The idea of a cinema date fills me with dread be it an actual date or just with friends. I would much rather kick back in front of my TV and save the expense of paying to sit in a dark room (and the usual dinner/drinks that precede it) for special occasions. That being said I do love the idea of a unique and memorable date, something which I’m sure Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House was designed for.
The only thing I can compare this to is a giant sleepover. Whilst there is strict security on the doors, you can bring virtually whatever you can carry (except bottles, chairs, and any other obstructive furniture). This makes for an oddly charming atmosphere of wine in plastic Evian bottles and couples snuggled under piles of blankets and cushions.
Obviously the British Summer can throw a few curveballs weather-wise so be prepared to be rained on and for the temperature to drop. Luckily for us the dry weather held, but I can only emphasise enough the need for a sleeping bag to keep warm!
Just like a conventional cinema, you may be restricted for space. With 2,000 people attending the showings be prepared to to sit picnic rug to picnic rug. However despite an evening sat on cobbles it is far comfier than sitting in the 1m2 space you find in an Odeon.
Which brings me to price. I snapped up 2 tickets to the Jaws & Deliverance showing for £22.90 each inc. booking fee. The last time I checked ticket prices for my local Odeon they were approximately £15 so it’s not a bad deal even if the second film isn’t your cup of tea.
The rest of the cost is up to you. Depending on how flush you’re feeling you can pick up a pre-prepared picnic basket with your tickets for an extra £55 and of course there are refreshments available on site. Wiser audience members brought Pizza Express takeaway with them, or I opted for the very budget version and a trip to Sainsburys. All told we spent around £15 on snacks and drinks but that did include some pricey pick ‘n mix (a must for the cinema!) and beers.
Screenings end on the 23rd August, so if you’re in immediate need of date night plans you can thank me later! All the information can be found on the Somerset House website. Finally if I haven’t given you enough notice, don’t worry as plenty of other open air cinemas are available across London throughout the summer.
£22.90 per ticket for Jaws & Deliverance (prices vary per film)
£7.50 each on snacks
£5.60 Return Tube Fair from Zone 3
Total – £36.00