Lights, camera, outdoor cinema action
Pass the popcorn, top up the Pimms and pitch up for an al fresco film night. Follow the usher this way, for the best pop up cinemas in Berks…
Pop up cinemas are poppity popping up everywhere. These days you don’t simply go to the cinema, sink into your sofa and spontaneously play a DVD or dare I say it with rural wifi ‘stream’. British Summer film nights need to play roulette with the weather – it’s al fresco all the way. But it works. It really works. I love settling into a deckchair, watching a film I’ve watched a million times, Pimms in hand, popcorn in the other. Who’s joining me?
THE SWAN AT STREATLEY, STREATLEY
If the Royal Wedding has got you in the mood for a night of binge drinking in your best frock, while busting your best moves to Come On Eileen, get yourself down to The Swan At Streatley. They’re hosting an outdoor cinema night for all those NFI to Harry and Meghan’s ‘I dos’. Bridesmaids on the big screen, river views, a full bar and some top street food. It’s the perfect antidote to the Big Fat Berkshire Royal Wedding. The faux reception (aka food and drink) starts at 6pm. Films starts at 9.15pm.
DOUAI PAVILLION, WOOLHAMPTON
Ah Ryan Gosling, you gorgeous specimen of man. Sorry, he stars in La La Land with Emma Stone. Yes it’s a musical of the old school variety, yes it is romantic and if you haven’t seen this Oscar winning hit of 2016/2017, where have you been? Now’s your chance. Go, just for Ryan. He’s, I mean it’s, magic. Birch Events are hosting at the idyllic Douai Pavilion in Woolhampton – £15 ticket price includes a deckchair. There’s a full bar, hog roast, burgers, hot dogs, candy floss, popcorn, ice creams. doors open at 5pm for a 7pm viewing. Fab night out with family and friends.
NEWBURY RACECOURSE, NEWBURY
PVC thigh high boots never looked so good. Ah the romance of prostitution and the mega rich. It’s Cinderella, if she’d spent a few months in a crack house. But you can’t beat Julia Robert and Richard Gere in this classic rom-com. Embrace the nostalgia fest at Newbury Racecourse. You can also see Christopher Nolan’s Oscar winning Dunkirk, Thu 7 June and book in for this year’s hit flick with the kids and you can hear THAT soundtrack again and again at the screening of, The Greatest Showman, Sat 9 June.
LILLIBROOKE MANOR, COX GREEN, MAIDENHEAD
Your glass of Pimms may have to be replaced with a something a little less alchoholic (dammit) for this after school screening of the family fave Paddington 2, but an afternoon spent in the stunning Great Barn at Lillibrooke Manor, kids’ tea and entertainment sorted. You’ll be winning at life, right there. Doors open at 4pm, film starts at 4.30pm, then straight to bed. *Pours wine at 7.17pm*. Tickets: adults £8.80; kids, £5.50; family tickets from £16.50. Not your bag? It’s only freaking 40 years since it was released (dear god!) Grease Sing A Long, Wed 20 June, 8pm; Victoria & Abdul, Thu 21 June, 12.30pm and The Greatest Showman, Thu 21 June, 8pm.
WELLINGTON COUNTRY PARK, RISELEY
I think I am the only person on the planet not to have seen The Greatest Showman. If you want a soundtrack free zone, head to my house. But if you and your kids want to see this all singing all dancing Hugh Jackman-Zac Efron musical fest just one more time, then head to Wellington Country Park, near Reading. You’ll be able to sing your heart out in the meadow, Pimms, popcorn and all the showbiz feels of a good night out. Doors open 7.30pm. Film starts 9.30pm.
COBBS FARM, HUNGERFORD
Remember life before iPads? Oh, do we really need to go back to those dark days? Yes we do. Kids were footloose and fancy free up to mischief, adventure and initiations. Sounds good, when you can fit it in. But it’s worth reminding ourselves of what it’s all about and enjoy Chunk’s truffle shuffle one more time. It’s a classic, must-watch rite of passage and The Goonis is being shown at Cobbs Farm Open Air Cinema night. Doors open 7pm. Don;t put your ra-ra sort away, there’s also Top Gun, Sat 16 June and Dirty Dancing, Sat 28 July.
BEALE PARK, PANGBOURNE
Nobody puts Baby in the corner, so loosen your hips, carry a watermelon and get loaded on Martinis – it’s Dirty Dancing! I think we’ve all watched this film a gazillion times and it does not get old. Innocent Baby, naughty Johnny and a first time sexual experience that would never happen in real life. Grab the girls, and get yourself down to Beale Park in Pangbourne. It never gets old. Doors open 8pm and you can bring a picnic blanket or chair (or book the FROW) and enjoy.
ABBEY RUINS, READING
I feel the need, the need for speed! Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards and Meg Ryan star in this 1986 classic. Great soundtrack, gratuitous volleyball scene. Hmmm. Don’t deny yourself a night with Mav and Goose – they’ve got that loving feeling. Tickets from £15.35. If Tom before he had his teeth done and discovered scientology, you can also see the darkly funny Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Wed 20 June; 80s leather clad hotties in Lost Boys, Thu 21 June and of course The Greatest Showman, Fri 22 June – all at the newly reopened and rather magnificent Abbey Ruins in Reading.
CAVERSHAM COURT GARDENS, CAVERSHAM
Merman meets mute maid, it’s a modern love story-fantasy flick that scooped up not one but four Oscars. There’s nothing fishy about this movie – well, apart form the amphibious man kept in a secret government facility, director Guillermo del Toro’s film is a clever and affectionate update of the classic monster movie. It all gets quite hot and heavy, and you may even leave having saucy thoughts (not ones that come with chips) for a fish. Not your bag? Perfect date night viewing with a screening of the all time classic Goodfellas, Thu 26 July; there’s Richard Curtis floppy haired, rom com action in Notting Hill, Fri 27 July; Gary Oldman’s Oscar winning performance as Churchill in Darkest Hour, Sat 28, July, or book in to see the loveable fur ball in Paddington 2, Fri 17 Aug.
ASCOT RACECOURSE, ASCOT
Dunkirk, Thu 19 July
Love a man in the uniform? Then you’re in for a treat – Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and Cillian Murphy; plus the ‘old enough to their mothers’ lust list Harry Styles, Tom Glynn-Carney and James D’Arcy. Christopher Nolan’s epic WWII drama Dunkirk needs to be seen on the big screen to appreciate the scale of this film as it retells the allied evacuation of occupied France. Rather see something lighter than a Ryvita cracker there’s Bridesmaids, Fri 20 July for laughs and The Greatest Showman, Sat 21 July for a sing a long..
Shaw House, Newbury
Eighties poster boys strip to the waist and spray on the leather trousers for The Lost Boys. These boys were plastered over many teen girls’ walls and exercise books. New romantics meets vampires, it’s a worth at trip down memory lane. Alternatively, you can see box office smash The Greatest Showman, Fri 3 Aug.
STUBBINGS NURSERY, MAIDENHEAD
It won Gary Oldman his first ever Oscar for Best Actor, so it’s well worth seeing. Rather than being a dusty old biopic, this is more high-octane political thriller in the form of House of Cards as Winston Churchill negotiates Britain’s inglorious retreat from Europe with a cabal of MPs trying to bring the prime minister down. It’s all got a whiff of Brexit about it. Don;t let that put you off. If this whiskey chaser of a film doesn’t appeal, head for the cheese board: Pretty Woman, Fri 4 Aug.