Five alternative cinema experiences

If there’s one thing London does well, it’s an alternative spin on your everyday experience. Cynics may call it a ‘gimmick’ but for many it’s one of the reasons we either came to live here or enjoy visiting often. The cinema is definitely one everyday activity you can find several different ways of experiencing in London. A lot of them favour the warmer weather which means you’ll find more options popping up over the next few weeks.

Whilst I’m feeling optimistic about a summer I thought I’d round up five of my favourites.


1. Bea’s at Bloomsbury Classic Movie night – Every two weeks Bea hosts a screening of a classic under the arches of their ‘Maltby Street’ venue. £5 per person to watch the film and they have a pretty tasty menu on offer. Deep fried brownie and Anchorman anyone? So wrong but so right?

2. The Floating Cinema – In 2011 the project offered film screenings on board its narrowboat and alongside canal bank sides. The website doesn’t give too much away about the plans for this year but if it’s a similar deal, and we actually skip spring this year right into a blazing summer, this could make a great picnic!

3. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre – A small auditorium and a classic on a big screen, surrounded by tall trees and twinkly lights, it’s almost like stepping into a secret garden party. I grabbed a ticket to see Alice in Wonderland here a few years back. Whilst there was a bit of rain and it got chilly towards the end, it was a great experience!

4. Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House – Classic or blockbuster films projected within one of London’s prettiest courtyards. It’s a well-known and well advertised event in the city’s social calendar. I’ve wanted to go every year since I’ve been in London but to date I haven’t spotted a film that takes my fancy. Fingers crossed there’s a good line up this year! (Tickets go on sale around May.)

5. Your local pub – There’s a growing trend emerging amongst savvy local pubs now offering free film viewings and popcorn. Over Easter I watched Skyfall with some friends at The Grove in Balham. Large screen, relaxed atmosphere, free popcorn and the option of a drink and pub food. I was surprised how easy it was to watch a film in a pub environment! The only issue can be noisy drinkers out the back, so if you don’t like disturbance this isn’t for you.

Have you enjoyed an alternative cinema experience?