5 outdoor cinema screenings to catch in London before the summer's out
Summer ain't over 'til it's over
It’s almost time to wave goodbye to one of the best things about summer: watching a film somewhere stunning as the sun goes down. But it’s not time at the bar just yet. Give it one last throw of the dice with a screening of something fantastic and a perfect food or drink pairing to go with it.
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1. Black Panther
Bussey Building, Sunday September 16
Another superhero movie that “is like, more than just a superhero movie”. Epic fight sequences, frenetic car chases, witty quips – the hallmarks of Marvel are all there, but the story of Wakanda ruler T’Challa fighting to save his kingdom from the bloodthirsty visions of his lonely, embittered nemesis makes for one helluva watch.
And beforehand: Get yerself a platter at BYO Kurdish spot Yadas, hidden under a railway arch round the corner. The décor’s a little rough around the edges, but in a lovable kinda way.
2. The Shape of Water
Hyde Park Lido, Friday, September 14
It’s an idea central to the world’s most iconic romances – Gone With The Wind, Romeo and Juliet, You, Me and Dupree – that against the odds, love will find a way. Guillermo del Toro pushes this message to its logical conclusion with this Cold War-era tale of a lonely cleaner who falls for an amphibious creature from the Amazon. Wistful? Check. Immersive? Check. Beautiful? Youuu betcha!
And beforehand: Swing by swanky High St Ken spot Zuaya for a cocktail. The DJ will spin something agreeably groovy while you sup Negronis, and there’s an Amazonian theme that’ll sync up nicely with your watery escapade.
3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Alexandra Palace, Saturday, September 15
Frances McDormand delivers a gut-punch turn as a grieving mother fighting small-town bureaucracy to gain justice for her murdered daughter. Some of the shifts in tone are shockingly jarring, but a wild emotional journey is guaranteed. Ain’t no one getting out of this one unmoved.
And beforehand: Get your beef shin fix at The Black Hamburg from Kerb in Hornsey Town Hall, then join the Parkland Walk from Crouch End Hill and stroll to Ally Pally. Stop for a sharpener at The Starting Gate before settling into your cinema seat.
4. Blade Runner 2049
Battersea Park, Wednesday September 19
Nothing like some cyberpunk dystopia on a Wednesday night. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Deckard from the 1982 original, now holding the key to the truth sought by K (Ryan Gosling), a blade runner straying from his original detective-assassin work to solve a Very Important Mystery.
And beforehand: Drop into No. 29 Power Station West for a selection of light small plates that’ll fill you up without the threat of film-ruining meat sweats.
5. Donnie Darko
Coram’s Fields, Friday September 21
Other than perhaps Blue Velvet, Donnie Darko is the exploration of teenagerdom’s uncomfortable relationship with suburban America. The complex plot is like a Final Destination flick with added grey matter, as Jake Gyllenhaal’s Donnie follows the instructions of a hallucinatory demonic rabbit-man he believes saved his life.
And beforehand: Whether it’s a quick scoop before the film begins or a very intellectual deconstruction of the mise-en-scène afterwards, The Lady Ottoline is a short walk away with an excellent Malbec.