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The Luna Cinema
Photograph: Robert Smael

Watch ‘Downton Abbey’ in the grounds of an actual castle this summer

Outdoor cinema is returning to London – and you don’t need a car


Summer is the time of year when outdoor cinema normally comes into its own in London – usually with a blanket and a bottle of prosecco to hand. And, despite all the turmoil of lockdown and the new strictures of social distancing, it may still be. The Luna Cinema has just announced a 47-venue run of outdoor screenings taking place from July 21 to October 3.

The Luna Cinema’s USP is its locations, the grandest and greenest spots imaginable for alfresco movie watching. London has 14 to pick from: Westminster Abbey, Wimbledon Park, Battersea Park, Brockwell Lido, Chiswick House, Dulwich Park, Fulham Palace, Kensington Palace, Kenwood House, Regent’s Park, Victoria Tower Gardens, Tooting Common, Wandsworth Park and Old Royal Naval College.

Movie-wise, it’s all the usual suspects: ‘Grease’, ‘Dirty Dancing’, ‘Romeo + Juliet’, ‘Jaws’, ‘Notting Hill’, and a bunch of other crowdpleasers. There are recent releases too, like ‘1917’, ‘Judy’, ‘Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker‎’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’. And if you feel like venturing out of London to take in a castle – we’re looking at you, Dominic Cummings – ‘Downton Abbey’ at Leeds Castle has a certain ring to it.

Health and safety measures are, needless to say, part of the deal. The Luna Cinema will be implementing social distancing at venues where it’s possible to do so, and reducing capacities where it isn’t.

The tickets range from £16 to £25.50, with concessions for disabled customers and carers. The most expensive tickets secure you a director’s chair (though sadly not a loudhailer or clapperboard). Book on the official site.

Covering all modes of transport, The Luna Cinema also has a drive-in cinema season coming this summer. Head here for all the details.

Drive-in cinemas in London: where to join the socially distanced cinema trend

Picturehouse and Cineworld cinemas will be reopening on July 10.

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