12th April 2019
Open-air cinema has been around for almost as long as standard cinemas themselves. The Lumière brothers are widely seen as being the first to produce cinematographic motion pictures in 1895. Less than 20 years later, the first outdoor cinemas cropped up in Australia. Established in 1916, Australia’s Sun Pictures holds the accolade of the World’s Oldest Outdoor Picture Garden. The outdoor cinema trend continued through the ages, with the drive-in cinema boom starting in the USA in the 1930s and subsequently being transported across the world.
In the last decade, open-air cinema has experienced something of a resurgence, and with London’s vast green spaces and history-filled locales, our great city has been leading the way. Between late spring and early autumn, open-air film screenings can be found in green spaces and outside historical buildings in almost every neighbourhood in London.
A key reason for this comes down to technology. In the first instance, technological innovation means outdoor screens are higher tech with ever-improving picture quality, meaning changing factors such as sunlight have less impact on the audience’s viewing pleasure.
However, it’s also the prevalence of technology in our everyday lives that is making Londoners seek a sense of community when watching a film. Mobile phones, tablets, live streaming and internet television makes watching films an often insular experience in this day and age. Yet there’s nothing quite like watching a film with a crowd of people and becoming part of something together for a while.
Instead of a trend that has come and gone, that might explain why open-air cinema is going from strength-to-strength. Britain’s largest outdoor cinema provider, Luna Cinema, even says that ticket sales have trebled over the last years.
Here are some of the best open-air cinema showings coming up in London:
London’s outdoor cinema events tend to have a selection of street food and popcorn to make the cinema experience complete. Or order one of our picnic hampers at The Athenaeum for some indulgent treats perfect for enjoying at the movies al fresco.
Soak up the feeling of being in the great outdoors in the heart of London this summer and autumn!
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