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Barbican Outdoor Cinema
Photograph: Anton Rodriguez

Outdoor cinema in London

The best places to see open-air movies in the capital this summer

Written by
Time Out Film
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At Time Out we’re big fans of cosying up in our favourite London cinemas and entering a whole new world through the power of projection. But, when the sun’s out and the weather’s at its summery best, hiding away in a dark, stuffy room isn’t the most appealing option. Thank god then, for outdoor cinemas letting us get our film fix under the stars and with a sweet summer breeze in our hair.

London is home to some brilliant alfresco movie spots, which will be popping up all over the city in 2022, everywhere from docks and parks to rooftops and manicured gardens. 

There’s something for everyone, from Rooftop Film Club’s 360-degree views at Peckham’s Bussey Building to screens by big historic houses. Basically, if there’s space for a screen, someone is putting one up – and we’re here for it. Welcome to the summer of the big-screen extravaganza.

Recommended: the best cinemas in London

Outdoor cinema in summer 2022

Iconic concert film ‘Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii’, Japanese production ‘Mothra’, Studio Ghibli’s stunning fantasy ‘Princess Mononoke’ and French animator René Laloux’s ‘La Planète Sauvage’, offer a diverse range of highlights for the Barbican’s beautiful outdoor screen. Positioned among the stunning Brutalist surrounds of the Sculpture Court there’ll be plenty of atmosphere, even beyond the screen.

Screenings run Aug 23-28. Tickets start at £18 and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Headphones are provided to ensure a zoned-in movie experience.

After the success of its inaugural alfresco putting last year, Beckenham Place Park’s ‘Sunset Screening Sessions’ are back for a second round of eclectic programming. Unlike many outdoor cinema programmes, the line-up is genuinely interesting, with a diverse range of Brit flicks on offer, from golden oldies, like Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 classic ‘Modern Times’, cult titles, such as ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ and ‘Withnail and I’, as well as a welcome smattering of family favourites like ‘Labyrinth’. 

Screenings run from Jul 15 - Aug 20. General admission comes in at £16.80.

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This alfresco staple has been going for over a decade now, but its pull shows no sign of waning. Back in two venues, Roof East, Stratford and Peckham’s Bussey Building, it’s got another cargo of crowd-pleasing films to soak in under the stars. Expect new releases like ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘Good Luck To You, Leo Grande’ as well as evergreen favourites like ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’, all served with a side order of wood-fired pizza, gourmet burgers and cocktails delivered direct to your deckchair. 

Tickets start at £16.95. 

If an outdoor cinema isn’t exciting enough for you how about one on a floating pontoon? Bob upon the Thames while watching top flicks at Floating Film Festival, an outdoor cinema experience at St Katharine Docks. Catch highly-rated newer releases like ‘Belfast’ and ‘King Richard’ to outdoor cinema faves like ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Mamma Mia’.

Screenings run from Jul 12-24. Tickets start at £16. 

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Never one for sloppy standards, Luna’s picked some of the most illustrious venues in the capital for its alfresco screens. Its 13 London locations include sites as resplendent as Kenwood House, the Old Royal Naval College, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey and Kew Gardens. When you’re not being dazzled by your surroundings, focus on cinematic classics, like ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Pretty Woman’ and newer releases like ‘West Side Story’ and ‘King Richard’.

Screenings run Jun 26 - Sep 4. Tickets start at £18. 

This roving alfresco cinema will be roadshowing across the UK this summer. In its capacious boot? Films, and plenty of them. This year the cinema nomads will be paying special attention to the 50th anniversary of pop titans ABBA and the 75th birthday of British music icon Elton John, so settle down to watch ‘Mamma Mia!’, ‘Rocket Man’ and other family faves in the shadow of a 17th century Jacobean mansion or among the sweeping grass verges and ancient woodland of Lewisham’s largest green space.

Screenings run Jun 24-26 at Charlton House & Gardens, Jul 1-3 at Osterley Park 7 House, and Aug 19-21 at Beckenham Place Park. Tickets start at £14.50. 

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There’s masses on offer from Pop Up Screens, who return this summer for nearly three month's worth of outdoor cinema. While you can expect favourites like ‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘A Star is Born’, ‘Grease’ and ‘Jurassic Park’, Pop Up Screens are also showing cult favourites like ‘The Craft’, ‘The Goonies’ and ‘Ghostbusters’ and more. The screenings vary in location, with Pop Up Screens dropping by Coram’s Fields, Bishops Park in Fulham, North Greenwich, Hillyfields in Brockley, Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith, Guildhall in the City of London, Manor House Gardens in Hither Green, and Kennington Park in Oval.

Screenings run from Jul 22 - Sep 18. Tickets are on sale now for a reasonable £10.

What’s better than lounging around on Granary Square’s summertime grassy steps? Lounging on them in front of a huge screen playing all your favourite films, that’s what. Everyman is whacking up its giant screen along the canal again with ‘Dune’, ‘Spider Man: No Way Home’, ‘Belfast’, ‘King Richard’, ‘Matilda’ and a sing-along screening of ‘Encarto’ all on the bill. Screenings are free, but we’re predicting you’ll need sharp elbows to bag a seat. 

Screenings run from Jun 27 - Aug 20. Rock up and watch for free. 

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