London’s open air cinemas and theatres

Take advantage of the warmer months ahead and check out these outdoor film screenings and theatre performances.

Open Air Cinemas

Film lovers, rejoice! Now you can make the most of the long days and nice weather without having to sacrifice your favourite pastime. There’s something magical about sitting under the stars with a group of friends, watching a good movie, and various venues across London offer enough screenings to keep you occupied all summer.

Rooftop film club at the Queen of Hoxton

Last year’s Rooftop Film Club was such a success, it’s returning this year with a range of new releases, classic and cult movies shown in ultra-hip Shoreditch.   It’s not free, but your £12 gets you wireless headphones, comfy chairs, access to drinks and bar food, and a spectacular setting surrounded by The City’s skyline.  Plus, it’s just a short journey by tube from Camden borough.
Dates: 1st to 30th May
The Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, Shoreditch
Tube: Old Street Station

Royal opera House BP Big Screens

If you’re looking to soak up some culture with your outdoor cinematic experience, you’re in for a treat.  The Royal Opera House is screening three of their biggest productions live on a huge screen in Trafalgar Square.  Macmillan’s Mayerling performed by the Royal Ballet screens on Thursday 13th June, Puccini’s La rondine will be performed by the Royal Opera on Thursday 11th July, and the trio rounds out with another Puccini classic, Tosca on Thursday 18th July. It’s free, but best get there early to ensure a good view.
Dates: 13th June, 11th & 18th July
Trafalgar Square
Tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square, Embankment, Picadilly Circus

Other outdoor cinema events include Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House in August, The More London Free Film Festival at The Scoop next to City Hall in September, and Kew the Movies at Kew Gardens in September.

Open Air Theatre

You’ll no doubt have read about the famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (hint, it’s definitely in your guidebook) which runs plays from April to October, and with tickets for as little as £5, it’s definitely worth a visit.  But if you’ve been to London before or are looking for a different outdoor theatre experience away from the hordes of tourists, you can’t go wrong with the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park.

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Located conveniently close to Camden in Regent’s Park, this open air theatre has long had a reputation as one of London’s most intimate venues – this despite being one of the largest with 1,240 seats.  It’s known both for its convivial atmosphere and for its impressive programme of performances which encompass everything from Shakespeare to musicals to family suitable productions.

This year’s productions are:

To Kill a Mockingbird – 16th may – 15th June
Pride and Prejudice – 20th June – 20th July
The Winter’s Tale – 29th June – 20th July
The Sound of Music – 25th July – 07th September

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