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Pop-up cinemas + Popcorn

The best open air cinemas in our 'hood this summer. Just add popcorn, a hot date and that all-important brolly.

Three of my favourite unholy activities – watching movies, lounging outside and getting tipsy – are currently combining in one delicious bundle with a steady stream of outdoor cinema nights in Warwickshire and across the West Midlands.


Luna Cinema, Warwick Castle, Sept 12 – 14

Am I the only person on the planet not to have seen The Greatest Showman? If you want a soundtrack free zone, head to my house but if you and your kids want to see this all singing all dancing Hugh Jackman-Zac Efron musical fest just one more time, head to Warwick Castle on Sept 12. You can sing your heart out in the grounds of one of England’s oldest castles on the banks of the River Avon. Also on offer are the 1990 comedy rom-com Pretty Woman on Sept 13 and the boy wizard is making an appearance in atmospheric Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Sept 14. The Luna Bar will be serving Estrella beer, prosecco, wines, spirits and soft drinks.


Cult Screen, Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, Sept 13 – 15
Let’s hope the hot weather holds up for the first of six nights of films under the stars! You’ll be able to catch a youthful Kiefer Sutherland in cult vampire film The Lost Boys (15) on American Independence Day, Wed July 4, The Greatest Showman (PG) on Thurs July 5 and Dirty Dancing (12A) on Fri July 6. Book on a bean bag or deckchair on the Main Lawn of the historic gardens and tropical glasshouses. In late summer there’s Jean Reno as a hired hitman in Leon (18) on Thurs Sept 13, Pretty Woman (15) on Fri Sept 14 and Darkest Hour (PG) on Sat Sept 15.
Cinema & Streetfood, The Archway, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham

Birmingham newest and quirkiest permanent outdoor event space has opened just in time for summer taking over an archway in Digbeth’s historic Custard Factory, with a licensed bar and street food vendors. Films include Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Italian Job, Baby Driver, Dunkirk, Moulin Rouge! and The Little Mermaid. For the full-line-up see here.

Sundown Cinema, mac, Cannon Hill Park, Aug 8, 11, 26 & Sept 1

Sundown Cinema returns with 4 quirky classics: Michael Jackson’s 1980’s movie Moonwalker (PG) on Aug 8, Pitch Perfect (12A) on August 11, Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif in the classic Funny Girl (U) loosely based on the true story of Broadway film star/comedienne Fanny Brice on Aug 26 and ending with 1980’s teenage coming-of-age movie Pretty in Pink, starring Molly Ringwald, on Sept 1. Expect a full evening of entertainment with themed cocktails and menu’s, music and even competitions. Calling all Funny Girls and one time Aca-awkward teens join us, for a party under the stars…



Cult Screens, Castle Quarter and The Natural History Museum & Pitt Rivers, Oxford, from Aug 21

Old Prison Yard Oxford

The Natural History Museum & Pitt Rivers team up for Jaws on 21 Aug (er, a good idea surrounded by skeletons and stuffed animals?), Coco on 22, Top Gun on 23 and The Greatest Showman on 24 Aug. Over to the Castle Quarter prison yard on 26 Sept for The Shape of Water, Notting Hill on 27, The Shawshank Redemption (how apt) on 28 and Paddington 2 (also apt – didn’t you love the prison scenes?) on 29 Sept. Thinking blankets by this point but if we’re lucky, Mother Nature will pull an Indian Summer out of her hat.


Somerset House, London, Aug 9 – 22 

If you can make it into London, head for the popular Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House. Featuring a mixture of premiers, old classics and recent hits, the venue’s fountain courtyard is a corker of a setting on a balmy summers evening in the capital. Running from Aug 9 – 22, highlights include the opening night premiere of The Wife introduced by Glen Close, Call Me By My Name on Aug 20 and Selma on Aug 21.


Summer by the River, London Bridge City, London, until Sept 2

The largest outdoor festival in London running from June 1 to September 2, with outdoor film, theatre, sporting events, food, drinks and entertainment. Outdoor cinema will take place every Tuesday night starting on June 5 with The Greatest Showman and ending on Aug 28 with one my favourite family films Into the Woods.


Nomad Cinema, various locations London

This roaming pop-up cinema experience tours London and beyond with screenings ranging from Bladerunner: The Final Cut in Queens Park to The Bride of Frankenstein in Brompton Cemetery, above (proper spooky!)…100% of distributable profits are donated to nominated charity, The Sustainability Institute.


Luna Cinema at Blenheim Palace and Waddesdon Manor

greatest showman hugh jackman

Over at Blenheim Palace the boy wizard is making another appearance in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on 10 Aug, The Greatest Showman on Aug 11 and, fittingly as the birthplace of Churchill, The Darkest Hour on 12 Aug. Luna Cinema is also at Waddesdon Manor in August but the two screenings of The Greatest Showman have already sold out (wow, some people are so organised!). Tickets are still available for Happy Potter & the Chamber of Secrets on 25 Aug.


Neighbourhood Cinema, Chiltern Open Air Museum, from Wed Aug 22

This August, Chiltern Open Air Museum will be venturing into pop-up cinema territory for the first time ever. Teaming up with Neighbourhood Cinema, the popular family attraction is dipping its toe in the water with four dates including La La Land Weds 22 Aug, Back to the Future Thurs 23, Gladiator Fri 24 and Grease Sat 25. You’re not allowed to bring a picnic (boo!) but there will be a bar and BBQ (yay!) so don’t forget a blanket.




Cult Screens, Coventry Cathedral Ruins, July 18 – 21
You couldn’t get a more historically significant setting to watch Gary Oldman’s Oscar-winning turn as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour than the bombed out remains of Coventry Cathedral on July 19 – destroyed in the Blitz.
On July 18 he can watch the fighter planes while you ogle a young Tom Cruise in his pretty aviators in Top Gun. Then book in for this year’s hit flick with the kids and you can hear THAT soundtrack again and again at the screening of The Greatest Showman, on two consecutive nights, July 20 & 21.
Summer Nights, Baddesley Clinton, July 26 – 28

Courtesy of Disney Movies

In the secluded parkland of this moated 15th Century National Trust Manor House you can see Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the family-friendly live action version of Beauty and the Beast (PG) on July 26 and Kevin Bacon’s toe-tapping teen in 1984 film, Footloose on Sat July 28. Top Gun on July 27 has already sold out.

BrindleyPlace Film Festival 2018, Birmingham, July 16 – 22
This popular free outdoor festival is now in its seventh year, and this year held with the Royal Society for Blind Children. This year’s line-up of nine films opens with La La Land on Mon July 16. It is followed by classic black-and-white wartime romance, Casablanca (Tue July 17); Back to the Future (Wed July 18), Rocky Horror Picture Show, (Thur July 19), Black Panther (Fri July 20), Mary Poppins (Sat July 21), The Greatest Showman (Sat July 21), Coco (Sat July 22) and Grease (Sun July 22).

Luna Cinema, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, July 27 – 28

Fancy picnicking in the glorious gardens of this magnificent stately home set in the rolling hills of the Derbyshire Peak District and home of the Dukes of Devonshire while singing along to The Greatest Showman on July 27? Then there’s Dirty Dancing on Jul 28. They will be shown in the Salisbury Lawns, with the backdrop of The Cascade Waterfall.

Sundown Cinema, Hanbury Hall and Gardens, Worcs, Fri July 6 & Sat July 7

The stunning Oscar-winning musical La La Land, on Fri July 6, and Four Weddings and a Funeral will both be shown before the sun sets against the backdrop of this beautiful National Trust country house, 8 – 10pm.

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