London’s best outdoor cinemas to watch films under the sun this summer

What better way to enjoy the sunshine months in the capital than outdoor cinemas and al fresco film screenings (Handout)
What better way to enjoy the sunshine months in the capital than outdoor cinemas and al fresco film screenings (Handout)

Summer is the perfect time for Londoners to get out and about as much as possible.

And what better way to enjoy the sunshine months in the capital than outdoor cinemas and al fresco film screenings.

Whether you’re looking for venues showing golden oldies or new releases, here are the best places to get your film fixes this summer:

Rooftop Film Club

Peckham and Stratford

The self-proclaimed home of outdoor cinemas, the Rooftop Film Club has bases in Peckham and further east in Stratford.

And the good news is that it has a whole host of cult classics for fans to watch this summer. They include 13 Going on 30, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and even the 90s favourite Spice World. Clueless, Top Gun: Maverick and Where the Crawdads Sing are also on the schedule.

Fans can buy love seats for two or a single, with the full line-up of films and ticket information available here.

Lower Marsh Lates... at the Movies


This one is a winner because it is free and provides a real treat for fans of singalong classics once a month.

And, given the location is the name of an Abba song, what else could they kick proceedings off with than Mamma Mia!

On the last Thursday of every month, from May 25 until the end of September there will be a large screen and local bars will serve drinks. Deckchairs will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Films this summer include Hairspray, Grease and Little Shop of Horrors, among others. For all the information on times and what is being screened when, visit here.

The Luna Cinema

Multiple London venues

The ‘UK’s leading open-air cinema’ has something for everyone in a variety of stunning locations. These are Kew Gardens, Dulwich Park, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey, Clapham Common, Marble Hill, Kenwood, Chiswick House, Wandsworth Park, and Wimbledon Park.

The Luna Cinema has a medley of hits on offer, from newer releases such as Everything, Everywhere All at Once, and Maverick: Top Gun, to classics including Grease, Frozen, Moulin Rouge and Some Like It Hot.

The programme starts on June 14 and ends on September 14 and involves bringing your own picnic blankets and seats. There will be stalls and bars supplying you with food and refreshments to enjoy, however.

Book here.

Movie Nights

Canary Wharf

New for 2023 are these free weekly movie nights involving a big screen in Canada Square Park.

The programme kicks off in June with Black Panther and Kinky Boots. There will also be a Family Film Club on select Saturdays with films such as as Encanto, Sing and Paddington available.

This is a bring-your-own event, too, and all spots can be secured on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, visit the website here.

Merchant Square


Another favourite, every year the open-air screen plays popular films. Beginning this year’s programme with a bang, Pixar’s Inside Out will be shown on Thursday, May 18, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (running May 15-21). The screening will begin at 6pm, with the first 100 people turning up receiving a free stress ball.

Mean Girls, The Devil Wears Prada, Legally Blonde and Dodgeball are among the films running on Wednesdays throughout August and on Wednesday, September 6 and 13.

Deckchairs and bean bags are provided on a first-come first-served basis and there is no booking required. You can bring your own picnic blanket, but bringing your own chairs is not allowed.

There is a bar selling nachos, churros, ice cream and the like, as well as cocktails for adults.

Visit here for more information.