Open-air cinemas prepare for re-opening

open-air drive in cinema movie screen at sunset


Open-air cinemas are making a comeback from next week with the lifting of pandemic restrictions. Amongst those starting up on the 12th April are the Rooftop Film Club with 3 drive-ins in London and 3 rooftop pop-ups; The Luna drive-ins at stately homes including Blenheim Palace and Harewood House; Southend Outdoor Cinema; Nightflix; and the classic American Drive-In in Edmonton, North London. Others around the country seem set to be showing from dates in May onwards.

drive in movie screen at sunset

The Luna Drive-In Cinema

One of the most popular summer events of 2020, The Luna Drive-In Cinema has confirmed a season of drive-in movie events for 2021.

The events showcase some of the most popular films on giant high-definition screens; for you to enjoy from the comfort of your car. You’ll also be provided with state of the art in-car speaker boxes, so there’s no risk of a flat battery.

The Luna Drive-In Cinema has screenings at Birmingham NEC, Blenheim Palace, Bluewater (Kent), Knebworth House, Goodwood Motor Circuit, Tatton Park and Harewood House. Screenings start from 12th April until 21st June and include a selection of classic films like Back to the FutureGrease and Jurassic Park, to new favourites like Rocketman, Onward and A Star is Born. Visit the website for tickets and a full selection of films and venues.

Also offering drive-in movie experiences from 12th April is the London based Rooftop Film Club. The Drive-In Film Club offers a safe and contact-free cinema experience across London. Screening a selection of handpicked cults, classics, and new releases at Alexandra Palace, Brent Cross and Sandown Park Racecourse.

Running from 12th April until 16th May, Rooftop Film Club also offer special themed events throughout which encourage audiences to dress up and get involved. Including the ’80s Weekender’ at Sandown Park Racecourse (16th – 18th April) and Brent Cross Shopping Centre (30th April – 2nd May); as well as St George’s Day Celebrations at Brent Cross Shopping Centre (23rd April) where a British medley of classics such as Notting HillPaddingtonSpice World and Harry Potter will transport you to your favourite London landmarks.

open-air cinema screen with cars watching a 1980s film

80’s Weekender at Rooftop Film Club

Nightflix‘s drive-in cinemas are open daily all year round (from 12th April) with screenings starting as soon as the sun sets – sites with LED screens will start the movies during daylight hours.

With upcoming new releases that include No Time to Die and Cruella (dates TBC) and classic films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, there’s something to appeal to everyone’s film tastes.

The drive-in cinemas are located in Colchester, Longmoor, London Luton Airport, Milton Keynes, Newark, Stoneleigh Park, with more locations to be announced soon.

open-air drive in cinema with full car park and neon lights surrounding the screen

The Drive-In in Edmonton, North London

Other drive-in cinemas include Southend Outdoor Cinema (running from 12th April until 15th May) located in Rochford, around a five-minute drive from Southend Airport, and The Drive-In in Edmonton, North London, (running from 12th April until 29th May). The Drive-In London has teamed up with Zipcar to offer the option to hire a car for their events if you don’t have a vehicle.

Food and drink options are available across the majority of the drive-in events, with access to a full bar at the Luna Drive-In Cinema as well food options available to order via your mobile phone for click and collect at the Rooftop Film Club, Southend Outdoor Cinema and Nightflix.

Ticket prices vary between organisations, with venues selling tickets per car and prices ranging from £19.99 (The Drive-In London) to £37.50 (The Luna Drive-In Cinema).

open-air cinema screen on grass with deckchairs with castle in the background

Adventure Cinema event in 2019

For those without a vehicle, venues and companies across the UK are offering traditional open-air cinema events for this summer.

The company behind The Luna Drive-In Experience offers an open-air cinema experience, The Luna Cinema. In 2019 the events were held in 62 open-air venues across the UK, including places such as Warwick Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Cardiff Castle and Kensington Palace. At the moment, there is no start date for these showings, but The Luna Cinema has stated that a 2021 season is coming soon. You can sign up to hear the latest news here.

Marlborough College in Wiltshire

The Lost Cinema – Marlborough College, Wiltshire

The Lost Cinema open-air cinemas return to venues across the UK starting from 9th July at Marlborough College. Other venues include Charlecote Park, Berkeley Castle, St Michaels Park, Stowe National Trust, Salisbury Cathedral, Westonbirt School and Buscot Park. The cinema boasts an 8-meter wide screen and a high-quality sound system, as well as the option to upgrade your ticket to a seated option for more comfort.

With one of the largest selections of films and located at over 100 venues across the UK, Adventure Cinema is one of the UK’s biggest touring open-air cinemas. The season starts on 1st May at Cosmeston Lakes in Penarth and runs until late September, visiting Bristol, Blackpool, Cardiff, Carlisle and many more. Playing family favourites like Dirty Dancing, Grease, The Lion King, The Greatest Showman and Pulp Fiction.

With indoor cinemas unlikely to open before 17th May, open-air cinemas are a fantastic way to enjoy your favourite films in iconic spots across the UK, in a safe and socially distanced setting.

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