworth Plain SW18 1ET; backyardcinema.co.uk
3 Luna Drive-In Cinema at Copthall Stadium, Hendon
From 5 December
Home to Saracens rugby club, Copthall Stadium (formerly Allianz Park) will be the London host for the Luna Drive In Cinema. With the screen sitting in the shadow of the imposing stadium, there’s no better setting than this in which to enjoy some classic drive in cinema. Iconic winter films will be shown on giant HD screens with in-car digital sound, a contactless food and drink service, themed food hampers available to pre-order, loos on site and a fully Covid-secure environment. Festive screenings kick off with Home Alone and Love Actually on 5 December, running through till 22 December with the likes of Elf, Frozen, Last Christmas, The Greatest Showman, A Nightmare Before Christmas and more hitting the big screen. Tickets from £35 per car.
Greenlands Lane, Hendon NW4 1RL; lunadriveincinema.com
4 Skylight Christmas Cocktail Cinema, Wapping
3 December-3 January
An indoor festive Cocktail Cinema will form part of the newly launched Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock. The Christmas Cocktail Cinema will be showing back-to-back classic Christmas movies throughout the run, from Love Actually to Die Hard. The adults-only experience will serve themed cocktails and gourmet snacks alongside the films (with an interval so you can stock up at half time), which include Bridget Jones Diary, Bad Santa, Home Alone, The Holiday, Love Actually and Elf. Skylight, known for its panoramic views across the city’s skyline, is expanding its famous offering this festive season and creating one of the city’s biggest winter destinations with a collection of exciting outdoor and socially distanced festive eating and drinking experiences.
Tobacco Dock, Wapping E1W 2SF; skylightlondon.com
5 The Drive In at Troubadour Meridian Water, Enfield
Relive the magic of the great American drive-in movie theatre at The Drive In at Troubadour Meridian Water. Rock up in the comfort of your car for a contact-free outdoor cinema experience, as well as live performances from West End stars and drive-in comedy. Films are beamed onto a top-of-the-range screen, sound is broadcast straight to your car’s FM radio, and snacks and drinks can be delivered by the team of 1950s-style drive-in attendants. Festive film highlights include Elf, The Santa Claus, Home Alone, The Polar Express, Love Actually and The Nightmare Before Christmas. What’s more, tickets are now half price till the end of 2020, reduced from £35 to £17.50 per car.
Troubadour Meridian Water, Enfield, Hawley Road N18 3QU; thedrivein.london