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Alfresco Cinema: A Guide To The Country’s Best Outdoor Screens

Alfresco Cinema: A Guide To The Country’s Best Outdoor Screens

There have been various innovations made in recent years to try and improve your cinema visits. Gimmicks such as 3D & D-BOX have tried to turn film viewing into a more all-encompassing experience, generally at the expense of both your funds and stomach lining. However, one particular idea has offered us a unique new way to consume films. Under the red hues of the setting sun, alfresco cinema is a novelty that has grown and grown in popularity.

With the days now longer and the temperature infinitely higher, pop-up screens are beginning to emerge up and down the country, offering audiences the opportunity to enjoy their favorite films from under a canvas of golden skies and glistening stars. Film4’s Summer Screen at Somerset House is, of course, the highlight of the season. However, there are also many other fantastic screens around the country for you to take advantage of.

Don’t know which one is right for you? Well fear not, here at Culturefly we have fervently been working to find out all about the best open-air screens available up and down the country. From Brighton Beach to Manchester’s Spinningfields, here’s our guide to the best that outdoor cinema has to offer this summer.

What’s On In London?

Pop Up Screens
pop-up-screensWhen: July 11th – September 27th

Where: Across London, with screens in Fulham, Lewisham & Greenwich to name but a few

How Much: Adults are £10, while those under 10 are £6

The Highlights: As with all of the cinemas in this guide, Pop Up Screens is notable for offering audiences the opportunity to indulge in both classic and contemporary cinema. Over its 2+month schedule, you will have the chance to quote Anchorman with the masses at Bishop’s Park Fulham, sing-along to Grease at Ravenscourt Park Hammersmith, and cheer for Tom Cruise in Top Gun from the picturesque gardens at Manor House Lewisham. For our money though, why not take yourself and your friends down to the beautiful East Greenwich Pleasaunce on Sep. 27th and bask in the inspiring and sentimental magnificence of Forrest Gump… take a box of chocolates for good measure.

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The Luna Cinema
the-luna-cinemaWhen: June 20th – September 28th

Where: Across the country, with London screens found at various places including Hampton Court Palace & Ascot Racecourse

How Much: £13.50 for adults or £9 for children; premium tickets are available for £23.50

The Highlights: With so many screens, The Luna Cinema certainly has one of the most comprehensive programs to satiate the outdoor viewing needs of you and everyone you know. Why not reacquaint yourself with an old classic like Casablanca at Sissinghurst Castle, or relive the eminent power of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave from within the walls of Hampton Court. Without doubt though, you simply cannot miss the opportunity to see Tim Burton’s Batman playing at Pinewood, the very studio it was filmed at in 1988, on Sep. 23rd.

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The Nomad Cinema
the-nomad-cinemaWhen: June 21st – September 27th

Where: Across the city, including Grosvenor Square & Brompton Cemetery

How Much: Varied between location, but can cost as little as £6 or as much as £25

The Highlights: Grosvenor Square will certainly provide a romantic setting to see with When Harry Met Sally or Four Weddings and a Funeral, while Brompton Cemetery will infuse The Matrix with a suitably haunting aura. The top pick however, must go to Daniel Craig’s Bond debut Casino Royale, which you’ll be able to see at the fittingly luxurious Hippodrome Casino.

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The Rooftop Film Club

rooftop-film-club When: Their summer program has already begun and will be running until September 30th

Where: 4 gorgeous London venues; Roof East in Stratford, the Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch and the Roof Gardens in Kensington

How Much: £13

The Highlights: You’ll have to hurry, as a lot of the screenings are already starting to sell out. The illustrious program is full of much-loved 80s and 90s classics including Clueless and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as well as 2014 hits such as Locke and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Of them all though, the chance to see Under the Skin while under the stars of Shoreditch on July 2nd is an opportunity that cannot be ignored.

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Cult Screens
cult-screensWhen: Screenings have already begun and will so far run until July 19th

Where: Screens can be found just outside London in Oxford & Reading. However, there are also events happening in Bristol & Swindon

How Much: For £12.50 you get a ticket and a deckchair to relax in, while the Reading location offers beanbags for an extra £2

The Highlights: As you would expect, here is where you’ll find many of the cult classics that have helped define the cinematic medium. Reading offers you the opportunity to enjoy audience favorites including This Is Spinal Tap, Reservoir Dogs and Donnie Darko. While in Oxford you’ll be able to indulge in The Graduate, Philomena and, perhaps best of all, An American Werewolf in London; which is appropriately playing on July 12th, the night of a full moon.

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What’s On In The North & South?

screenfieldsWhen: The program began at the beginning of May & is due to run until August 21st on Thursday nights only

Where: Spinningfields shopping & entertainment centre, Manchester

How Much: All screenings are just £3

The Highlights: Though the setting may not be the most picturesque, its lawn surroundings are still perfect for film watching. Many will no doubt want to head there with friends to swoon at Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, sing along with Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables, or cry with Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands. For us though, the best of the bunch has to be the closing night, with Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves gifting you the perfect summertime cinematic experience; a film that’s great fun and has its tongue firmly lodged in its cheek.

Brighton Big Screen
brightons-big-screenWhen: Brighton Beach

Where: The program began on June 12th and will run daily until July 13th

How Much: All showings are free, although some require you to reserve a place

The Highlights: As well as showing all of the World Cup games and daily matches at Wimbledon, there’s a host of events that deserve your attention, including a load of costal themed short films that have been made by aspiring filmmakers. Movies including Captain Phillips, Alpha-Papa and The Lego Movie play regularly throughout the program. However, the indisputable highlight has to be the opportunity to see Jaws while the sun beats down on Brighton’s beautiful beach… though it may put you off heading out for a swim afterwards.

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Duke’s Pop-Up Screen
poltergeistWhen: Weekends of July 4th & July 11th

Where: Preston Manor, just outside Brighton

How Much: £9.90 for a standard ticket; although Picture House members get a discount of £2

The Highlights: Though it may only be a small program, this pop-up screen embodies the spirit of the Duke of York’s cinema, the country’s oldest, which can be found on the outskirts of Brighton. The colours of the setting sun will provide an eerie environment for Poltergeist, while a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show will give many of you the chance to experience the classic dress-up screenings that DoY is known for. Also, if you haven’t yet managed to catch it, you’ll be able to see the wonderful Grand Budapest Hotel, which will sit perfectly from within this scenic setting.

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