Best of British: Outdoor cinema

Anna Walker

Pull up a deck chair as the sun sets and enjoy a blockbuster or a cult classic at one of these outdoor cinemas

Luna Beach Cinema, Brighton

On the beaches of Brighton this summer, you can enjoy the lapping of waves as you take in Finding Dory, Moana and Sharknado over a month-long residency.

This spot boasts the highest definition outdoor LED screen in the country, stretching to an impressive 33ft—so one thing you won’t need to worry about is having a good view! There’s hot food and deck chairs on site, and if you really want to make an evening of it, why not upgrade to a VIP beach hut? These luxury seats are good for four people and come with their own mini fridge.

Says managing director George Wood, “At Luna Beach Cinema, you can enjoy your favourite film on our high definition outdoor LED screen. Whether you fancy a recent blockbuster such as Bohemian Rhapsody, or a classic such as Grease, we've got something for everyone. Join us on the beach for the ultimate in summer cinema!”

lunabeachcinema.com

 

Moonlight Flicks, Chester

The biggest outdoor cinema in the North West of England, Moonlight Flicks will be showing some serious blockbusters this summer, including A Star Is Born and singalong crowd-pleaser, The Greatest Showman.

Set in Chester’s historic Roman Gardens, cinephiles gather on the lawn with picnic blankets or rented deck chairs and plug into wireless headphones to ensure perfect sound quality—especially helpful if the person next to you is set on singing along to every word of Mamma Mia.

Says programme manager Nicky Beaumont, “We have a programme of joyous movies screened all summer in Chester’s gorgeous Roman Garden. Whether it’s date night, a summer holiday treat with the kids or an evening out with friends, we think there’s something on the bill for everyone. We look forward to seeing audiences every year, and this season is no exception.”

moonlightflicks.co.uk

 

Chirk Castle, Wrexham, North Wales

You’ve never experienced cinema in a setting like this… The 11th-century Chirk Castle near Wrexham was first built under the reign of Edward I, but now it’s the destination for Silly Walk superfans, as they put on screenings of the cult classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Has there ever been a more perfect surrounding to enjoy the comedy capers of King Arthur and his dozy squire?

Says visitor experience manager Jon Hignett, “We’re excited to bring outdoor cinema to Chirk Castle for the first time. For hundreds of years the castle has played host to masques, balls, music and theatre, and outdoor cinema seems like a great way to continue that tradition of performance and play. The gardens are a beautiful place to relax, and on a warm August evening accompanied by the sound of clinking glasses, and the smell of fresh popcorn they should be fantastic evenings.”

Wrap up warm and don’t forget your coconut horses…

nationaltrust.org.uk/chirkcastle/whats-on

 

Luna Cinema, Edinburgh Royal Botanic

Garden Since 1670, Scotland’s Royal Botanic Garden has been home to one of Britain’s most impressive botanical collections. It’s perhaps not where you’d expect to find a crowd of cinephiles on a summer night, settling down for a screening of Bohemian Rhapsody. But, nestled away on the Glasshouse Lawn, that’s exactly what’s happening for Luna Cinema’s summer season.

Says managing director George Wood, “We specialise in classic films on the big screen in truly stunning settings. There's nothing quite like watching your favourite film while surrounded by some of the country's best locations, from royal palaces and castles to cathedrals and gardens. Come and join us for an unforgettable night of cinema under the stars!”

thelunacinema.com/edinburgh-royal-botanic-garden

 

Summer Screens, Coventry

Having been bombed to near-total annihilation during the Coventry Blitz of 1940, Coventry Cathedral was rebuilt during the 1950s and 60s. Significant parts of the old cathedral still remain and it’s in these stunningly renovated ruins that Summer Screens bring their penchant for crowd-pleasing movies in unconvential spaces to an eager local audience.

Enjoy the sun setting on these beautiful ruins and partake in a quiet moment of reflection, before immersing yourself in one of your favourite films.

Says managing director Philip Cottle, “As the sun sets and the atmosphere builds, the 1000-year-old walls, pillars and arches illuminate in a rainbow of colour and the stars begin to shine overhead. Films in 2019 include A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.”

summerscreens.co.uk

 

Enchanted Cinema, Cambridge

There’s a magic about Cambridge’s Enchanted Cinema that’s hard to put your finger on. Perhaps it’s the gently-lit surroundings of Gonville Hotel’s secret garden. Perhaps it’s the charming staff, always quick to enthuse about the latest film or offer advice on the best spot for a winning view. Or perhaps it’s the clear sky of stars that shine above you as the film begins and the gardens plunge into night. Whatever that magic is, it’s certainly in abundance at this dusky cinema.

Enjoy drinks and food as you watch your favourite flick—with screenings ranging from Top Gun to When Harry Met Sally to Kill Bill to name just a few—there's truly something for every taste. Stay on after the credits roll for a night of live music. Everything is local about this cinema, from the musicians, to the short independent opening films and the food vendors from nearby eateries—a truly Cantabrigian affair.

enchantedcinema.co.uk

 

Rooftop Film Club, London

Enjoy cult classics and family favourites all while looking out on a view of London’s skyline with the city’s unique Rooftop Film Club. Located atop Peckham’s achingly cool Bussey Building, Stratford’s city-lit Rooftop East and locals' favourite the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, each screening venue is a great destination to end a day spent in the hustle and bustle of the city.

Comfy deckchairs and wireless headphones make it easy to forget you’re in the middle of the capital, while on-site food and drinks will ensure you can relax for the duration. The current programme only runs until June 30, so get your skates on if you want to enjoy a cult classic on one of these iconic rooftops. Our top picks include The Breakfast Club, Fargo and a special 65th anniversary showing of Rear Window.

rooftopfilmclub.com/london

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