Yes, an air-conned cinema is just about the perfect place to cool off in a heatwave. But don’t forget about outdoor movies. Here’s our pick of summer’s best.
1. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ at Kew Gardens
Really, we just want an excuse to waltz into Kew Gardens at closing time with a picnic and a bottle of posh plonk. And Wes Anderson’s funny, fanciful comedy feels perfect for the occasion. Organisers Luna Cinema are also screening ‘Back to the Future’ at Greenwich Park with a real DeLorean. Jul 22. £16.50.
2. ‘127 Hours’ in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
We love Shuffle, the community festival set up by Danny Boyle and Kate MacTiernan in Mile End with so much energy and imagination it’s impossible not to walk around grinning. They’re back this month in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, doing so much – building a restaurant in a treehouse, putting stars back in the sky (with LEDs and an artist) – that it’s easy to forget about the films. This year’s theme is migration and movement, and we’ll be booking to see Boyle’s survival drama ‘127 Hours’ (the one where James Franco has to chop off his own arm). Jul 25. £15 (or £5 for E3 residents and concessions).
3. ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ at Somerset House
Somerset House is outdoor film’s hottest ticket. So smug quick-clickers (you know, the ones who somehow manage to get tickets to see Benedict Cumberbatch on stage and finagle a table at the latest booked-out kimchi pop-up) have snaffled most of the tickets. But they’ve missed a trick with indie ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’, in which two high-school outsiders befriend a girl with cancer. Sounds like a pile of weepie mush, but this film (directed by a former assistant to Martin Scorsese) is sharp, funny and totally irresistible. Aug 19. £24.
4. ‘Alien’ at Brompton Cemetery
If you thought facehuggers and chestbursters were scary enough in the comfort of your bedroom, try watching ‘Alien’ perched on a gravestone. And before you see Sigourney Weaver as badass Ripley, why not stop off and salute another action heroine, suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst (1852-1928), who’s buried in the cemetery? Organisers Nomad give all profits to charity. Sept 8. £18.
5. Fancy-dress ‘Flash Gordon’ at Granary Square
People get a bit sniffy about ‘Flash Gordon’. In our humblest it’s a camp classic, and this fancy-dress screening in King’s Cross will deliver the priceless spectacle of grown men in tights. It’s part of a weekender by Floating Cinema – a customised narrow boat that trawls the canals every summer. There’s loads of esoteric talks and screenings on the barge, and they moor up for big open-air screenings. Sep 19. Free (book online from Jul 20).
Want more alfresco flicks? Take a look at the best outdoor cinema in London.