The coolest outdoor cinemas in the world revealed, from a screen set amid the ruins of a cathedral to a cliff-side venue in Greece voted the most beautiful
- Barcelona has one of Europe’s biggest outdoor screens at the famous Montjuic, a hill overlooking the harbour
- The courtyard of Somerset House in London has the ‘wow-factor’ and this year films include Black Panther
- Santorini’s outdoor venue at Kamari, which is near the island’s cliffs, has been voted one of the most beautiful
Seeing a film under the stars is becoming a firm summer holiday favourite – but you need to act fast if you want to get a ticket.
Organisers say box-office records were broken at dozens of locations across Europe last year and predict just as much demand this summer.
Many of the most iconic venues start offering tickets later this month, and organisers expect to sell out within weeks. Here’s a rundown of where to go, what to see and when to book.
Seen on screen: Barcelona has one of Europe’s biggest outdoor screens at Montjuic (above)
Follow in the footsteps of Marlene Dietrich and Quentin Tarantino and see a film under the stars in the Swiss town of Locarno. During an 11-day festival in August, about 8,000 fans a night pack into the Piazza Grande for sunset screenings. Tickets go on sale on May 20 at locarnofestival.ch.
Barcelona has one of Europe’s next biggest outdoor screens at Montjuic, a prominent hill overlooking the harbour. Get tickets (and order an ‘eco-picnic’ and one of 700 loungers) at salamontjuic.org. Films are shown in English and range from Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert to Goodfellas.
For a more intimate experience, head to Europe’s holiday islands. At Amante in Ibiza (amanteibiza.com), you can hear waves lap during the opening credits as you lie on a giant beanbag, sip a glass of chilled cava and munch unlimited popcorn at Tuesday night screenings. They start in June with Martin Scorsese’s gangland thriller The Departed.
Alternatively, try the Greek island of Santorini, where the screen near the cliffs at Kamari has been voted one of the most beautiful outdoor venues in the world.
This year’s film list will be revealed next weekend at santorinicinema.com.
Santorini’s outdoor venue at Kamari near the cliffs has been voted one of the most beautiful
On Gran Canaria, the Moonlight Cinema (moonlightcinema.es) promises extra comfort (leather sofas) and service (pizzas and drinks delivered to your seat).
You also stand more chance of getting a ticket as it is one of Europe’s few all-year outdoor screens. Current offerings include Shazam! and Pet Sematary.
Only in America
Los Angeles has some of America’s last remaining drive-in movie theatres, although you will need to head to eastern suburbs such as Montclair to find them.
For something completely different, check in to the Garland Hotel in north Hollywood and try a ‘dive-in movie’ by the pool at sunset. Guests sit in the shallows or float on lilos as classics from The Wizard Of Oz to Back To The Future are played (thegarland.com).
Best of British:
Big-screen drama: Somerset House, where Black Panther starring Florence Kasumba (left) will be shown this year
Few screens look as atmospheric as the one set amid the ruins of Coventry Cathedral, where this year’s season starts in July with A Star Is Born.
The company behind the event also erects outdoor screens at Bristol Zoo and Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Booking has just opened at summerscreens.co.uk.
For films at other iconic venues, including Chatsworth House and Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens, visit Luna Cinema (thelunacinema.com).
In London, expect the wow factor in the courtyard of Somerset House. This year’s films range from Black Panther to Clueless and tickets go on sale on May 22 at somersethouse.org.uk.
If you can’t wait that long, rooftop screenings start tomorrow on the top of London’s Queen of Hoxton pub (with a singalong version of Grease). Book deckchairs now at rooftopfilmclub.com.