Outdoor Cinema in August in the UK – What Could Possibly go Wrong?

Sometimes what seems like a bad idea becomes inspired after the event and other times, well, let’s just say putting on an open air cinema in August in the UK is a brave thing to do.

Originally we had intended to visit the Cult Screens open air cinema in Reading last year, however, for various reasons this didn’t happen. When we saw that this year they were showing La La Land, a Thompson favourite, we decided to try again.

I’d been watching the weather all week and the forecast suggested that we might be lucky and avoid a soaking. On the day though the rain was heavy and I swear at one point there was snow coming down for one brief moment. Anyway, as the allotted hour approached the skies were dark but it was at least dry so we set off.

When you booked you had three seating options: bean bag, deckchair or bring your own (and consequently sit at the back). We elected for a bean bag which was more bag than bean but perfectly adequate.  Unsurprisingly these were allocated on a first come, first served basis but the view seemed pretty good no matter where you were.

A change from last year was that you are now able to bring in your own food which plenty had done and we too wished we had. This is what I had which was fine but I wished that there were a few more options.

Of course, the most important thing is the film. By eight thirty it was reasonably dark and the film started – no lengthy ads or previews of forthcoming features here. The screen itself was what appeared to be an inflatable with a white frontage – perfectly adequate given the surroundings and sound was pretty strong too.

On some balmy summers evening  I’m sure that this would have been a pleasant experience but there was a cold wind that was blowing from across the Thames. Lying down on the bean bag helped present a low profile to the wind but I was also grateful for the blanket we had plus a wooly hat… In August!

And if you don’t believe me here’s a picture taken on the night with me not looking at the camera for some reason.

We had a good evening but in future I think that we would make a late booking when we could be more certain about the weather and we’d also take along our own food but it was certainly a different experience to your usual trip to the Vue or Showcase.