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.
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.
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.