Film reviews are on their holidays, so this month I’m going to look at the very best movie events taking place in London over the summer. These all provide a very memorable night out in the capital but don’t delay – they will sell out fast!
The premier outdoor event returns for a new season and boasts the most impressive roster of venues you’ll find. Experiencing The Luna Cinema in such unique surroundings as Kensington Palace, The Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre, One New Change and Alexandra Palace is simply stunning. The staff are always super-friendly too which helps. Added extras include their premium ticket range that grants you special experiences at selected screenings (such as watching Jaws in a rubber dinghy at the gorgeous Brockwell Lido). Public-vote screenings are held across the season and their entire line-up marries classic and modern cinema very well – favourites like The Lost Boys, Jurassic Park and Back to the Future are mixed with modern greats like La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for an unforgettable summer experience.
One of the brightest sparks on the circuit for both atmosphere and event organisation, The Rooftop Film Club possesses a near faultless line-up for 2017. It has four locations conveniently spread across the capital… The Queen of Hoxton utilises its hipster-chic to full effect and The Bussey Building in Peckham gives you a wonderful cityscape to marvel at. Then there’s the ultra-rare screenings at The Kensington Roof Gardens – a stunning haven of bliss coupled with amazing food from their world famous BBQ. Finally Roof East in Stratford is a purpose built area that overlooks Westfield and takes in the sights of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The film line-up is amazing too – don’t miss seminal cult classics such as John Wick, Predator and Robocop along with modern greats like Lion and Moonlight.
Those clever souls at Secret Cinema recreated Back to the Future in truly breathtaking fashion in 2014, with intergalactic fan-favourite The Empire Strikes Back taking up residence in 2015 and crowd-pleaser Dirty Dancing returning last year. Always striving to be the highlight of the cinematic calendar, Secret Cinema is now enjoying the wonders and sights of turn-of-the-century Paris for a hedonistic, dance-fuelled Moulin Rouge live event inspired by the opulent Baz Luhrmann classic. You too ‘can, can, can’ be a part of this immersive experience but it’s not cheap! Transforming a top-secret London location into something very special, Secret Cinema delivers yet another stand-out live experience. With 3 ticket types on offer, who will you go as…? Aristocrats, Creatures of the Underworld or Children of the Revolution?
This August, the old faithful returns for another residency at the lush surroundings of Somerset House. A public premiere awaits for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power with special guest & former US Vice President Al Gore in attendance. With a very diverse mix of titles, Film4 Summer Screen truly offers something for everyone. Cruel Intentions, All The President’s Men, Victoria, Moonlight, Blow Up and a Jaws/Deliverance double-bill make the line-up alongside ‘Behind the Screen’ – a diverse and entertaining programme of talks, workshops and events that bring the world of cinema to the masses.
London’s largest outdoor festival is open daily from 10am to 10pm with a whole host of free events spanning the worlds of film, food, dance and music. Taking up residence in the famed Scoop just next to City Hall and overlooking the majestic Tower Bridge, you can head down to watch classic gems like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, James Cameron’s Avatar, Cool Runnings and The LEGO Movie, but the real highlight looks to be Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. With pop-up stalls selling everything from cocktails and craft beer to incredible Mexican flavours from Taco Revolution, this is a live-entertainment hotspot with some great movies.
The most socially-conscious event on the outdoor film circuit, 100% of The Nomad Cinema’s profits go to their chosen charity, The Sustainability Institute in South Africa. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Goonies, Psycho, Aliens, The Secret of My Success, Casablanca, Amelie and My Name is Khan are just some of the gems that feature in their eclectic line-up. Venues include City Point, Paddington Street Gardens, Queens Park, Brompton Cemetery and Grosvenor Square but surely the biggest highlight of their season has to be Life of Pi at Proud East.
A new kid on the block, Nightspot Cinema has a unique premise – they feature films about music, famous musicians or that have renowned musical scores attached. This leads to a party which is themed around the music and style of the chosen film, and they have opted for some classics this summer. First up is Eddie Murphy’s 80s gem Beverly Hills Cop (including that iconic Axel F tune) and later in the slate, a celebration of all things Michael Jackson including a rare screening of Thriller and Moonwalker housed at the Institute of Light in London Fields.