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London’s Outdoor Summer Cinemas

Date posted: 10.07.2013

From Royal Opera House screenings in Trafalgar Square (11, 18 July) to The Graduate playing on The Roof Gardens (15 July), London's outdoor cinema summer tradition returns with more ways to watch your favourite films.

While open-air cinemas exist in many different formats, they are guaranteed to provide an audience with a unique viewing experience outside traditional cinemas.

Typical venues for outdoor films are in London's numerous parks and fields, where screening hosts such as Pop Up Screens and The Nomad Cinema show a mix of new releases and old-time favourites. Here viewers can have a picnic while watching The Wedding Singer in Wormholt Park (20 July) or take comfort under a blanket while watching Donnie Darko at Brompton Cemetery (10 Sept). 

Increasingly, more outdoor cinemas are appearing on rooftop bar venues that have incredible views of the city and star filled sky. One of the largest providers of such screenings is The Rooftop Club, which shows a wide range of films in various locations such as classics like The Goonies at Bussey Building (19 Jul), and newer releases like Sightseeers at The Queen of Hoxton (10 July).  In addition, friends can watch their favourite comedies including Anchorman (18 July) from the unique seat of an inflatable hot tub at the Hot Tub Cinema.

London also has screenings at landmarks and scenic locations. Luna Cinema hosts many of these open-air cinema events, such as at Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace.  Film4 also puts on popular screenings at Somerset House with Behind the Screen talks immediately beforehand.  Individuals can also see the Olympic park from surrounding canals on the Floating Cinema, which hosts intimate film viewings including a horror weekend (9-10 Aug) on a small boat.

While most of these screenings require an admission fee, there are some venues that are free, such as Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Even though these events can be found throughout London until September, many events are only available for a limited time only, take advantage of London's cinema culture while these spectacular events last. 

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