My husband and I are great fans of the movies. There is nothing better than spending a couple of hours getting lost in the world of stories, brought to life on screen. We quite enjoy munching on salty popcorn and guzzling fizzy drinks surrounded by movie magic. However, come summer, we aim to take this experience outdoors. After all, who wants to be holed up in a dark cinema when it’s gloriously sunny outside?
The Rooftop Film Club is one of our favourite organisers of open air screenings. They have numerous locations dotted all over London, LA and New York. I recommend pre-booking as much in advance as possible, as popular movies sell out quick. Average ticket prices will set you back by about £15 per person. The booking process is fairly simple and straightforward. You can get more information from their website here.
We attended a showing of Disney’s ‘The Beauty and the Beast’. I hadn’t seen it at the time of its release so thought this would be the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
Our chosen venue was the Bussey Building in Peckham, which hosts a range of creative, musical and entrepreneurial events and initiatives.
The closest station is Peckham Rye. As you exit onto Rye Lane, go right and you spot the directions to the Bussey Building directly opposite Blenheim Grove road. If you were to go left instead, you are heading in the direction of Frank’s Cafe – another popular place for summer rooftop hangouts. You can read all about it in my previous blog post here.
Very soon, you find yourself meandering through a series of narrow alleyways full of amazing graffiti and slightly run down buildings . But this is the charm of this place. Inside these buildings are some of the most artistic and cultural talent we have in London currently.
The Film Club is located on the roof of the Bussey Building, accessible via stairs or lifts. The stairs are a good test of your stamina; no harm in using the lift except you miss out on the amazing art on the walls.
Once you reach the top, you have the Film Club on one side and a small rooftop bar on the other. Nourishment is provided by Rockadollar that serve the most delicious hot dogs. Their Pimped Up Posh Dogs average around £8.
Drinks at the bar are pricey (a pint of Peroni is £6) so I advise going for a bottle of house wine if you wish to linger for longer. Both the bar and food joints take credit cards so you don’t have to dash out to grab cash!
In spite of the prices, it’s still a great place to just chillax under the sun over drinks, street food and conversations. The sunsets and the surrounding views are truly spectacular, especially in the evenings!
The movies start at sun down, which could be anytime between 8:15 pm – 8:30 pm. Your pre-booked ticket gets you a pair of headphones and a blanket each. No matter how summery it is, it does cool off in the evening so I highly recommend taking a blanket, even if you don’t think you will need it. It does get a bit blustery up on the roof and its cosy and warm under the blanket so why not!
The seats are colourful deck chairs, though there are some comfy two seaters at the back as well.
You can bring your food and alcohol in here, but only stuff bought from the bar on the other side or the box office. Popcorn starts at £3.50. Unisex toilets are one floor down and pretty well maintained – no portaloos here!
It is a fairly immersive way to see movies. The quality of the visuals could be better especially if there is lot of light pollution around you. However the sound quality is pretty good! Don’t miss the humorous health and safety announcements at the start of the movie by the RFC crew.
As far as open air movie experiences go, Rooftop Film Club have got it mostly (un)covered. It is an expensive evening compared to your regular picture house if you include food and alcohol (you are not allowed to bring outside food and drinks here). That said, this is not your average movie experience. You are paying for the ambience; watching a movie under the stars is pretty special.
So once in a while, when we are blessed with hot days, I definitely recommend doing this! It’s perfect with a bunch of mates or on a romantic date.
Other similar open air cinema screenings that I recommend checking out are:
N.B. All photos and opinions are mine. This is not a sponsored post.