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The best alfresco cinemas and theatres

As the sun continues to beat down on south west London and Surrey, alfresco pop-up cinemas and theatres are proving popular as we strive for a bit of culture while still enjoying the blissful weather. We’ve put together seven of our local favourites, from charming outdoors parks where you can picnic under the stars and enjoy your favourite blockbuster, to weird and wonderful immersive theatrical experiences.

Pop Up Screens
Offering a mix of both popular cult classics like Thelma & Louise and Dirty Dancing and modern-day blockbusters like La La Land and The Greatest Showman, Pop Up Screens brings your favourite film to an outdoor venue local to you. Kingston’s riverside Canbury Gardens, Bishop’s Park in Fulham, and Parsons Green in Chelsea will all be welcoming keen cinema enthusiasts this summer.

Where is the Nomad
This roaming pop-up cinema has earned a strong reputation as one of London’s favourite, with a variety of screening locations dotted across the capital. The likes of The Goonies, Black Panther, and Some Like It Hot all on the bill this summer, but there is an immersive experience on offer too with a festival atmosphere – this September, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca will be brought to you in the atmospheric surrounds of Brompton Cemetery at night, and The Shape of Water screened in the serene surrounds of Hyde Park Lido.

Fulham Palace
This historic house in the heart of the capital hosts events throughout the year, from history tours to workshops and talks, but the Outdoor Theatre series has been a fantastic addition to the palace’s itinerary this season. Children’s swashbuckling comic opera The Pirates of Penzance comes to Fulham Palace this month, and there will also be a handful of cinema events taking place on the picturesque main lawn throughout August.

The Luna Cinema
From castles to cathedrals, from lake-side venues to picturesque parks, Luna Cinema has been taking over hundreds of the UK’s most spectacular venues to screen some of our favourite classic films. In London and Surrey, our favourites include the dreamy gardens of Hampton Court Palace, the spectacular surrounds of Morden Hall Park, the imposing Guildford Cathedral, and the leafy expanse of Battersea Park.

Morden Hall Park Walled Gardens
Morden Hall Park invites all to spend a summer evening making the most of the sunshine and the enchanting gardens in Morden Hall Park, and enjoy a dose of culture at the same time. The gardens have been hosting various outdoor theatrical events, with Shakespeare’s The Tempest performed by an all-male cast with Elizabethan costumes, as well the child-friendly adventures of The Wind in the Willows which was brought to Morden Hall Park’s charming Rose Garden by the talented team at Sixteenfeet Productions.

Open Bar Theatre
Taking Shakespeare’s best-loved plays to alfresco beer gardens across the UK, this theatre company seeks to balance pleasure with culture, so you can enjoy a cold drink in a sunny setting. Among the pubs participating are Teddington’s The Anglers pub along the river and The Red Lion in Barnes, and the plays in the repertoire include the whimsical story of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing which whisks audiences away to dreamy Sicily.

Silent Summer Screenings
Coming to green spaces and parks across south London, Silent Summer Screenings seeks to bring sing-along musicals, chick flicks and cult classics to an outdoor space near you. Attendees receive headphones on entrance for a top quality surround sound experience, and can make the most of the setting by bringing along a picnic.