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Films

Open Air Cinema Screenings in London

11 replies

JoBrodie · 01/06/2021 19:16

Hello everyone

Every year (well, not so much in 2020) I gather up all the open air film screening information that I can find for events in London and stick them in a big Google Sheets spreadsheet.

2021's is here bit.ly/OpenAirCinemaLondon2021

At the time of writing the numbering starts at 88 because there have already been 87 screenings since 12 April when I first gathered them together (all previous ones are in the 'Past' tab).

Quite a few providers haven't published their listings yet (eg Somerset House which has its season in August), but I check them all periodically and add in any new films I come across.

Many of the providers also screen films in other cities in the UK, though I only add the London ones to the spreadsheet (cos I live in London) but it's fairly straightforward to track back to homepages to get to a different city. London certainly is well-served by the open air cinema genre! Generally we have several events each night in the height of summer and many are free, put on by sponsors. Some are rather quirky (they tend not to be free).

This weekend just gone I watched Stand By Me (free) outside at the Garrison Church in Woolwich, which is tolerably near me in Blackheath. It was lovely and my first event outside the home in over a year.

Jo

OP posts:
MsAmerica · 05/07/2021 00:03

This is a lovely idea, but I've always found that outdoor sound systems are terrible, so now I mostly will only go to outdoor movies I already know, where I won't have to worry about missing plot points.

JoBrodie · 05/07/2021 09:21

That's a fair point - there are no walls to bounce the sound off so you are at the mercy of the elements. That said all the films being screened at The Scoop, More London (London Bridge near HMS Belfast and City Hall) are subtitled and the films screened at the rooftops of the Stratford shopping centre and the Bussey Building in Peckham use headphones, like a silent disco. Others use this too but that's the one that popped into mind.

Weirdly London Bridge City's 'Summer by the River' doesn't make more of the fact that they subtitle their films but I went to see Little Women a couple of weeks ago and it definitely was, and they assure me that subtitles will be ON for anything else they screen.

Jo

OP posts:
Daisyroselondon · 05/07/2021 09:24

This is amazing, thank you

BoysForPele · 01/08/2021 15:37

This is excellent, thank you!

FlyingFlamingo · 01/08/2021 15:47

Are any of them run by Adventure Cinema? If so I would avoid those ones!

They came to our local park and it was awful. The film itself was fine (no issues with sound quality) but the food and drink was dire, which would have been fine if I could have brought my own drink in but they were checking bags so I had to queue for an hour for a can of lemonade with one friend whilst the others queued for food which was an absolute rip off. We nearly missed the start of the film Angry

JoBrodie · 01/08/2021 17:59

Two of the upcoming ones in Croydon, in September, are run by Adventure Cinema (and there were other screenings from them too but took place earlier in the year). Column E lists the organisation and each entry links to the organiser's main page.

I've never been to one of Adventure Cinema's events, hopefully that was a one-off though. Generally the ones you pay for can be a bit reluctant to have people bring their own food and drink, which is a bit annoying. I think Pop Up Screens are a bit more chilled about things and they have a few screenings coming up later in the year.

I've also added Column H for 'nearest pier' as so many screenings are fairly near one of the piers that Thames Clippers ferries stop at, which means people can do more of their evening out in the open air (seats at the back of the boat are uncovered). The only downside is that the ferries have often stopped running by the time the film ends so unless you're at Waterloo or Embankment you'd need to take a different route home.

For me an afternoon film at Battersea is great as I can ferry there and back from Greenwich :)

For people with young children I think the '100 years tour' at London Bridge this Wednesday evening (4 August) looks pretty special - lots of animated films (including Where The Wild Things Are') with a live score that the audience is encouraged to get involved with. The organisation behind it looks amazing. And it's free.

β€’ The Cabinet of Living Cinema - the artists and musicians
β€’ Enchanted Cinema - London Bridge City's event, 7.30pm Wed 4 August FREE
β€’ (all of London Bridge City's Summer By The River events)

Jo

OP posts:
bendmeoverbackwards · 03/08/2021 21:30

This is brilliant, thank you OP.

JoBrodie · 02/04/2022 19:29

Hello all

Not a zombie thread reanimating but instead I wanted to announce the birth of a new "open air cinema screenings in London" spreadsheet for 2022 ;-)

Here it is bit.ly/OpenAirCinemaLondon2022 (free ones are highlighted in green and there's also a dedicated tab for free screenings bit.ly/FreeOpenAirCinemaLondon2022). If you don't like bit.ly links the main Google Sheets link is docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DcNNZ0_cnBonpRCwIHZzQ44WvY0DObScVQYi48kGElc/edit#gid=0.

Open air film 'season' starts in April and generally ends in October and last year there were over 900 open air screenings. I've no idea if we'll have that many this year (possibly the market is a bit saturated!) but so far there are 200 screenings listed as the organisations are just beginning to publish their events. I'll be keeping an eye on things and adding more as I find out about them.

Below is some supplemental info / advice about open air film screenings.

Jo :)

🎬 πŸ“½οΈ 🎞️ 🍿

Useful things to know

  1. ➑️ If seeing a film in a park check if you'll be leaving by a different exit (parks often close during the film and everyone's shuttled out of 'not the gate you came in by').


2. ⏰ Check timings - most screenings have to start at dusk because you just can't see the screen until it's dark enough. Some events use LED screens which can work fine in bright sunlight. Dusk happens pretty late in June and July.

3. 🎟️ Tickets! Make sure you print in advance, or have the e-ticket visible on your device - and make sure you know where the venue actually is (!)

4. πŸ§₯ Something warm to wear (even if it's boiling hot in the day it can be surprisingly cool when sitting outside at 10pm)

5. πŸ’Ί Something to sit on (plastic bag as a minimum, blanket or cushion better, or shower curtain / tarp) as you could be sitting on damp grass or hard stone / concrete or pavement
-- Some organisations let you bring camping chairs but many other venues don't (some venues already have seating). Some organisations hire blankets and cushions.

6. 🧒 Something to avoid rain (umbrellas are generally a bit of a no-no, I'd recommend rain hat or one of those 'pac a mac' things)

7. πŸ₯€ 🍜 Something to eat and drink and something to eat it off / drink it out of (most films are in public spaces so you can bring your own picnic, check though as some venues might not, always check the website's FAQ) - don't forget a bottle opener if you need one

8. πŸŽ’ A bag to take away rubbish.

9. 🚽 Loo roll (public toilets being as they are...)

10. πŸ”¦ A torch

11. 🦟 Something to put the midges off their feed.

12. πŸ“± Download the What3Words app to your phone (free). Some venues are starting to use this to help people find the entrance location, e.g. www.thelunacinema.com/venue/lincolns-inn/ (scroll down the page or use Ctrl+F to search for what3). Also in larger venues you can use it to tell friends where you are. The app lets you share three words which give a very precise location. Citymapper is one of several fabulous apps for public transport wrangling and finding your way around.

13. 🎧 Some screenings are done as a 'silent disco' where everyone wears headphones. Others just use speakers.

🎬 πŸ“½οΈ 🎞️ 🍿
OP posts:
ClaraMumsnet · 02/04/2022 19:36

We've unhidden your post @JoBrodie - sorry about that, bit-ly links get automatically hidden by our filter.

JoBrodie · 02/04/2022 19:43

Oh no problem! I had forgotten about that. Glad it's OK, thanks :)
Jo

OP posts:
JoBrodie · 20/06/2023 10:22

Morning all

I have re-animated this zombie thread for the 2023 edition of open air cinema screenings in London :-)

Free screenings in London: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LX6kC9rV287rE5xkfC2dmrIjLsHNrNUms69AcAZaX5g/edit#gid=747769792

All the screenings in London: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LX6kC9rV287rE5xkfC2dmrIjLsHNrNUms69AcAZaX5g/edit#gid=0

Every so often I check the list of screening providers and update. I've just added a bunch from BST Hyde Park which are free. I'm also haunting the website of St Katharine Docks (marina by Tower Bridge) for their Floating Film Festival listing, which is imminent https://www.skdocks.co.uk/whats-on/floating-film-festival/

Further up the thread I've given a list of 'useful things to know' about open air screenings.

Jo

Open air cinema screenings in London 2023

Upcoming films #,Date,Day,Film title,Rating,Subtitles?,Organisation,Venue,Location,<a href="https://www.thamesclippers.com/">⛴️ Nearest pier</a>,Doors,Film starts,Notes,Ends,Duration,What3Words 173,20 Jun,Tue,Dirty Dancing,<a href="https://rooftopfilm...

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LX6kC9rV287rE5xkfC2dmrIjLsHNrNUms69AcAZaX5g/edit#gid=747769792

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