10 Pop-up Outdoor Cinemas to Visit This Summer

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Popcorn seller with two young film fans at an outdoor cinemas event

Boundless rounds up 10 of the best outdoor cinemas to look out for this season

Despite our notoriously unpredictable weather, outdoor cinema is going from strength to strength in the UK these days, with drive-ins, pop-ups and camping cinemas all around the country

1. Picnic Cinema

Sleddale Hall near Shap in Cumbria is set to become the ultimate open-air cinema on 22 and 23 July, as fans of the iconic movie Withnail & I pay homage to the cult film in the remote location where it was filmed.You can pitch your tent, eat, play games and watch the film before the site becomes a dance floor. Other films showing later in the year include Labyrinth and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Tickets cost around £40 including camping on the Friday or Saturday night.

Picnic Cinema

2. Luna Cinema

Is back this summer with even more locations in its portfolio from Alexandra Palace to Warwick Castle, and including on a sixth floor roof terrace with the stunning backdrop of St Paul's Cathedral (One New Change bar). Films range from recent Oscar winners to classics from the last three decades. In August, Alnwick Castle in Northumberland will screen Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the very spot where many of the scenes were filmed.

Luna Cinema

3. Cult Screens

Showing films in 14 locations around the UK, Cult Screens offers fully seated events with deckchairs, director's chairs, beanbags and cushions, with high-definition projections on giant screens and superb audio. Craft beers and local wines are also available, alongside street food and popcorn. 

Cult Screens

4. Summer Nights

The Summer Nights Outdoor Film Festival returns this year from July – September, bringing classic and contemporary films to a selection of heritage locations, including RHS Garden Wisley, where you can see The Martian and Dirty Dancing on a summer evening in the garden (15 – 16 July). Other venues include Blickling Estate in Norfolk and Kedleston hall in Derbyshire.

Summer Nights

5. Route 66 Drive-In Cinema

Two venues in Liverpool and Manchester, offering traditional US-style drive-in movies for £20 per car.

The movie soundtrack plays through your car audio system and you can order hot food as you drive in. Great if you like the idea of outdoor cinema but like to be cocooned in your own little space.

Route 66 Drive-In Cinemas

6. Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema is a growing community of people who love cinema – and a touch of mystery. Locations are announced soon before films are to be shown – usually on the same day – so it retains the eclectic, special feel of a club that’s not for everyone. This July that old perennial Dirty Dancing will be shown at a secret (for now) location...

Secret Cinema

7. Rooftop Film Club

Get high, literally, with the Rooftop Film Club, who show films across five high locations in London as well as in the US. Kensington Roof Gardens and Tobacco Dock are a couple of the locations showing iconic movies (Breakfast At Tiffany’s on 7 June) with food and drink available all evening. Classy.

Rooftop Film Club

8. Somerset House 

Somerset House will again transform its grand courtyard into an outdoor cinema this summer, in alliance with Film4, between 6 – 19 August. Tickets are selling like hotcakes for Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, Wrath of God (13 August) and The Last of the Mohicans (17 August), so act fast to be in with a chance seeing some great cinema on a balmy summer evening.

Somerset House

9. The Nomad Cinema

Describing itself as the ‘Roaming Pop up Cinema’, there’s an impressive number of films and locations including Purple Rain in London's Mayfair (4 June), The Jungle Book in Bushy Park (19 August) and Hitchcock's Psycho in Brompton Cemetery (7 September).

Nomad Cinema

10. Kew Gardens Movies

Tickets are on sale for ‘Kew the Movies’, the Botanic Gardens’ open-air screenings, which take place on 24 – 25 August and 7 – 8 September against the backdrop of Kew Palace. This year's films include Star Wars: The Force AwakensJurassic Park, American teen comedy Mean Girls and Labyrinth starring the late David Bowie.

Kew Garden Movies


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