Outdoor cinema in London

The best places to see open-air movies in the capital this summer
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London’s notorious temperamental and unexpected weather doesn’t necessarily conjure images of people luxuriating on a warm evening enjoying outdoor cinema. Usually, even in the summer months, we’re battered with rain and wind, making any sort of outside activity from festivals to fêtes an umbrella-essential excursion.

When we are gifted with some good weather over the summer, it’s worth taking full advantage off. And on a balmy London evening, nothing beats watching a movie under the stars. Whether you want to shriek-along to ‘The Shining’ in a graveyard or catch a romcom in a gorgeous Royal Park or palace, add outdoor cinema to your fair-weather bucket list.

Recommended: London and UK cinema listings, film reviews and exclusive interviews

Outdoor cinema in summer 2018

Movies on the River

Forget Paris’s famous Bateaux Mouches, because if you want the ultimate river-boat experience you only need to travel as far as Tower Pier. From mid-June to early September, Time Out’s Movies on the River cruise departs with a full cargo of cinematic treats, from 'Dunkirk' to 'Dirty Dancing'. All aboard!

Where Tower Pier 

When June 13 to September 8

Summer highlights 'Jaws', 'Top Gun', 'Shape of Water', 'Dunkirk', 'Casablanca', 'Ghostbusters' and 'Pretty Woman'

Rooftop Film Club, Bussey Building, Peckham

Watch a film in the clouds on top of the Bussey Building in Peckham with a 360° panoramic view over the city

Where Peckham 

When May until September

Summer highlights 'Black Panther', 'Beast', 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and 'Grease'

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Luna Cinema

The beauty of Luna Cinema is walking into a Royal Park or some other date-perfect location with a picnic just as everyone else is leaving.

Where Venues across London, including Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey and Hampton Court

When April to October

Summer highlights 'Top Gun' at the RAF Museum, 'Shaun of the Dead' on Tooting Common, ‘Dunkirk’ in Greenwich Park and 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' at Westminster Abbey

Film

The Nomad

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With its laidback vibe The Nomad is one of London favourite outdoor cinemas, popping up in venues across the city.

Where Various London venues, including The Allianz Stadium, Paddington Street Gardens and Festival Gardens, St Paul's Cathedral

When May to August

Summer highlights 'Moana', 'Some Like it Hot' and 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'

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Camden Rooftop Cinema Club

Lounge under a pergola among hanging plants at Fest Camden Roof Gardens' new outdoor cinema screen, which will be paying homage to the best of British cinema. They have a bar, wood fired pizzas and loads of space to set yourself for the evening. 

Where Camden
When 23 July to 21 August
Summer highlights 'Keven & Perry Go Large', 'Four Lions', 'Trainspotting'

Film

Film4 Summer Screen

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Until the Queen hosts, say, a 'Terminator' marathon in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace, this remains the classiest outdoor screening venue around. Bring a blanket and a cushion or two, and revel in the tasty food and magnificent surroundings.

Where Covent Garden 

When August

Summer highlights 'Inception', 'Labyrinth', 'Call Me By Your Name' and 'Blue Velvet' 

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Rooftop Film Club, Roof East, Stratford

Directors’ chairs, wireless headphones and blankets – the Rooftop Film Club have perfected the art of outdoor cinema

Where Stratford

When May to late summer

Summer highlights ‘Black Panther', 'Mean Girls', 'The Death of Stalin'

Film

Rooftop Film Club: Queen of Hoxton

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The Rooftop Film Club’s HQ on top of the Queen of Hoxton pub in Shoreditch screens a mix of ’80s faves, recent gems and cult classics

Where Shoreditch 

When May to September

Summer highlights 'Con Air', 'The Princess Bride', 'The Big Lebowski' and 'The Death of Stalin'

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Diana Jarvis
Film

Summer by the River

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Catch a few free movies during a two-month riverside fiesta of food, summery drinks and good vibes.

Where London Bridge City 

When July and August

Summer highlights 'Grease', 'Moana', 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Film

Pop Up Screens

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Pop Up Screens does exactly what it says on the tin, showing great movies in a variety of cool locales. Chances are your favourite film will be one of them.

Where Shoreditch 

When July to September

Summer highlights 'Logan', 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off', 'Get Out', 'Dirty Dancing'

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