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
Sat Nov 30 2013
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.
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’).
- Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD.
- Mon Dec 29
Bea makes exceedingly good cakes at her Bloomsbury café. And in an industrial-sized kitchen on Maltby Street in Bermondsey, Bea also puts on big-fun movie nights. In the run-up to Christmas ‘Home Alone’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘Elf’ will screen. Tickets are a cheaper-than-your-local-multiplex tenner. Caution: you might need to mop out your arteries after the Mac’n'Cheese and Chilli Cheese Dogs.
- Arch 76, Druid St, SE1 2HQ.
- Wed Dec 3
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.
- 2a Bow Rd, E3 4LL.
- Thu Dec 11
If you love Christmas so much you want to spend a night with a room full of strangers in their jim-jams high on mince pies and feelgood films, the Prince Charles’s epic all-nighter marathon is for you. That’s seven movies beginning with ‘Scrooged’ and finishing in the wee hours with ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’.
- 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BY.
- Sun Dec 7
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’.
- Hyde Park.
- Dec 9 and 10
They’re going for a Christmas market feel at this pop-up in the railway arches in Vauxhall. Local restaurants will lay on food stalls. Inside, keep toasty under blankets sipping on mulled wine, while watching a Christmas fave (‘Elf’, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘Home Alone’). Wireless headphones are provided. All proceeds go to the London homeless charity Thames Reach.
- Arch 50, South Lambeth Place, SW8 1SP.
- Fri Dec 12
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).
- 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, W11 2QA.
- Sat Dec 13
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’.
- St John’s Church, Kilburn Lane, W10 4AA.
- Sun Dec 21
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