Al fresco filming is the city's biggest summer trend; enjoy a movie night with a difference at some of the coolest outdoor cinemas in London
Words Sabrina Nunez
With warmer weather upon us, we’ll take any excuse to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. The city’s selection of open air cinemas make this possible and add some much-needed flair to a standard movie night. From sunsets to rooftops and architectural masterpieces serving as the backdrops to many of these cinemas, movie-goers will be torn between keeping their eyes on the screens or the sights. Here’s our roundup of the coolest cinemas this season.
ROOFTOP FILM CLUB
The Rooftop Film Club is back and taking advantage of the city’s best views this summer as it travels between rooftops across the city. This year’s venues are Bussey Building, Queen of Hoxton, Kensington Roof Gardens and Roof East. Showings include the classics in black and white, Disney heroines and recent blockbuster hits like La La Land. With bars open from 5, guests can take advantage of Insta-worth sunset views before settling into deck chairs.
SAN MIGUEL PRESENTS PICTUREHOUSE POP-UP
The Picturehouse Pop-Up heads to Dulwich to screen old faves Labyrinth and Back to the Future. Screenings begin as soon as it’s dark enough. Arrive earlier and enjoy the surroundings with a picnic and kick back with drinks from the on-site bar.
Luna Cinema is another traveling outdoor experience making its way across the UK. London locations include Alexandra Palace, Battersea Park, Crystal Palace Park, Hampton Court Palace and Westminster Abbey. From fan faves like the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Grease to newly-released Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Luna Cinema has all its bases covered.
LONDON BRIDGE CITY SUMMER FESTIVAL AT THE SCOOP
Mixing modern with the old, the London Bridge City Summer Festival puts guests in the Scoop’s amphitheatre. With Tower Bridge to your left, the Tower of London behind you and the financial district skyline to your right, guests are fully immersed in one of the city’s most picturesque areas. The festival also includes workout classes, discounted coffee and ‘Massaoke’ Fridays for those interested in making a full day of it.
FILM4 SUMMER AT SOMERSET HOUSE
Nestled in Somerset House’s courtyard and spread out over 14 nights, Somerset House will exhibit premieres and cult classics after greeting guests with DJs starting from 18:30. Tom’s Kitchen are offering picnic hampers, but outside food and drink is also permitted. Expect phenomenal sunset lighting reflected from the building just ahead of the film starting.
Touting itself as the ‘roaming pop-up that gives back,’ the Nomad Cinema donates 100% of its profits to the Sustainability Institute in South Africa. The Nomad also offers magic carpets equipped with goodie bags and priority seating to guests looking to expand their experience. Venues include the Festival Gardens at St. Paul’s Cathedral and Grosvenor Square.
ADOBE BACKYARD CINEMA
Backyard Cinema is taking viewers to Greenwich Peninsula for their outdoor experience. Sat on the terrace of the Adobe apartment, guests will have views of the river and Canary Wharf. Unlimited waitered cocktails and gourmet junk food canapés are included in the tickets.
WESTFIELD OPEN AIR CINEMA
In conjunction with the London Food Market, the Westfield Open Air Cinema will run from 7-18 June. Night market tickets must be purchased before adding on the cinema tickets at an additional £4. Night market attendees can enjoy themed bars, DJs and food stalls before Kensington Palace turns into the backdrop for film screenings.