One might think that pop-up cinema is a relatively new invention, though the opposite is the case. In fact, they were invented in Berlin during World War I – just twenty years after the invention of cinematography itself. Today, you can find cinema pop ups dotted all across the country, in a wide variety of styles and settings to choose from. So, whether you’re looking for a fun day out with some friends, or just to kick back and relax, there’s a myriad of choice here. From the Rivoli pop up cinema and its exquisite decor, to Floating Film Festival’s unique approach to the art form, we round up the best experiences that the UK has to offer.
The Luna Cinema
When it comes to cinema, Luna Cinema really knows how organise pop up events to up the game. Showings tend to be a mixture of Hollywood blockbusters and feel-good classics – so there’s a little something for everybody here. Luna pop up cinema hosts at over 40 unique and scenic locations across the UK, so nobody misses out. In the summertime, lie back in the great outdoors, soak up the sun, and sip on a nice cold one. Stand out locations inclue Warick Castle, Regents Park, and Chiswick House and Gardens. With great food, prosecco flowing, and vibrant energy, you’ll have yourself the perfect summer’s afternoon out. But if you thought that pop up events were only for fair weather – you’d be wrong. For the colder months, we recommend checking out the website for various dates for drive in cinema experiences. Perfect for anybody who’s looking to avoid the shops during the holiday season, catching an outdoor cinema event is a great way to switch things up a little. Warm up with a hot chocolate or mulled wine served directly through your car window – what could be more perfect?
Another one of our favourite cinema pop ups is Crofton Park Pictures. Combining great movies with incredible architecture, this place is located in the stunning Rivoli ballroom. Undoubtedly captivating and incredibly unique, this spot is the only intact ballroom remaining in London, and retains much of its original character. It is famed for its spectacular decor, including red velvet, flock wallpaper, glitter balls, and oversized chandeliers. And whilst there’s a lot to see here, the pop up movies are still the star of the show. Past screenings include popular features, such as The Seven Year Itch, Romeo and Juliet, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and more. Showings happen around three times a month – so be sure to check the online schedule for upcoming events so that you don’t miss out! The venue also puts on exciting theme nights. We’re talking Christmas festivities, discos, jive parties, and more. Sophisticated, classic, and unique – what more could you want?
Floating Film Festival
If you’re looking for something a little different to your usual pop up cinema, look no further! Drawing in the crowds since its very inception in 1990, the event features a fun twist on drive in movies – where movie lovers join together to watch firm favourites on a massive screen whilst gently bobbing along on the marina. The event runs from mid to late July throughout the summertime at St. Katherine’s Docks in Tower Hill. Once a working dock, the 200-year-old warehouse buildings now overlook the marina populated with yachts and tantalising waterside dining terraces. Audiences should expect a great mix of vintage runs and fresh releases to suit all tastes. In the wintertime, you can also catch festive flicks with booze, seasonal treats, and fairy lights. We’re sad to say that this one is solely London-based, so those who want to go must travel to join in on all of the fun!
Vision Cinema have loads of screens that pop up all across the country throughout the year. With a more immersive spin on the outdoor cinema experience, the company’s summertime events are sure to put a smile on anybody’s face. The events are instantly recognisable from the sea of blowup chairs, stretching across vast open green spaces. We love the idea of combining nature with cinema – what could be more relaxing than that? Vision also hosts seasonal outdoor cinema events during the wintertime – think totally scream-worthy Halloween movies, and long-lived Christmas classics. It couldn’t get much better than that.
Open Air Film and Chill
Great cinema and wonderful British terrain – we couldn’t think of a better match! The sun dropping beneath the horizon, wonderful scenery, and fantastic atmosphere. Quite thankfully, Open Air Film and Chill has been gracious enough to bring open air cinema to locations all across the UK. Catch tickets for their events in Brighton, Wales, or Warwick. Other picturesque locations inclue Shrewsbury and Gloucester. Audience members should bring their own seating and blankets – especially for catching a screening under the stars. The programming leans towards crowd-pleasers.
If Rivoli took your fancy, then Adventure Cinema would be well worth looking into. Formed in 2019, Adventure Cinema has quickly become known for its pop up movies hosted in stunning country estates and venerable medieval castles. VIP deckchairs are available to book upon entry, though we prefer the idea of bringing our own camping chairs and picnic for a more authentic experience. Offering up a delightful cultural juxtaposition and extraordinary architecture, Adventure Cinema ranks way up high on our list of indoor pop up cinema experiences. Quite luckily, the company hosts over 200 screenings around the country, so their exciting events are available for all.
Pop up cinema has come a long way since its inception, and the results are phenomenal – that’s why we do what we do. From combining art with architecture with Adventure Cinema, to celebrating the great outdoors with Open Air Film and Chill, there’s a world of choice for all cinephiles. If you’re looking to up the game for your next party or event, connect with us on Instagram or Facebook. With CinemaHire, the world is a stage!