Drive in movies may have gone out with sock hops and Beatlemania, but open air cinema is still a winner no matter where you are, especially when there’s popcorn involved and you’re relaxing in a sold-out screening of your favourite film.
London is the place to be if you want a great choice of venues and films, though, so whether you’re snuggling up with a significant other or on a date, or with family and friends of all ages, there’s a film and a place for you.
The Rooftop Cinema
Rooftop Cinema is based in London, New York and Los Angeles—all the big hitters in the world of film apart from Bollywood. They’ve got venues all across London, including the Roof Gardens near Park Grand Kensington Hotel, and show all kinds of films—Grease and Withnail and I for the people who want some nostalgia as they curl up on the loveseats with their partner. Expect a free drink and bottomless popcorn, as well as more recent hits like Hidden Figures, Jackie, and La La Land for those who are looking to relax in the Rooftop’s provided deckchairs and take in a show.
Tickets are normally released about a month in advance, and what better way than to spend that month than planning coordinating outfits with friends and booking a room to share at the Park Grand Kensington Hotel for afterwards?
The Luna Cinema
If Rooftop Cinema has several venues, then The Luna aims to outdo them in grandeur. They’ve wangled access to legendary venues like the Alexandra Palace (the Ally Pally, as it’s affectionately known), grand old Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace—near to Park Grand Kensington Hotel. Their choice of films is no less comprehensive than Rooftop Cinema’s, featuring classics like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, the comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the romance of Notting Hill, and on occasion they’ll even pick a series and ask which film the audience wants to see.
So if you managed to miss the sixth Harry Potter film but saw every other one twice, get down to your closest Luna screening and make sure your voice is heard! It might be worth bringing a group of friends along with you too in order to give your request more weight.
Pop Up Screen
Pop Up Screen is full of modern classics to see with a big group of friends. Whether you’re after Mean Girls, the Great Gatsby, Notting Hill, Dirty Dancing, or Jurassic Park, now’s the chance to book. If you’re staying at Park Grand Kensington Hotel, the closest venues to you are Fulham and Hammersmith, where you can catch a show with friends and even be gifted with a free poncho in case it should happen to rain. That’ll only make the evening more memorable, as what’s better than being with friends and making the best of a funny situation, with a film that’s being put on for you?