Open air cinema in Greenwich Park and Peninsula (and South East London)

While I haven’t heard of any open air cinema screenings taking place in Blackheath or Lewisham there are a few taking place in Greenwich.

Greenwich

Greenwich Park with Luna Cinema

  • Blade Runner 2049 (Fri 13 July)
  • Pretty Woman (Sat 14 July)
  • Dunkirk (Sun 15 July)

Greenwich Peninsula with Pop Up Screens

  • Baby Driver (Fri 17 August)
  • Bridesmaids (Sat 18 August)
  • La La Land (Sun 19 August)

Ruskin Park, Camberwell / Denmark Hill

Denmark Hill rail station is a 15 minute direct train journey from Blackheath (Victoria Line), you can also change at London Bridge. It’s one stop after Peckham Rye.

Denmark Hill with Pop Up Screens

  • Get Out (Fri 27 July)
  • Grease (Sat 28 July)
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Sun 29 July)

Peckham Rye

The Rooftop Film Club is showing lots of films all summer on top of the Bussey Building in Peckham. The building is a three minute walk (*see note below – the return walk may be longer) from Peckham Rye, which is itself only 13 minutes from Blackheath station on the Victoria trains. Or change at London Bridge.

Films in July include at the Bussey Building with Rooftop Film Club – Black Panther, Romeo + Juliet, Deadpool, A Quiet Place, Pretty Woman, Spirited Away, Dirty Dancing, Spice World The Movie, The Greatest Showman, La La Land, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Cape Fear, Lady Bird, Top Gun, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Avengers: Infinity War, Vertigo, I, Tonya, 2001: A Space Odyssey – but check the listings periodically as they add new films (for example they’ve not listed their August films yet).

Lee

Technically it’s slightly closer to Hither Green rail station than to Lee‘s station but it’s also a short walk from a 202 bus stop (Stop ID: 58365, aka Stop F) just by the Sainsbury’s and the 53 bus also stops nearby.

Manor Park Gardens, Lee / Hither Green with Pop Up Screens

  • The Jungle Book (Fri 24 Aug)
  • Dirty Dancing (Sat 25 Aug)
  • Ghostbusters (1984) (Sun 26 Aug)

Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival

In the second week of September the CWFFF springs into action and some of the films screened will be in the open air. I’m on the organising team and will be screening The Dish at Charlton House as an open-air screening on Friday 14th September. It’ a free screening so no tickets 🙂

Other free open air screenings

Summer By The River at The Scoop (between City Hall and HMS Belfast and near to London Bridge Station and Tower Bridge (the bridge, the station’s on the opposite side of the river) at More London.

  • Wimbledon live coverage (3 – 15 July)
  • Grease (Tue 17 July)
  • Moana (Tue 24 July)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (Tue 31 July)
  • Beauty and the Beast (Tue 7 Aug)
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Tue 14 Aug)
  • The BFG (Tue 21 Aug)
  • Into the Woods (Tue 28 Aug)

Tudor Barn in Eltham also has some low cost open-air screenings (£3.50 plus booking fee)

All known open air screenings in London

All the open air cinema screening organisations listed, and many others, are showing other films all across London and a pretty complete list is here:
Open Air Cinema Screenings 2018

Note – Bussey Building

*Don’t forget that the last direct weekday trains from Peckham Rye to Blackheath are 23:48 and 00:22 from Platform 4 and you might need to allow a bit longer to walk back to the station as they close off the main cut-through back to the station. I discovered this last year after a lovely screening of Pride and Prejudice there (with a fun Q&A with Joe Wright the director beforehand) which has a run time of 2h 15 and began at 21.45 (they had to wait until sunset first of all and then had the Q&A before the film). I’d allowed 10 mins to get back to the station and had quite the sense of humour failure when someone tried to redirect me to follow a different, longer route in an opposite direction, risking losing the train – fortunately I won that argument, they opened the barrier for me and I got the last train home.

I probably wouldn’t go back to Bussey House by myself for this reason – it’s fine with friends but when I’m visiting as a solo female film-goer then wandering around unfamiliar bits of Peckham by myself late at night and missing trains isn’t something I really want to risk and they don’t warn you about this beforehand, so… no.

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The 1900 House (TV prog from 1999/2000) was set in Charlton & Blackheath Standard

The other day, while doing some housework, I remembered the hardworking and brilliant ‘maid of all work’ in a television programme I saw years ago when I first moved to Blackheath, called The 1900 House. I’ve discovered that the whole programme is available to watch again and spent yesterday watching it on my day off while rain and thunderstorms raged outside. The programme was filmed in 1999 and moved a modern family into a house as it would have been in 1900, to create a living history documentary to see how they found the experience of being Victorian. Tough as it happens, but they enjoyed a great deal of it, as did the audience.

There’s a lovely bit a few weeks in where Joyce (the mum) is reflecting on a point at which she’d had enough and just wanted to ‘put on her hat and walk out’. That sounds a very Victorian way of expressing it – no-one really wears everyday hats these days – so it seemed like she was certainly in the right mindset. They all stuck it out. The maid, who was a cleaner in real life and whose mother and grandmother had been too, wasn’t in the programme for very long but there were scenes of her visiting a library to discover more about the very hard life of working class Victorian women who might work for 15 hours a day every day. They didn’t have much time (or resources to fall back on if they lost their job) to campaign for votes for women, something done more by middle class women. It was an interesting programme.

I was very new to Blackheath when it aired in 2000 and had completely failed to spot that it’s set in the next village, Charlton, with excursions into Blackheath Standard. I was reading the Wikipedia article which mentioned Elliscombe Road (‘hang on that sounds familiar’) and then spotted that it was the one in Charlton. The Clarendon Hotel features in the opening sequence as the family changes their 1999 clothes for 1900 ones and are then conveyed in a horse-drawn carriage to their new house in 50 Elliscombe Road.

Occasionally I take the 380 bus to Charlton rail station, alighting at the Sundorne Road bus stop on Wellington Road. The previous bus stop, also on Wellington Road, is the Elliscombe Road one and the bus announces the road name, so I’ve been hearing that name for years while paying attention to it so that I get off at the next one (incidentally I wonder if there are any two bus stops in London closer together than those two). I’d not like to drive a horse and carriage down Eastcombe Avenue though, which is further up in the journey from Blackheath, it’s a bit steep.

The Apple N’Orange fruit shop at Blackheath Standard opposite the library features in the programme too – it’s still there, same name, open late and on Sundays. At one point the eldest daughter gets a Saturday job there to stave off the boredom of having not that much to do and limited opportunities as a sixteen year old Victorian girl. We also see some bicycling going on around Blackheath Pond (Princess of Wales pond) and St German’s Place too.

Further reading