Being the extremely disorganised group of friends that we are, we didn’t manage to get tickets to any films showing at Somerset House this summer. For the unaware, Somerset House show films in a massive open air cinema every summer in collaboration with Film 4. I’ve never been, but it looks like a beautiful location to watch cult classics surrounded by lots of like minded people. Unfortunately, the tickets can sell out very quickly.
Then we heard about Pop Up Screens. They’ve been setting up in different parks across London every weekend and will be until the 21st September. There’s been a huge selection of films shown so far and some pretty cool ones coming up too. Pulp Fiction anyone? The tickets are cheaper than Somerset House at £8, which isn’t that far off a normal cinema ticket nowadays.
We went on Saturday night to watch The Goonies. Living in Southampton, it can sometimes be expensive to travel into London but South West Trains have been running a promotion for £15 returns anywhere on the network on the weekends in August. From Waterloo we had to do a fair few tube changes to make it down to Parsons Green, but it was still only in zone 2.
The park itself was only about a ten minute walk from the tube station, which was great as we were laden down with many beers. The organisers have no problem with you bringing your own picnic but there are also food stands and a bar selling drinks at a reasonablish price – £4 for a pint or large glass of wine.
The park as a location obviously cannot even come close to Somerset house. It was just a bit of grass really. The atmosphere was really friendly and sociable though, with families and birthday groups hanging out alongside one another. It was a little reminiscent of last year’s Olympics with everyone settling in to watch the big screens on their picnic blankets. In true British fashion, everyone braved their way through the rain with our free ponchos and minimal moaning. There were some big laughs, a few choruses of “hey you guys” and everyone cheered once the credits were rolling. The Goonies is a pretty great film to watch with a large group of people.
For a slightly different take on your usual cinema trip, I would definitely recommend Pop Up Screens. I couldn’t help but think it would make a great date night, there’s plenty of time before the film for a romantic picnic and some good chat. We just need them to come to Southampton now!