Is there anything better in the British Summertime than going to an outdoor cinema to watch one of your favourites with family and friends?
This event style has become more popular over the last few years, and with good reason. Getting to enjoy some great locations in the UK and your local community, watching classic movies with people you love sounds pretty great to us!
But how do you improve your Outdoor Cinema experience?
Step 1 - Be Prepared
So though an outdoor cinema makes for a fairly low preparation date night or outing, with this being Summer in the UK it is always best to be prepared in case the weather is ... well, typically British.
All venues will have their own rules around what you can and can’t take in with you, so make sure you are clued up on these before you get prepping! But we have a few ideas to get you started.
If your venue is local or you will be travelling on public transport with just a bag, be clever with your packing. Make sure to have a lightweight blanket, a small umbrella, a rain mac, snacks and drinks (or change to buy them at the venue) and then activities to keep you occupied until the film (unless your venue is great like Bath Racecourse, and provide entertainment until the movie is on!). Most places you will also need a seat, so maybe find a camping chair with a bag and carry handle if possible or pack a picnic blanket.
If you are travelling in the car you have a bit more room, so will want to make sure you have chairs for everyone, cosier blankets and some waterproof clothing. You can always leave a comfy hoody in the car for if you have braved the evening and feel the chill on your way back.
Step 2 - Sort Your Snacks
You say cinema, I hear snacks. Cinema snacks are the best type of snacks, and there are so many to pick from! Depending on your choice of venue, you may have to bring your own snacks, or you may have tasty options at where you’re going to. But what is going to hold up well at an outdoor cinema?
Marshmallows - Not only do they provide that camping feel to your outdoor cinema, but they are also fairly weatherproof and will stay intact whether it’s really hot or really cold. You can also add to hot chocolate if it is chilly, or in between chocolate biscuits if it is very warm and they have gone a bit squidgy.
Doughnuts/Waffles - The smell of doughnuts in the summer air definitely make me feel nostalgic for fun fairs in my childhood. And whilst they are a heavy going cinema snack, if you buy them freshly cooked at the venue, the warm dough is just the pick me up you need to keep you toasty throughout. If you decide to take them with you they hold pretty well in a packed picnic!
Hotdogs - Popular in some cinema chains, hotdogs are movie food! This one may rely on your venue having food, or food trucks nearby. But a great way to enjoy a late night supper at the movies.
And lastly - Popcorn - It doesn’t matter if the cinema is indoor or outdoor, popcorn will forever be a favourite. Why not mix it up a bit and add pretzels and chocolate, for a twist on the old classic.
Step 3 - Get Comfy
Arguably one of the best things about an outdoor cinema is the contrast of being out in the fresh air but wrapped up in your cosiest blankets.
In Britain, it is a little harder to be cute and cosy, as once the sun goes in it is genuinely quite cold, especially if there is a bit of breeze! So as well as the cosy blanket that will look great on Instagram, maybe consider a few more things to make sure you can enjoy your movie in comfort.
For example, do you have enough seating for everyone off the ground? Lying out on the grass is great when the sun is shining, but once it’s dark and the movie starts are you going to be comfortable? If you are going to go for the picnic blanket approach, or are not allowed to take chairs to your event, maybe take some camping mats or children's foam floor tiles with you to put under the picnic blanket, for added protection from the cold ground.
And additional items of clothing can never hurt either and can be easily added to your bag. Maybe if you set off in your flip flops for the daytime sunshine, take a pair of socks to keep your toes toasty. Or if it’s looking like the weather is going to its typical thing and rain, keep a rain mac, poncho or weatherproof jacket to hand.
Want to find an outdoor cinema near Bath or Bristol?
Better known for its horse racing, Bath Racecourse is excited to welcome Adventure Cinema to the course at the end of July for a screening of the brilliant Bohemian Rhapsody. Enjoy singing along to your Queen favourites in the beautiful surroundings of Bath.
Written by Lauren Keeling - Arena Racing Company