Why I’m leaving outdoors cinema out in the cold

drivethrough cinema

I want to love the idea of outdoor screenings, really I do. Oh the joyous time I’ll have, sipping a cocktail from a marmalade jar as I watch a classic unfold on to a massive blanket on a barge. Only the twinkling of the moon and maybe the shuffle of someone’s wasabi popcorn can momentarily interrupt the enjoyment of my alfresco viewing right? Wrong.

This is England and I’m young enough to get excited by the idea of boozy social gatherings, but I’m old enough to know that the UK will never share the same climes as California or anywhere else where drive-in movies are actually a good idea. In reality, it’s an expensive way to get hypothermia and sitting in your mum’s Golf doesn’t quite size up to a Chevvy.

It was like going to a pet shop that had just been looted after a tsunami.

My first, and possibly last, outdoors screening was at Somerset House to watch Shawshank Redemption. The idea sounded dreadfully romantic, but it soon became simply dreadful as I sat on the cold stone floor shivering though the last hour willing it to end. I’d basically just paid a premium to watch a film in the street and forget what my backside felt like.

Slightly off topic, but the same goes for the London Zoo Lates.  I went with a partner to skulk around the coves of London’s notorious big pet pit and hop around a lawn once  tipsy enough to partake in the silent disco while clutching a £10 chicken wrap. Again, the objective was romance.  Alas, it poured with rain, had lines as long as the dole que on a Monday and it doesn’t take David Attenborough to tell you that most furry folk don’t like getting wet. And this isn’t Dalston – these animals tend to go to bed when it gets dark. It was like going to a pet shop that had just been looted after a tsunami.

A cold wet monkey.

A cold wet monkey.

I mention Zoo Lates as I found myself getting excited at the sight of The Life Of Pi screenings in London Zoo. I actually scolded myself for not thinking of this idea myself for work. I quickly consoled myself with my previous dreary memory and smirked at the thought of a bunch of people getting grass stains and cramp as Pi became BBFs with his tiger.

The drive-ins, the roof-tops, zoos and canal-side screenings are the epitome of the saying ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’. I love the idea of alternative cinema and fully support the idea of experimenting with the experience, I just don’t want to catch flu or re-mortgage my house as a result.

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