Movies on the River

Film
4 out of 5 stars
(33user reviews)
Movies on the River

Watch a movie on the top deck of a boat after a cruise along the River Thames

Can you imagine watching a movie under the stars on the top deck of a boat, after a cruise along the Thames?

Time Out will make that dream a reality in the summer of 2018 with the return of Movies on the River – London’s first ever cinema on the Thames.

For five nights a week from mid-June to early September, our movie boat will offer a food and drink-fuelled sunset cruise from the Tower of London.

Once the sun disappears, we’ll dock up in the shadow of some of London's most awe-inspiring sights and play a movie on our open-air top deck.

We’ve chosen classic movies you love, including ‘Jaws’, Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Some Like It Hot’, as well as recent hits including ‘The Shape of Water’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’. Don’t miss the boat!

Time Out Live presents Movies on the River with City Cruises runs five nights a week (Tue-Sat) from mid-June to early September, starting on Wednesday June 13. The boat boards at Tower Pier at 8pm. The boat returns to Tower Pier once the movie finishes. 

Explore the full lineup for Movies on the River.

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Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:13
  • 4 star:15
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|33
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1 of 1 found helpful

I must agree with Tom S below : Very nice idea, but not worth the money. I too was under the impression that I could watch a movie whilst enjoying the sights of London, in fact the picture above clearly does not show a film being shown whilst the boat is moored up alongside a barge which was filled with old paint tins which is what happened on my trip last Saturday night.  Several people I spoke to also expected the boat to be moving along.  I do understand that practically this might not work but then it should be better explained on the website.  Saturday morning I was emailed that we would be moored up opposite the Houses of Parliament but we never even got half way to Westminster before turning back, again to moor up within 100 meters of the Tower Pier.  The bars were understaffed and the wine was dreadful for the price they were charging.  surely they could buy a £8 bottle of wine from Tesco and still charge £30 and make people happy. I wouldn't do it again and definitely wouldn't recommend it. . 

1 of 1 found helpful

Horrible experience! People just spreading out their bags resulting in us as a couple not finding a space to sit together. Organisers did not give a shit about it and continued standing in their corner joking around while we were left to sit facing away from the screen in order to sit together. So if you think this will be a romantic experience, be prepared for a big disappointment. (Goes without saying: we did not get our money back).


We had an excellent time at this event which is one of those things that London does so well in the summer. We took a short cruise along the Thames and then docked up to watch the Greatest Showman with lots of sights all around. It felt a bit crowed up on the top deck but the weather was amazing and I can truly say I've never watched a film like this before!

Tastemaker

Movies on the river was definitely a pleasant and fun experience! I attended on a warm beautiful evening and watched clueless which I hadn't watched before and I really enjoyed it! You get a boat trip around the thames and then it docks somewhere with view of tower bridge at sunset time. It is quite spectacular to watch a film with this landmark in the background! It might be slightly pricey but the price is relatively reasonable for what you get. Definitely recommended for a special summer evening. This is one of the best summer events I have attended this year!!


Great idea, and I had a great evening watching the Greatest Showman on Movies on the River. We took a short cruise past loads of London sights and then watched the film with views of many of them all around us. Everyone was singing along at one point. Lots of fun.


Very nice idea, but not worth the money. I was under the impression that I could watch a movie whilst enjoying the beautiful city sights of London on an evening. I took a date with me, paid £70 in tickets + snacks to have a 15 minute cruise down to the London eye, to circle back to literally 100 meters away from where we boarded, to moor up and watch a 2.5hr film. It wasn't the experience I was expecting or what the main image of this event lead me to believe. However, I did have a nice evening, the staff were nice, the snacks were relatively cheap and the film was good! But I wouldn't do it again or recommend it. 

tastemaker

I saw Clueless on the boat.

Firstly the boat is lovely!! and the staff so nice. I love you can get snacks and treats. 

You get a mini tour of the thames - it would have been nice to have had some comments about what we were viewing but its not the end of the world.

Then you moor up in the Thames overlooking Tower Bridge to see the film. 

I am not sure if i was expecting the boat to be moving when we watched the film but you dont. 

The blankets were a nice touch and also the ear phones are very good.


Overall its something different which I would recommend. 

Tastemaker

Saw Clueless (for the first time) on the River. What a lovely date idea! Cuddled up under a blanket watching a film with London and Tower Bridge as a back drop! Would love to do it every weekend!


My cousin is staying in London for the summer, has come over from India, so I thought this would be a good evening out and I wasn't mistaken. We both absolutely loved it. We got dinner before going on the boat because they only sell snacks (crisps, popcorn) and drinks (it looked like a good selection of beers, wine, ciders, spritis etc) but I didn't buy anything on the boat so not sure about price. 


We got on the boat, plenty of space for everyone to sit upstairs as our boat was pretty busy. They take you from Tower Bridge to the London Eye for some sightseeing and giving you plenty of opportunity to take photos for Insta. Then you dock up and they start the movie. We went to watch 'Mean Girls' which was great. You do forget you're on a boat until every now and then, you rock a little, reminding you to look around at the gorgeous lit up city. 


Great experience! 4 stars because we left Tower Pier about 15/20 minutes late but other than that, myself and my cousin both really loved it. I'm still swaying a little this morning! 

tastemaker

I went to see Clueless at Movies on The River and had such a fab time! When we boarded the boat we were given our headphones along with blankets, the blankets really surprised me as I’ve been to outdoor cinema events before where you have to pay to rent a blanket! You can either watch the movie downstairs (handy if it rains) or upstairs which is ideally where you want to be for all the epic views along the Thames. I saw that some people stayed upstairs for a short period before watching the rest of the movie downstairs, so that’s always an option. There was a snack bar on both floors too. I spent around £4 on a big bag of posh popcorn and a bag of sweets, not bad at all. Usually I would advise on bringing your own snacks to the cinema but no need at Movies on the River! The only downside to my experience was the fact the film started pretty late but overall it was an awesome experience, all my friends were jealous. Looking forward to doing this again soon :)

Tastemaker

One of the most awesome experiences of the Summer, this will entitle you to a swift cruise up the river for a different view of London's most iconic landmarks. It's not long enough to bore you, and will grant you those insta-ready shots of the sunset over the city. Dock down to watch a classic movie either on the upper open deck or, if weather is being Londoney, there's the alternative to watch it in the closed off dowsntair's part. Handy bar around, cozy blankets to reach out to. What more could you ask of a lovely Summer evening out?


Absolutely loved Movies on the River. Nice little cruise up and down the Themes taking in all the sights and then getting to watch Clueless with Tower Bridge lit up in the background was amazing, one of the best views in London. Absolutely worth it. Definitely, a must do during the summer before the winter weather ruins all outdoor activities. 

tastemaker

This is another fine example of Timeout London coming up with awesome things to do in the capital.

Movies on a boat, on the Thames, is genius! It starts with a round trip up the river from Tower Bridge- past all the big landmarks- London Eye, Houses of Parliament, The Globe, etc- before docking in perfect view of lit-up Tower Bridge. It’s hard not to just take photos the whole time.

The movie is shown on a pop-up screen on the upper deck and there isn’t a bad view of it. Sound is through wireless headphones.

The projector is on the opposite end of the screen which is a bit of a pain because anyone who gets up needs to duck or the projector gets blocked, meaning everyone else sees a giant shadow on the screen rather than the movie! Having a short-throw projector or rear projection would solve this.

You’re not allowed to bring your own food and drink (although some people do) so I was looking forward to some dinner during the movie- nothing fancy- I just pictured there being hotdogs or nachos-unfortunately though the offering is very basic so our dinner ended up being a big bag of kettle chips and wine instead.

There is a full bar which is good.

Blankets are offered when you get on- it can get chilly in the evening on the water even in the middle of a hot summer.

Watching your favourite flick while enjoying a splendid view- this is a great night out(side)!


Me and my girlfriends went on the Movie Boat to see 'The Greatest Showman' on a gorgeous summers evening and we all absolutely loved it! Nice touch going up and down the Thames to see the London sites, then you pull up to watch the film with a fantastic view of the sunset and Tower Bridge. You wouldn't want the boat to move move when you are actually watching the film as it would be too windy on the Thames. As soon as the sun sets, you are able to see the picture perfectly on the projector, then sit back, put your headphones on and relax with a blanket (thats provided). Theres a bar on the boat so you can enjoy a nice cold glass of wine (or several) and purchase snacks! This would be the perfect date venue as well as something different to do with the girls! Good job Time Out, its great to see something so Unique in London! Would 100% recommend it.

Tastemaker

Strangely we get taken on a cruise up to the London Eye from Tower Pier, turn around back to Tower Bridge and stop to watch the film. At one point - 4th July fireworks went off all around us, but I found it straight that we stayed stationary for the movie itself. The light/picture quality could have been better but it was still a good experience. Thank goodness for the blanket and the headphones... totally needed!

tastemaker

Awesome idea for a warm summer evening - even if the weather would not be as perfect as it was movies at the River is a unique experience. 

The boat leaves from tower hill pier and takes a s short tour which will make you will like a tourists (in a good way) and give you the opportunity to explore some London attractions. After this, the boat docks in the middle of Thames and the movie starts! Everyone gets a blanket and headphones, there is also a bar downstairs where you can get drinks and snacks. It is not cheap and therefore 4 stars but overall a fantastic event! 

tastemaker

I honestly can’t think of a better way to watch your favourite film classic, I saw Clueless. The event is very well organised but I’d advise getting their early so you get the best seats and blankets. Not only do you get to watch a film out on the Thames under the stars, but the boat sails from Tower Pier down towards the London Eye and back again before parking up. Headphones are handed out - that are actually comfortable - so there is no sound issue. This is such a wonderful thing to do for a date or an evening with the girls but this is England so remember to take a jacket. Perfect summer activity!

tastemaker

Aside from the fact that Clueless is one of my all time favourite films, this was a pretty gorgeous way to spend a summer evening.

Cruising down the river with a glass of wine (and a bag of Haribo) as the sun sets, before chucking on a blanket and watching a movie with Tower Bridge twinkling in the background might just be up there with one of the best date nights London has to offer. The individual headphones meant that for once you could enjoy a film without hearing other people chatting, and the skyline backdrop definitely helped make this stand out from all the other outdoor cinema type events that are popping up. 


The only thing I would say is that the bar was definitely not cheap, and it would have been nice if you could bring your own picnic on board, but that's a pretty minor complaint. Oh, and we got there early to make sure we could grab good seats, and judging by some of these reviews I'd say that was a wise decision...

Tastemaker

This is a great summer activity. There are screens above and below deck although I don't imagine below deck is what you're paying £32 a head for.

Normally I would avoid the front seats as much as possible but they were the last ones available when I attended and actually they were probably the best seats as no one interferring with your view and the screen isn't so big that you have to crane your neck.

It's a pricey night out but the views are stunning and it's a lot fun.

tastemaker

In principle, this is a really fun event and a great idea.  The cruise down the river was great and we were lucky with the weather.  The reason for the two stars is that the screen just wasn't high enough and there was no tiered seating so I just couldn't see the film properly.  Also, I felt held hostage a little as the boat docks in the middle of the river until the film has finished so it wasn't even possible to leave even though my view was awful.  Could be a great event, albeit an expensive one, with a couple of tweaks.

tastemaker

This was such a fun thing to do in London especially in this 'scorching' weather as it was nice to cool off a bit on the river. I ended up using the blanket provided as a cushion as the benches weren't the comfiest and rather cold. I guess the seats would be my only minor complaint. The stunning views of London and watching a hilarious movie (Clueless) soon make forget about the slightly uncomfortable seats. I'll defo go again. Titanic would be a fun film to watch on this boat :) 

tastemaker

What a great experience! I went on the Clueless screening which 1) is a fantastic film and 2) was even better on a boat. Upon arrival you're given a blanket and headphones and the headphones were really good quality making the film easy viewing. We went on a short tour down the river towards parliament then back which was really nice and then we docked near Tower pier. This was lovely as you had Tower Bridge behind the screen making an idyllic setting for the film. The one complaint I would have is that the seats weren't the comfiest and it took a little while to leave, but these are minor things and it really was an incredible experience.

Tastemaker

An overall great night out and brilliant experience. Starting with a trip down the Thames, which is even nicer on a summers eve and finishing with the most perfect background to watch a movie. The staff is great and helpful, the City Alpha has a fully stocked bar and had the perfect vibe for Time Out Live. I can't imagine anything nicer than sitting on a top deck, gently being rocked by the waves, a drink in my hand and watching one of my favorite teenage movies.

tastemaker

Wonderful evening! Thoroughly enjoyed being sat on top deck, wine in hand, blanket on laps, watching Clueless - what a great film! The boat docks near Tower Bridge, meaning you have a fantastic backdrop for the film. We were lucky enough to be able to see some fireworks from Greenwich as well, which made it extra magical.


Only thing would say, is that the benches get a bit hard after sitting for hour and a half. So bring a cushion or something to sit on for extra comfort. 


Overall, great experience!

tastemaker

A first in both watching the movie "Clueless" (please don't judge), as well as enjoying the experience of watching said movie on a boat at a lovely summer's evening. 


The spectacular backdrop of the Tower Bridge just added that little bit extra to the trip. Quite good for a date night and would recommend. 


Some minor radio frequency in the wireless headphones contributed to a very slight distraction. 

Needless to say: Make sure to check the weather conditions before going. 


Watching a great film on a lovely summer's evening on the Thames sounds idyllic but unfortunately in reality not the case as we found this weekend.Having struggled to get there courtesy of a signal failure on the tube and having to pay £25 for a black cab from Euston to Towerpier we arrived to find that there were insufficient seats to sit on the top deck, where the large screen was.This resulted in having to sit downstairs watching a screen not much bigger than some TVs at home.Having paid £38 per person this did not represent good value for money.When discussing the lack of seats upstairs we were told that there should be enough seats if there were 4 people sitting on each bench.Having not had our tickets checked not sure how the crew would know how many on board safety issue perhaps?

All in all disappointing experience not worth nearly£80  for 2people.

Only saving grace was the wonderful Greatest Showman film  shame about the rest.





Had an amazing time. They took care of our every need. Danny in particular was responsible and caring. Thank you!

tastemaker

It was rather apt to watch 'The Shape of Water' whilst taking part in 'Movies on the River' - using a blow-up screen and silent disco style headphones, it was glorious to watch a movie on a beautiful summer evening with all the key London landmarks in the background (although on the night we boarded, there were technical problems with the boat engine so remained moored to a nearby dock all evening - although we were right below the Shard and near to Tower Bridge so complaints here). As part of our ticket, we also got a popcorn and a wine included (a quick tip - head to the upstairs bar at the rear of the boat, instead of the one in the main cabin, as the initial queue was lengthy.  If it rains, you can also watch the movie on a second smaller screen downstairs. I think Jaws would be a rather good one to watch, coming up later in the season. 

tastemaker

What a brilliant way to watch a film, with Tower Bridge illuminated in the background! Sure, you don't get to watch the latest cinema releases but this a fantastic way to catch up on that film you missed whilst seeing some London sites from a new perspective. 


The boat was also handily equipped with two bars which limited waiting times. We were given a free drinks token and popcorn with our ticket which was perfect. 


The screen is a very cool popup on the top deck and you're given wireless headphones to make sure you don't hear a word. The only downside was as the screen wasn't raised, if you were near the back you missed any subtitles. There was also a screen showing it on the lower deck so when it got a bit nippy and the blankets weren't quite warm enough we could shelter down below! 


Overall a fantastic experience! 

Tastemaker

What a fantastic experience watching a movie on the boat on the Thames! It felt a bit surreal, but what better way to spend a summer evening cruising down the River, watching a movie.

We saw the Shape of Water and were given vouchers for a drink and some popcorn.

Def recommend for date night and for a night out with friends, we had a blast.

Tastemaker

This was an absolutely top mid-week date night for us. It's always nice to see a film anyway but it can get a bit samey-samey at the cinema. Now that it's getting warmer outside an outdoor film just trumps a regular cinema every time. Even better to be on the top deck of a boat with the Tower bridge illuminated in the background, a blanket over our laps and a cider in hand! We watched the Shape of Water, I had no expectations but luckily we both enjoyed the film as much as the setting. The sound was great because there's headphones provided, along with blankets, and there's a bar downstairs. The only thing I would suggest is to maybe bring a cushion or jacket to sit on, if you want to snuggle up a bit more. 

tastemaker

Watching The Shape Of Water on the Thames was a fantastic experience! The only fault with the event was there happened to be an issue with the boat, so the river cruise portion of the event did not happen (they did offer an alternative date for the cruise though!). Luckily the weather was fantastic and seeing the sunset around the London Bridge area was beautiful. Definitely the perfect event to take a date on!

tastemaker

The first time watching Jaws should be on a boat right? It was for me and was an awesome experience! Admittedly we were incredibly lucky with the weather as it was a beautiful night in London for a sunset river cruise before sitting down to watch Jaws for the very first time. Wearing the headphones and hearing the water moving in your ears and not being sure if it was coming from the film on the fact you were on a boat all added to the experience! Great atmosphere and after being concerned the film might now be quite dated, I actually enjoyed it! Staff were fantastic, so much so we went back to watch Harry Met Sally!