Now summer is upon us, it’s time to get yourself to an outdoor cinema stat. A mainstay of our summer social calendars these days, outdoor cinemas are a fun way to watch cult classics, crowd-pleasing favourites and new Hollywood blockbusters under the stars while the weather is warm (-ish, you’ll likely still need a blanket for when the sun goes down – this is still only the UK after all!).
To find your nearest outdoor cinema, we’ve compiled a list of the best outdoor cinemas across the UK – and some of them take place at truly iconic locations. Movie at a medieval castle, anyone?
Rooftop Film Club, Peckham and Stratford, London
There are two Rooftop Film Club locations, one on top of the infamous Bussey Building in Peckham and the other at Roof East in Shoreditch. Generally at outdoor cinemas these days you’ll find the same crowd-pleasing classics on show – Grease, Dirty Dancing etc – but at Rooftop Film Club you’ll find a movie schedule that runs the gamut, from cult indie flicks – Fight Club, The Birdcage and Dazed and Confused – to old favourites – Mean Girls, Clueless and Notting Hill – and new releases including Top Gun: Maverick and Everything Everywhere All At Once.
The Grove, Hertfordshire
This summer, The Grove hotel has partnered with cinematic legends Everyman to bring guests and diners a pop-up outdoor cinema experience. Guests of the The Grove can enjoy complementary screenings of new releases and old classics in the Walled Garden, Wednesday – Sunday every week from 15 July – 4 September. Or opt for one of the dinner & cinema packages where you can enjoy a set menu at one of the three on-site restaurants before settling into a film.
The Luna Cinema, various locations
The Luna Cinema now hosts screens at more than 40 locations across the UK at some of the most unique and stunning venues. Showings tend to be a mixture of Hollywood blockbusters and feel good classics to suit all tastes, from Pretty Woman and The Breakfast Club to Star Wars: A New Hope and No Time To Die.
Adventure Cinema, various locations
There are over 200 outdoor cinema screenings run by Adventure Cinema across the UK this summer, so you’re bound to find one near you. And there are some truly iconic locations, ranging from medieval castles to country estates. VIP deckchairs are available to book at each location, but the idea is to pitch up with your own picnic, camping chairs and blanket for the authentic experience. Films are very much crowd-pleasers, including West Side Story, Mamma Mia! and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Cinestock, various locations
Cinestock is like the outdoor cinema version of Woodstock – for 14 nights, they take over six stunning venues across Surrey and Sussex, including Brighton’s iconic Saltdean Lido and, Gatton park and Newhaven Fort, and put on movie after movie. Unlike many other outdoor cinema set ups, food and drink is available, including craft beer, cocktails, pizzas, popcorn and more. There’s even a live musical performance before every film. Films to choose from include The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Grease, The Greatest Showman and Back to the Future.
Moonbeamers Popup Cinema, Essex
Moonbeamers host outdoor and drive-in cinema experiences at various locations across Essex throughout the summer. This summer, top bill screenings include Licorice Pizza, Rocketman and The Batman.