8 Outdoor Cinema Experiences In London
8 Outdoor Cinema Experiences In London

8 Outdoor Cinema Experiences In London

Outdoor cinemas are popping up all over London again this summer – and to make sure you don’t miss out on the best showings and settings, we’ve put together a list of eight worth knowing about.
By Eleanor Magill
Barbican Outdoor Cinema, Barbican
Barbican Outdoor Cinema, Barbican

Rooftop Film Club, Peckham & Stratford

Rooftop Film Club has reopened at two London locations: the Bussey Building in Peckham and Roof East in Stratford. Alongside recent releases like the Mean Girls reboot, The Menu, Wicked Little Letters and Anyone But You, the club will also show classics like American Psycho, Pulp Fiction, Notting Hill, Fight Club and Dirty Dancing. Food is served before the screening starts, and you can arrange for drinks and snacks to be delivered to your deckchair during the film. We recommend booking in for 90s and noughties comfort films like 10 Things I Hate About You and 13 Going On 30. 

Roof A, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST; Roof East, Great Eastern Road, Stratford, E15 1BB; until 30th June

Visit RooftopFilmClub.com

Barbican Outdoor Cinema, Barbican

The Barbican will host another week of outdoor screenings in its courtyard this summer. A select 11 screenings will showcase a mix of independent and international films, including the 1950s classic An American In Paris, Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Food and drink will be available via several pop-ups, including the Japanese dessert brand Kichiya Pastries, Middle Eastern comfort food at Toum & Tahini and Copper Rattle, which will serve gourmet hot dogs and freshly popped popcorn.

Silk Street, Barbican, EC2Y 8DS; 21st August-1st September

Visit Barbican.org.uk

BST Hyde Park Open House, Hyde Park

BST Hyde Park Open House returns this year, with dates throughout June and July. Between summer concert weekends, the park will offer theatre performances, pop-ups, yoga sessions, and an al fresco big screen for film lovers. From nostalgic childhood favourites like The Goonies to tear-jerking love affairs in La La Land, as well as some last year’s biggest films like Wonka and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, there’s something for everyone – just bring a picnic blanket, some snacks and settle in.

Hyde Park, Kensington, W2 2UH; 28th June-11th July 

Visit BST-HydePark.com

Luna Cinema, Various locations
Luna Cinema, Various locations

Luna Cinema, Various locations

When it comes to outdoor cinema experiences, few do it better than Luna. Alongside retro drive-in events, they also seem to secure some of the coolest locations for screenings. Previous years have been hosted at Clapham Common, Westminster Abbey and Kensington Palace. The sound and video systems are also top tier and, while you can bring your own picnic, there are plenty of suppliers and vendors on hand serving cinema classics like hotdogs, popcorn and pick-n-mix. This year’s line-up hasn’t been announced yet, but watch this space.

Various locations

Visit TheLunaCinema.com

Adventure Cinema, Various Locations

As the name suggests, Adventure Cinema doesn’t like to limit itself to one location and has more than 250 outdoor cinema showings planned for 2024 across the UK. If you don’t want to stray too far from London, head to its pop-ups at west London’s Osterley Park and south’s Charlton House. There, you can take in a few of the classics – think Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman and Mama Mia, as well as sing-along versions of The Greatest Showman and Grease. 

Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth TW7 4RB, Charlton House & Gardens, Charlton Road, SE7 8RE; 7 June - 29 August

Visit AdventureCinema.co.uk

Rooftop Film Club, Peckham & Stratford
Rooftop Film Club, Peckham & Stratford

Summer Screens, Cabot Square & Canada Square Park

We all know cinemas – outdoors or indoors – can be on the pricier side. So, if you are looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, it’s worth knowing about Summer Screens. With one screen in Cabot Square and two in Canada Square Park, it has a full bill this year, including all of the summer’s biggest sporting events. If sports aren’t your thing, its film club is on throughout June, July and August, with a line-up spanning Crazy Rich Asians, Clueless, Jaws, Groundhog Day and many more. Plus, there are plenty of bars and shops nearby where you can refuel.

25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, E14 4QJ, 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, E14 5AH ; until 27 August

Visit CanaryWharf.com

Screen on the Canal, King’s Cross

Like Summer Screens, Coal Drops Yard’s Screen On The Canal is free to watch. Set up by luxe cinema, Everyman, the canal-side steps are transformed into a cool cinema setting. This year’s roster hasn’t been released yet but expect to see everything from big blockbusters to cult indie favourites. Throughout July, there are also Wimbledon match screenings for tennis fans. It tends to draw a big crowd – so get there early. To make a day of it, stroll down the canal and hit up Word On The Water – the boat-based bookshop.

Canalside Steps, Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ; 1st July-18th August

Visit KingsCross.co.uk

Openaire Cinema, Paddington

Forget drive-in, this ‘float-in’ cinema swaps picnic blankets for row boats. Attendees can drift down the waters of Little Venice down to the Paddington Basin, where they’ll find a big screen set up for their evening’s viewing. While this year’s line-up isn’t out yet, in previous years it's included everything from Moulin Rouge to Bridget Jones. If you’re worried about bathroom breaks, don’t fret as the boats are moored so you can easily nip in and out. The boats cost around £250 and can accommodate eight people (so around the £30 per person mark). It’s one of the pricier options on our list but if you’re looking for a truly unique group hangout, this is it. 

Merchant Square, Paddington W2 1AS

Visit OpenAire.com

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