From the Barbican to Rooftop Film Club and floating film festivals, here are the best outdoor cinema in London for summer.
1 Summer Showtime, Battersea Power Station Battersea Power Station’s Cinema in the Arches usually launches its open air programme of blockbuster, family and indie films towards the back end of July, running through to the end of August. Held in the six-acred Power Station Park, it comes with plenty of food and drink options and a view of the impressive power station.
Address: Power Station Park, Battersea Power Station SW8 5BN
2 Rooftop Film Club, Peckham & Stratford The Rooftop Film Club has returned to its rooftop homes at Peckham’s iconic Bussey Building and Roof East in Stratford with a line up of brilliant films from the latest blockbusters to indie flicks. Get yourself there early to soak up the spectacular views and bag yourself some drinks and street food. Seating is unreserved and the venue uses wireless headphones. Also, some sessions are open captioned. Note that start-times are approximate and will vary according to the sunset.
Dates: Through to August
Time: Films screen at sunset (around 9.15pm)
Tickets: From £16.50
Address: Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST; 7&8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Road E15 1XE
3 Greenwich Peninsula’s Summer Film Festival Greenwich Peninsula’s Outdoor Film Festival is held through the summer months, as part or the district’s summer sessions. While 2023 information is currently unavailable, last year, tickets were £6 and screenings took place in the afternoon and early evening at the weekends. There’s usually several food pop-ups to chose from, and expect family favorites, new releases and blockbusters as films.
Address: Design District, Peninsula Square, Greenwich, SE10 0QE
4 Screen on the Canal, King’s Cross Everyman Cinema brings free outdoor cinema to King’s Cross this summer once more. Relax and recline on bean bags or loungers on Ghat Steps, off Granary Square while you soak up the atmosphere and catch an A-grade film such as Elvis, Matilda and Top Gun: Maverick. Also look out for Q&As and film-themed live fitness classes.
Dates: June 22- August 6
Tickets: Free & unticketed
Address: King’s Cross Canal Side Green Steps, Regent’s Canal Towpath N1C 4PQ
4 Floating Film Festival at St Katharine Docks Usually around Wimbeldon time, when St Katharine Docks has hoisted up the big screens for the tennis, its Floating Film Festival pops up shortly after. The outdoor, covered, floating cinema – set in the glorious surrounds of central London’s only marina – ran for two weeks last year, showing Oscar-winning hits, family favourites and cult classics at afternoon and evening sessions.
Address: St. Katharine Docks, E1W 1AT
5 The Luna Cinema, various locations The Luna Cinema has a long list of fabulous venues across London – 12 in total – from Clapham Common to Hampton Court Palace and Westminster Abbey to Kew Gardens. Screenings start on June 22 in Wimbledon Park with The Devil Wears Prada and finishes with Grease on September 10 at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Films are the usual mix of latest releases, classics and family flicks, and you can take your own picnic, but hot food – and The Luna Bar – will be available at all sites.
Dates: July 7-August 18
Times: Various time – both matinee and evening sessions
Tickets: From £14.75
Address: Visit the website for the full list of locations.
6 Pop-Up Screens, various locations One that will really appeal to Gen X and millennials alike, Pop-Up Screens brings many of the films of your youth, as well as the latest blockbusters. From 10 Things I Hate About You to Pretty Woman and The Greatest Showman, screenings take place in Hammersmith, Beckenham, Esher, Bexley, Fulham, Crystal Palace, Brockley, Hither Green and Sydenham. Come hail or rain, the films will screen, but you can transfer your booking if you don’t fancy watching Grease in a down pour.
Dates: July 23-September 17
Times: Doors 7.30pm, films 9.15pm
Address: Check website for full list of addresses
7 Adventure Cinema, various locations Adventure Cinema is touring the whole UK this summer, calling at Osterley Park and House, Ham House and Garden, Charlton House and Gardens with films like The Greatest Showman Sing-a-long, Top Gun: Maverick, Elivs and Dirty Dancing. Pick up some food when you’re there or pack a picnic.
Date: Various dates from June 30 – August 20
Time: Gates 7.15pm, film at 8.45pm (approx)
Tickets: From £15.50
Address: Check website for full list of addresses
8 Barbican Outdoor Cinema This one is for lovers of film and brutalist architecture. Held in the art centre’s sculpture court, the pop-up alfresco cinema screens international art house films, including Andrei Tarkovesky’s Mirror, Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, and Studio Ghibli’s Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind
Dates: August 23-Sept 3
Address: Barbican Centre Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
9 BST Hyde Park Open House As part of BST Hyde Park’s Open House, family friendly flicks will screen at 2pm and 8pm on gig weekends. Sessions are free, and seating is on a first come first served basis and headphones are provided. Films include The BFG, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Toy Story.
10 Merchant Square Open Air Cinema, Paddington Paddington’s free programme of films returns, with Mean Girls, Legally Blonde and Dodgeball amoung the flicks due to be screened.
Dates: Wednesdays througout August & Sept 6,13
Tickets: Free, unticketed
Address: Merchant Square Big Screen, Paddington, W2 1JZ
11 Lower Marsh Lates… At The Movies, Wateroo The bustling Lower Marsh in Waterloo will be transformed into a singalong open air cinema screening the best crowd pleasing films to belt out the high notes to. The first film for the monthly series is Mamma Mia!, and watch out for Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray and Grease in the coming months.
Date: Last Thursday of the month, May – September
Time: 5.30pm, with a screen time at 6.30pm
Address: Lower Marsh SE1 7RJ