After months of film days indoors with the kids, it's a nice change for your little ones to experience some of their most-loved movies in less familiar surroundings.
From striking stately homes to quaint countryside settings, several venues across the country are offering a schedule of al fresco flicks in the form of drive-in and open-air cinemas – each one organised with social distancing in mind. We’ve rounded up some of the best spots in the UK we think you and your family will love.
And as the weather is beginning to warm up, we've also included open air cinemas for a fun outdoor film experience for the whole family to enjoy.
The Luna Drive In Cinema feels like a blast from the past. Park up at one of their amazing venues and enjoy cinematic sound quality through a personal wireless sound solution and high-definition screens. There’s something on the schedule to suit even the fussiest little film critics – from classics like Romeo and Juliet, The Blues Brothers and Jaws, to family favourites like The Little Mermaid, Jurassic Park and Mary Poppins.
What’s more, food and drink orders are delivered by staff on roller skates and scooters contact-free, so there’s no need to even have to think about the stress of getting the little ones out of your car if you don’t want to. Tuck into oven-baked pizza, fresh popcorn, lemon butter shortbread and more!
The 2021 venue line-up includes:
• Goodwood Motor Circuit
• Birmingham NEC
• Blenheim Palace
• Bluewater, Kent
• Tatton Park, Manchester
• Harewood House, Leeds
• Knebworth House
Prices start from £29.50 to £35 for a standard parking space, to £39.50 to £45 for a spot in the front three rows. Both options include two occupants, and there’s an extra charge for additional passengers. Find out more and book your tickets here.
Sunset Cinema is an all American inspired vintage drive-in movie experience. Set at Twyford Avenue Sports Ground in West London, the line-up features some of the best feel good flicks, rom-coms and family favourites most film fans have seen – or at least of heard of. Think modern classics like Mamma Mia, Grease, 1917, Star Wars, Mrs Doubtfire and more.
All cars are parked two metres apart and tickets will be scanned through car windows. Sit back and relax with a selection of all-American menu of burgers, popcorn, shakes and cocktails will be served to you in your vehicle.
Prices start from £30 per car. Showings run until September 20. Find out more and book your tickets here.
Set in the heart of the West Sussex countryside, amongst 160 acres of stunning park land, Cinestock events at the South of England Showground are the largest in the country. Arena One technically takes place indoors within a weather-proof warehouse (so even the British weather can’t dampen any spirits).
For the authentic outdoors experience, Arena Two is set outside and is able to accommodate 200 cars. You can even bring along your own chairs, with each vehicle being allocated a small space (5mx2m) next to it for you to sit or stand.
As well as movies, the venue boasts a line-up of drive-in comedy and music shows, too. Enjoy a varied selection of films, from new releases to blockbuster and the firm classics that we all love. There screening schedule is constantly be added to, with a film for everyone.
Prices start from £25 per car, including two passengers. Plus £5 per additional passenger. Find out more and book your tickets here.
Watch movies projected onto a 40-foot screen at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace. At Rooftop Film Club, you’ll be assigned a parking spot (audio will be broadcasted through the FM transmitter radio in your vehicle). Bring your own food or order treats online to be dropped off outside your door, including hot dogs, popcorn, chocolate and drinks.
As for the films, there’s a whole host of classics to choose from, such as Back to the Future and Grease, as well as family favourites like Toy Story, ET and Jurassic Park.
Prices start from £27.50 and you can have as many passengers in your car as you want. NHS staff can go for free, with 20 tickets set aside for frontline workers during every screening. Rooftop Film Club is also donating the proceeds from one screening every month to anti-racism charities. Find out more and book your tickets here.
Best open air cinemas
The Star and Mouse isn’t any ordinary drive-in, and it may be one for date night rather than taking the whole family. This boutique cinema will be popping up in various beauty spots around the UK so be sure to notice it cruising into your town in style. Expect DJ sets, car bingo, quizzes, live music and other pre-film entertainment before your movie starts at sundown. Choose from a full house of 80’s classics as well as some newer blockbuster hits that you may have on your must-see-list. Retro fans should hold out until October when they can see a screening of the Hollywood classic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, under the stars.
Prices from £25 for the car (for two passengers). Upgrade to bronze, silver or gold and you can enjoy extras like food, drinks or front row seating. Find out more and book your tickets here.
Summer Screens has been leading the way in open air cinema since 2011, bringing their unique events to some of the country’s most beautiful and unusual locations. This year, the cinema has evolved and reinvented itself to offer something unique, a fully socially distanced cinema under the stars. Choose from double deckchairs for two, deckchairs for groups of three, and gazebos with deckchairs for group of four or six – all including a complimentary drink. Highlights include The Greatest Showman, Romeo + Juliet and Pretty Woman. Choose from various venues across the country, including:
• Basing House Walled Garden, Basingstoke
• Shaw House, Newbury
• University Museums, Oxford
• Caversham Court, Reading
• Birmingham Botanical Gardens
• Rugby School
• Royal Victoria Park, Southampton
• Avington Park, Winchester
Prices start from £14.50 adults, £10.50 children. Find out more information and book your tickets here.
Grab a deckchair and gather your family – your favourite summer cinema under the stars await. Situated at Chester Cathedral’s beautiful Dean’s Field, there’s plenty of room for everyone to safely distance and enjoy a great view at Moonlight Flicks – thanks to the 30ft cinema screen. Showings are taking place every Wednesday – Saturday evening (and occasional Tuesdays) throughout August, with start times dependent on sunset. Check the website to see screening times and dates.
Prices start from £14 adults, £9 children. Find out more and book your tickets here.
In addition to their drive-in screenings, The Luna Cinema operate open-air cinema experiences too. Only this time, the set up will look a little different, with number of pitches pre-laid out for groups of two-to-four with chairs set up ready. Visitors will still be able to enjoy state of the art cinema, with a combination of full HD projectors, giant inflatable screens and high-quality cinema audio.
Prices start from £35 for two people. Find out more and book your tickets here.