Kew the movies
There is nothing quite like watching some of the most atmospheric movies ever made in the stunning surrounds of Surrey. Henry Turner gives his pick of the best outdoor cinema spots this summer
Swapping a cramped seat in a stuffy cinema for a night under the stars is a practice gaining traction amongst many filmgoers, with Surrey being no exception.
Reclining and spread apart on deckchairs, audiences are open to the elements, come rain or shine, while taking in cinematic classics.
With several prominent local sites hosting outdoor screenings throughout August, the opportunity is there to sample the unique experience that is outdoor cinema whilst this summer weather lasts.
Hampton Court Palace promises to absorb us into the timeless classic Casablanca. September brings tales of triumph over adversity with blockbusters 12 Years a Slave and Captain Phillips.
Aug 9: Dirty Dancing
Aug 10: Casablanca
Doors open 7pm, performance starts 8.30pm, tickets: £16.50 Children (5-15): £12.50
Sep 12: 12 Years a Slave
Sep 13: Captain Phillips
Doors open 6.30pm, performance starts 7.45pm, tickets: £16.50 Children (5-15): £12.50
Hosting its own event, Kew the Movies, Kew Gardens brings some Shakespearian class with the acclaimed 1996 interpretation Romeo + Juliet. Gravity is a modern hit in which Sandra Bullock and George Clooney desperately attempt to return to Earth after the destruction of their space shuttle. Finally, needing no introduction, Tom Cruise takes us all down the highway to the danger zone in the 1986 classic Top Gun.
Sep 4: Romeo + Juliet
Sep 5: Gravity
Sep 6: Top Gun
Doors open 6.30pm, performance starts at 8pm, tickets: £16.50, children (5-15): £13.50
At Ascot Racecourse, cinemagoers can watch their favourite archaeologist pursue the myth of the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark, laugh with Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot and admire John Travolta’s slicked-back hairstyle in Grease.
Jul 31: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Aug 1: Some Like it Hot
Aug 2: Dirty Dancing
Doors open 7.15pm, performance starts 8.45pm, tickets: £15, children (5-15): £10
Amidst a beautiful landscape sculpted by Capability Brown, Merstham’s Gatton Park invites us to sample some rock ‘n’ roll flair in 1987’s Dirty Dancing
Sep 19: Dirty Dancing
Doors open 6pm, performance starts 7.30pm, tickets: £13.50, children (5-15): £9
No stranger to family fun, Chessington World of Adventures looks to entertain the kids with the hilarious Lego Movie and Disney’s sensational Frozen
Oct 4: The Lego Movie
Oct 5: Frozen
Opening times and prices TBA
Fresh to the scene and showing classic titles at Banstead’s Zinnia Gardens is new-starter Graffiti Cinemas, offering the classic ‘80s hit comedy Ghostbusters, Pixar’s debut feature film Toy Story and Spielberg’s classic thriller Jaws.
Sep 12: Ghostbusters
Sep 13: Toy Story
Sep 14: Jaws
The performance starts between 7.30-8pm, tickets: £12.50, children (5-15): £7.50
Morden Hall Park in Mitchan is Pop Up Screens’ closest London site, with an inventory of films such as the bemusing Rocky Horror Picture Show, camp and kitsch Mamma Mia and slapstick comedy The Hangover
Aug 22: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Aug 23: Romeo + Juliet
Aug 24: Mamma Mia
Aug 25: The Hangover
Doors open 7pm, performance starts 8pm, tickets: £10
With so many sites running from the end of July through to October there’s bound to be something on near you.