Christmas pop-up cinema in London

Yes, ‘Elf’ is awesome, but Will Ferrell screaming ‘Santa’ isn’t the only festive film highlight in our round-up of pop-up Christmas screenings

Summer isn't the only season that can do quirky film pop-ups. Sure, the wine may be mulled rather than sparkling and you'll draw a few odd looks if you turn up with a picnic. But with no weather and no wasps to worry about, we reckon this selection of Christmas screenings could be even more of a hoot.

Enchanted Pictures at the Royal Academy

Christmassy moments in London don’t get classier than sipping on a rosemary vodka martini while watching a movie in the grand surroundings of the Royal Academy. The boutique Everyman cinema chain has taken up residence at the RA with a 100-seat screening room until the end of December – and it’s serving dangerously good wintry cocktails. The films are a mix of watch-with-your-mum classics (‘Singin’ in the Rain’ ‘Casablanca’), Hollywood faves (‘Die Hard’) and winter heartwarmers (‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’).

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Winter Shuffle

If you’re after a taste of Dickensian London, head to St Clement’s Hospital in Bow. The former workhouse and psychiatric hospital is now the happy home of Shuffle, the brilliant community-run film festival Danny Boyle first curated in May. Back with a winter edition, Shuffle’s line-up is pretty special. Boyle will drop in to chat with Prof Brian Cox and Mark Kermode after a screening of his film sci-fi ‘Sunshine’. Jarvis Cocker will interview Brit director Nicolas Roeg on stage after ‘The Man who Fell to Earth’. There are science lectures (‘evolutionary genetics of the Bible’ sounds a bit interesting), and Irvine Welsh will stop by to tell stories.

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Christmas at the LookOut, Hyde Park

Gremlins! On the loose in Hyde Park! If only. Here’s the next best thing. London’s best outdoor cinema, Nomad, is putting on a mini-two day season of screenings in Hyde Park’s hideaway eco-haven the LookOut. At afterschool screenings (including ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’), kids can roast marshmallows in the open pit fire, discover hibernating animals on a nature trail and cosy down for a film (the building is kitted out with underfloor heating). Same drill for grown-ups, with added booze – they can watch ‘Gremlins’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

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Cinema in the Snow

A snow-filled cinema behind a mystery door, Narnia-style, is promised at this pop-up in an at-yet undisclosed old theatre. Films are the usual Christmas chesnuts – ‘Love Actually’, ‘Elf’, ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ – served up with hot chocolate and mulled wine. Best of all is the location, Notting Hill, all twinkly and lit up for Christmas. You’ll leave feeling like you’ve just stepped into a Richard Curtis film (not ‘The Boat that Rocked’, don’t worry).

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Christmas Crackers at the Lexi

Goodwill galore at the this Christmas fundraiser, which takes over a Victorian church, St John’s in Kensal Green, for a day. It’s all about a good cause with the Lexi – all its profits go to supporting Lynedoch eco village in South Africa. The Christmas special kicks off with ‘Home Alone’. Later, the Acapella Rising choir will sing in the ultimate Chriss classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

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