Outdoor cinemas are taking over the City of London's famous landmarks for a summer of classic film screenings like Clueless, Jurassic Park & The Blue's Brothers.
Now that the nights are still balmy and the days are getting a little shorter, open-air cinemas are starting to sprout up around the Square Mile.
Rooftops, parks and large open squares are being fitted out with deck chairs, pop-up bars and tonnes of popcorn. It’s the perfect leisurely way to enjoy a summer evening in London. After all, who could turn down watching Clueless, Dirty Dancing or The Blues Brothers within the company of a cool breeze on a warm night?
So, instead of doing the usual Netflix and chill at home on the sofa, set yourselves up around skyscrapers and historical buildings while you watch all the rom coms your heart desires. It’s what summer is made for.
The main square at Somerset House is the place to go for festive ice skating, pop-events and roaming festivals – but now it’s time for their annual summer film series. And this time they’re changing it up a little. Organisers are bringing famous filmmakers and celebrities on stage to discuss their work before each screening. There will also be a few panel discussions, live DJ sets and plenty of food and drink to indulge in (you’re also allowed to bring your own goodies). Brynn Williams, Somerset House’s resident chef, has even put together a luxury picnic hamper for filmgoers this year.
Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA
Pop-up Screens have been around for years now, running both winter and summer film events all over London, but we’re most excited about their Guildhall Yard and Coram’s Fields in Holborn screenings. From 2 August, the Holborn location will be showing the likes of The Breakfast Club, The Greatest Showman and Get Out to City folk looking to unwind throughout the week. And Guildhall Yard, which recently lifted its game when it comes to cultural offerings, will be showing flicks from 19-24 August. This historical square, located right in the centre of the City of London, is an extra special spot for a film night. Get around some of the classics like Back to the Future, Good Will Hunting and Jurassic Park here.
From 2 August
Coram’s Fields WC1N 1DN & Guildhall Yard EC2V 7HH
The Rooftop Film Club has returned to the much-loved Shoreditch club for another year of boozy movie watching. And, this year, the Queen of Hoxton has transformed the entire rooftop space into a female Lucha Libre wrestling arena. Grab some Margheritas and fight it out in ring while you wait for the sun to set. Then, all you’ve got to do is find a few deck chairs and settle in for a night of fun film screenings. You can even hire out the whole space for a work do if your bosses are cool enough to host such an occasion.
Until 27 August
1 Curtain Road EC2A 3JX
Floating film clubs are the new thing these days – apparently. Even Time Out have got their own. But we’re all about the St Katharine Docks version. It’s far more relaxing than the speedy tour around the Thames. Jump on to the turf-covered pontoon and let your body become enveloped by one of the extra smooshy bean bags while you watch a movie. Just be sure to load up on to your snacks and booze before sitting down – we doubt you’ll want to get up once you’ve made your perfect bean bag nest.
Until 28 July
50 St Katharine’s Way E1W 1LA
As a part of the Summer by the River festival, hosted by London Bridge City, free outdoor film nights are taking place each and every Tuesday evening. Films like Mean Girls, The Incredibles 2, Black Panther and Mary Poppins Returns will grace the screen, while comedy shows, fitness classes, live music gigs, theatre performances and all other kinds of events will be running in the same space on other days. There are stacks of things going on here. Plus, as it’s all free and there’s no need to book – this is the most budget friendly option.
Until 1 September
The Scoop SE1 2DB