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Adventure Cinema
Photograph: Adventure CinemaAdventure Cinema at Margam Country Park, Wales

The best outdoor cinemas in the UK for an open air screening

The best places to see starlit movies this summer

Written by
Phil de Semlyen
Henrietta Taylor
Olivia Hall

What could be better on a balmy summer’s night that settling down for a movie under the stars? Rugged up in a deckchair or stretched out on a picnic blanket, there’s little better than an evening of starlit cinema for a few hours of pure al fresco escapism. Cleverly, the people who organise outdoor cinema know this and augment the fun with all sorts of perks and possibilities: sophisticated cocktails, tasty snacks and even full-blown meals are now part and parcel of the outdoor cinema experience.

The UK has an ever-increasing array of them to pick from – depending on where in the country you live.
London, of course, is well catered for, but thanks the like of Luna Cinema and Adventure Cinema, it’s a countrywide phenomenon these days, often taking in the most spectacular locations. Pack a picnic and head for one of these.

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Best outdoor cinemas in the UK

Locations: Surrey, Sussex

Catering for the neighbouring counties of Surrey and Sussex and delivering one or two genuinely unique locales, Cinestock is going the extra mile to entice ‘Top Gun’ stans this summer. A screen at the end of an (operational) Gatwick runway will be beaming out ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ among parked-up Cold War fighter jets. Gatwick Aviation Museum is one of six venues hosting 14 screenings this summer, including ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at Reigate’s elegant Gatton Park and ‘Dirty Dancing’ at East Sussex National Hotel. Expect handmade burgers, woodfired pizzas, hot dogs and freshly made churros to snack on, and DJs and musical acts to stoke up the atmosphere.

Tickets from £15

Locations: Milton Keynes, London 

Pop Up Screens’ pop-up screens are mostly a London-centric deal, with venues all across the capital this summer. But the fun-loving outdoor cinema types are taking ‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘Encanto’ on the road to Campbell Park Amphitheatre, Milton Keynes in September. There’s a bar and concessions at each screening but seating is of the ‘on the grass’ variety, so bring cushions and a rug for a comfier viewing experience.

Tickets: £12.90

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