London’s Best Outdoor Cinemas for Summer 2021

When the weather in London plays ball, it’s alfresco or bust, so check out these outdoor cinema pop-ups for a refreshing new way to experience film favourites and new releases everywhere from Kensington Palace to Hampton Court Palace…

Photo: Battersea Power Station

1 Archlight Cinema at the Coaling Jetty, Battersea Power Station

Archlight Cinema returns to Battersea, between 17 July and 30 August for Battersea Power Station’s Summer Showtime. With early evening and later sessions, the programme is a mix of much-loved classics, family viewing,  blockbustsers, arthouse and award-winners. Think Dirty Dancing, Top Gun, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Thor Ragnarock and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.  For foodies, Megan’s, Vagabond Wines and Archlight & Battersea Brewery have got you covered, whether you want a picnic box, a takeaway hot toastie or salad, or a cold craft brew or Aperol spritz. There’s also a programme of live, family-friendly theatre performances by The Turbine Theatre. For two seats, tickets start at £31.50.

2 Rooftop Film Club, Peckham & Stratford
The Rooftop Film Club has returned to its rooftop homes at Peckham’s iconic Bussey Building and Roof East in Stratford with a line up of brilliant films ranging from Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing to Sound of Metal, Queen and Slim and Spirited Away. Get yourself there early to soak in the spectacular views and bag yourself some drinks and street food. All seating is unreserved and the venue uses wireless headphones, which can be collected on arrival along with a blanket at the Box Office. Note that start-times are approximate and will vary according to the sunset. Films are screening until 4 July in Peckham and until 1 August in Stratford.

3 Openaire Float-in Cinema by Häagen-Dazs, Paddington
Openaire Float-in Cinema by Häagen-Dazs – where you can watch a film from a boat – returns to Regent’s Canal this summer. This one is quite an experience – board one of 16 GoBoats for a 45-minute trip along the Regent’s Canal up to Little Venice, before mooring at Merchant Square in front of the alfresco big screen (you can also opt for a deck chair upon terra firma). The line-up of films includes cult classics such as Pulp Fiction and Jaws, as well as sing-along specials of Bohemian Rhapsody, Grease, The Greatest Showman and The Sound of Music. A selection of food and drink, including Häagen-Dazs ice cream, is available to order straight to your boat. Boat tickets are £240 (or £30pp with the max capacity of eight people). Deck chairs, £17.50.

4 Floating Film Festival at St Katherine Docks
St Katharine Docks’ Floating Film Festival returns this summer for a fortnight of outdoor film screenings on a floating pontoon. Running from 13-25 July, the outdoor, covered, floating cinema – set in the glorious surrounds of central London’s only marina – is showing Oscar-winning hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, critically acclaimed flicks like Rocketman and Knives Out, plus family favourites like Toy Story 4 and The Lion King Live Action. Screenings begin at 7pm throughout the week, with additional 2pm screenings on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are £15pp for a deckchair or £30 for a two-seater sofa.

5 The Luna Cinema, various locations
The Luna Cinema has a long list of fabulous venues across London – 17 in total – from Kensington Palace to Hampton Court Palace and Westminster Abbey to Brompton Cemetery. Screenings start on 1 July at Brockwell Park and finish at Wandsworth Park on 3 October, and films include the likes of 1917, Joker, A Star is Born, Top Gun, Mean Girls and The Greatest Showman (and yes, there are some sing-along screenings!). You can take your own picnic, but hot food – and The Luna Bar – will be available at all sites (varying according to location). Tickets from £16.50 for adults and £11 for children.

6 Pop-Up Screens, various locations
Pop-Up Screens kicks off on 9 July at Coram’s Park in Holborn with a screening of The Craft, running through until 19 September with a screening of A Star is Born at Kennington Park. In the interim, the pop-up alfresco cinema will call at Bishop’s Park, Fulham, Greenwich Peninsula, Hilly Fields in Brockley, Guildhall Yard in the City, Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith and Manor House Gardens in Hither Green. Films include Dirty Dancing, The Goonies, 10 Things I Hate About You, JoJo Rabbit, Jaws and Bohemian Rhapsody. Seating isn’t provided (except at Guildhall, where seating is included in your ticket price), so take your camping chairs or a blanket to sit on. Tickets £14 (kids £9).

7 Adventure Cinema, various locations
Adventure Cinema is touring the whole UK this summer, calling at three London venues during the summer. It will be in Croydon from 19-20 August. Adventure Cinema is a big fan of the classics, so enjoy the likes of Dirty Dancing, Grease, Pretty Woman, The Lion King, The Greatest Showman, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park – and look out for special sing-along screenings! Usually you can take your own food – so pack up your camping chairs, picnic blanket and a hamper for a night under the stars to your liking. Do check with the venue first though as some have street food traders, meaning picnics are less welcome! Tickets from £14.50.