Everyman Screen On The Canal

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Jason Allen 18/05/24


The Best Outdoor Cinemas in London This Summer

When it comes to these cinemas…

…the biggest stars are actually off-screen.

Because for a few glorious weeks every summer, London plays host to dozens of pop-up outdoor cinemas where you can catch your favourite flicks under the night sky. This year there are free film festivals, floating cinemas, and luxurious pop ups surrounded by nothing but the balmy evening air and a fresh cooling breeze that drifts along as the sun dips below the horizon, the day turns to night, and the screen lights up. Sounds utterly savage, we know.

But, if you can somehow still bring yourself to put up with that, then here are the very best open-air cinemas popping up in the capital for summer 2024…


Rooftop Film Club | Peckham & Stratford

rooftop film club

The Vibe: They’ve got rooftop cinemas set up at Peckham’s Bussey Rooftop Bar and Roof East in Stratford, both equipped with bottomless popcorn, cocktails, and very handy wireless headphones. They’re one of the godfathers of London’s outdoor cinemas, and being on a rooftop, the view is almost as good offscreen as on it.

The Movies: They have classics like Clueless and Fight Club; vintage flicks like Breakfast at Tiffany’s; and recent Oscar winners like Poor Things and Oppenheimer.

Dates: Now until the end of June | Book tickets

The Barbican Outdoor Cinema | Barbican

outdoor cinema at the barbican

The Vibe: This one is, as the keener detectives will have guessed, at The Barbican. Specifically, in their atmospheric Sculpture Court, against a backdrop of the City skyline and the arts complex’s iconic brutalist buildings. And as you might expect, they’re not showing the Greatest Showman…

The Movies: …what they are showing however is Hayao Miyazaki’s swansong The Boy and The Heron; Prince’s electrifying 1987 tour concert; and the poetic epic of Indian 70s cinema, Pakeezah, among others.

Dates: 21st August – 1st September 2024 | Book Tickets

Everyman Screen on the Canal | King’s Cross

everyman screen on the canal

The Vibe: These free screenings are particularly great, thanks to the fact that the seating is all situated on the grass-covered canal-side steps leading up to Granary Square, which means that everyone gets a good view. They’ll be screening more than 150 movies this year, alongside Wimbledon matches. And? You can order from the Everyman cinema’s menu, too.

The Movies: The programme will be announced shortly, but previous years have shown cult flicks like Cool Runnings and Forrest Gump, and old-school classics like Roman Holiday and Some Like It Hot.

Dates: 1st July – 18th August 2024 | No tickets, just turn up – see the programme soon here

Everyman Secret Garden at The Grove | Watford

everyman secret garden cinema

The Vibe: Clearly, Everyman doesn’t do ‘everyday’ when it comes to locations for their outdoor cinemas. This summer, you can also find them hidden away in a secret 16th century walled garden at Watford’s luxurious 5* hotel, The Grove. Feast at the Grove Grill BBQ (open every weekend throughout the summer) before settling down with your woolly blanket into an extremely comfortable beanbag.

The Movies: All the outdoor cinema classics are here (Barbie, When Harry Met Sally, Mamma Mia), alongside a few special screenings like The Greatest Showman – with fireworks – and Pretty Woman and Phantom of the Opera with pre-film live performances.

Dates: 18th July – 8th September 2024 | Complimentary tickets for hotel guests, otherwise book here

Floating Film Festival | Wapping

Floating Cinema

The Vibe: Um, the vibe is floating. On a beautiful, festoon-lit, astroturfed pontoon in the middle of the historic and uniquely atmospheric St Kat’s Docks, to be precise. They’re intimate screenings with small audiences perched on deckchairs and beanbags for two, and come with the considerable benefit of being parked under a rain-proof marquee.

The Movies: This summer’s film schedule hasn’t been released yet, but watch this space.

Dates: Usually early July

Film Club at Canary Wharf | Canary Wharf

canary wharf outdoor cinema

The Vibe: Free. The vibe is free. But there are no chairs (in fact, all seating is banned) and there’s a limit to how many people can rock up. Once they hit the magic number, there’s no more admittance. So turn up early, and enjoy the fact that they also show a lot of sporting events, including cricket, tennis, F1 and horse racing, alongside films four nights a week.

The Movies: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Groundhog Day, The Dark Knight, Romeo + Juliet, Crazy Rich Asians, Grease, plus a whole slew of family-friendly specials on Saturday mornings.

Dates: 4th June – 27th August | See what’s on

Adventure Cinema | Charlton, Isleworth

adventure cinema outdoor

The Vibe: With the exception of VIP tickets, this outdoor cinema is pretty much no-frills: you need to bring your own deckchair, picnic blanket, snacks & drinks, you name it. There are over 70 venues across the UK, and two of them are in London – at Charlton House & Osterley Manor.

The Movies: Back To The Future is hitting the screens at both locations, but Charlton House is also getting Dirty Dancing and a Grease singalong, while at Osterley it’s The Greatest Showman singalong plus Pretty Woman and Mamma Mia!.

Dates: Charlton House: 7th-9th June – book tickets | Osterley Manor: 8th-11th August – book tickets

Summer by the River | London Bridge

free outdoor cinema at summer by the river

The Vibe: The Scoop, a mini amphitheatre carved out of the river-bank next to The Mayor’s Office, is going to be hosting just about everything this summer (from theatre, to sports, to live music). And every Tuesday, they’ll be showing a film for free. Just show up, grab a seat, and admire the view of Tower Bridge.

The Movies: Back To The Future, Barbie, The Lost Boys, Encanto, the new Mean Girls… there’s quite a lot going on, especially considering they’re all gratis.

Dates: 4th June – 23rd July | See what’s on

 


Want to make the most of the sun? Check out our guide to the best rooftop bars in London