Six of the Best… Outdoor Cinemas

Somerset House 1


Best for… the wow factor

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

Somerset House

The Strand


Located in the stately 18th century courtyard at Somerset House, the annual Film4 Summer Screen is one of the city’s most impressive settings for al fresco film viewing.

This year’s programme will run from August 8-21. Screenings include Tina Fey’s Mean Girls, Ken Loach’s 1969 debut Kes and the 1955 Guys and Dolls, starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. There will also be UK premieres of Richard Curtis’ About Time and The Way Way Back, the latest film from the writers of The Descendents.

Cost: £14.50 (general admission), £18.50 (double bills), £22.50 (premiere)


Best for… a bargain night out

The Scoop

The Scoop at More London

Queen’s Walk



The sunken amphitheatre of The Scoop, next to Tower Bridge and opposite the Tower of London, provides the setting for outdoor film fun from September 11- 27. The best part? All film showings are completely free.

Showing a mix of classic, cult and contemporary films, this year’s programme includes Skyfall, Les Misérables and Hitchcock’s The Birds.

Films begin at 7.30, Wednesday to Friday. The amphitheatre seats 800 but fills up quickly, so arrive early and be sure to bring a cushion!

Cost: Free


Best for…Latin American fun

Nomad Film Festival

Horniman Museum and Gardens

100 London Road

Forest Hill

SE23 3PQ


For two nights this year, Horniman Gardens will be hosting a mini Latin American film series, showing The Motorcycle Diaries, the story of a young Che Guevara, on August 22 and Central Station on August 25, both directed by Walter Salles.

The screenings are being organised by Nomad Cinema, a touring outdoor cinema group that hosts pop-up screens at a range of venues across London over the summer, alongside stalls offering food and drink.

Cost: £8.50- £12.50


Best for… impressing intellectual friends

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens

Kennington Lane

SE11 5HY


Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens will be holding a free screening of Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man on June 13, which tells the story of the search for elusive American musician ‘Sugar Man’ Sixto Rodriguez by two fans in Cape Town in the 1990s.

The film will begin at 8.30pm, with the gardens open from 6pm for pre-film picnics, music and food from local cafes and restaurants. There will be deckchairs available for early birds.

Cost: Free 020 7793 0263


Best for… a novelty film experience

 Brockwell Lido

Brockwell Park

Dulwich Road

SE24 0PA


Brockwell Lido will be hosting three screenings this summer, organised by the Luna Cinema, for a one-of-a-kind aquatic film experience. Regular seating is poolside, while VIP tickets are available for adventurous film-goers, with seats in a two-person dinghy in the lido itself. Presumably you won’t get a refund if you fall in…

Jaws will be shown on July 24, Napoleon Dynamite on August 28, and an unnamed ‘80s classic’ will be screened on 18 September.

Cost: £12.50 general admission (£19.50 VIP)


Best for… summer relaxation

Dulwich Park

College Road


SE21 7BQ


Set in front of the Pavilion Cafe, the screen at Dulwich Park provides the perfect setting for a relaxing summer’s evening in the park (weather permitting, of course!)

Organised by Luna Cinema, there will be five showings over the summer months- Labyrinth on July 26, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained on September 5 and Argo on September 8, as well as two films that have not yet been announced.

Visitors are encouraged to bring picnics, blankets and chairs for a chilled out summer vibe.

Cost: £8.50- £12.50


Others to watch out for:

–          Frank’s Café, 10th floor, Peckham Multi-Storey carpark, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST will be holding outdoor screenings over the summer; films and dates TBA. Watch this space.

–          Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival, September 5-15 (

–          Trinity Hospice Summer Cinema Series, August 21-23 (www.trinityhospice,org,uk/cinema)


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