It’s officially summer in Reading (I’ve seen the sun and everything!), which means the return of outdoor cinema season. Pull up a deckchair, grab a jam jar cocktail and prepare for classic movies at these great open-air cinema events and outdoor film screenings in Reading in summer 2018 – including on at the newly opened Abbey Ruins.
Films on the schedule include The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Goonies and six – count them- six screening’s of Hugh Jackman’s musical The Greatest Showman, which is apparently the film of the summer.
Cult Screens at Reading Abbey Ruins
20-23 June | From 7.30pm| Reading Abbey | From £15.35 | Book tickets
The newly-reopened and gleaming Reading Abbey site becomes home to our newest open air cinema this summer as Cult Screens take over the ruins with four films screenings in June. The stone walls will make for an atmospheric place to sit back on a deck chair and watch Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (20 June), The Lost Boys (21 June), The Greatest Showman (22 June), and Top Gun (23 June). Gates open from 7.30, but films usually don’t start until it gets dark, so around 9ish. There’ll also be pop up food stalls and a bar.
Cult Screens at Caversham Court Gardens
26 July – 17 August | From 7.30pm| Caversham Court Gardens | From £15.35 | Book tickets
It’s the second film season in Reading from Cult Screens, this time at their old home of the picturesque Caversham Court Gardens, they will be screening an impressive line of classic films and big name 2018 releases. In July there’s Goodfellas (26 July), Notting Hill (27 July) and Darkest Hour (28 July).
In August, there’ll be Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water (15 August), mind-bender Inception (16 Aug) and of course, The Greatest Showman. You basically can’t come to one of these things this year without seeing The Greatest Showman (17 Aug).
If you get peckish, Kerbside Kitchen will be serving up German frankfurters or Cajun fries, and there’s also a surprisingly well-stocked bar of craft beers, bottles of wine and jam jar cocktails. Gates open from 7.30, but films usually don’t start until it gets dark, so around 9ish.
Lost Cinema at Beale Park
Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 July | 7.30pm| Beale Park | Tickets from £12 | Book tickets
This summer, Swindon-based outdoor screening operators Lost Cinema are inflating their screen over the impressive lake at Beale Park. Here you can have a prowl among the marmosets and other mammals at the wildlife gardens or enjoy your own picnic on the lawn before you settle down for a summery film. There will also be a pop-up bar, cinema snacks and hot food on offer before the screenings.
In July there is the now mandatory showing of The Greatest Showman. But Hugh Jackman does ringmaster musical is sold out, so there’s also a screening of the ever popular Dirty Dancing on Sunday 28 July.
Doors, and importantly, the bar, will open from 7.30pm so you can get started on the cocktails, but the film won’t start until after sunset. Prepare for a 9.15pm film time.
Skylight Cinema at Coppa Club
Wednesday 4 July & Thursday 9 August | 7pm, film starts 9pm | Coppa Club, Sonning | Tickets from £20 | Book now
Over in Sonning, there’s a 4th of July appropriate screening of all-out Americana flick Top Gun, at Coppa Club’s Skylight Cinema. Tickets include the film, food from their BBQ menu (choice of burger, chicken, veggie burger and lots of sides) and popcorn.
In August, they’ve got the same deal with a screening of, you guessed it, The Greatest Showman (how many times can I type this?).
Chairs and blankets are first-come-first-served, so arrive early if you don’t want a grassy bum.
Dinton Pastures Open Air Cinema
Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 August, Saturday 11 August, Saturday 8 September| Gates open 7.30pm | Dinton Pastures | Tickets £15/adult, £10/child | Book now
Dinton Pastures near Woodley put on an annual-themed, fancy-dress-encouraged cinema screening at their picturesque park. This year, they are going all out with a singalong showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
There’s also three other popular cult film screenings, including Dirty Dancing (4 August), The Goonies (11 August), and yes, again, The Greatest Showman (8 September).
There’ll be a bar and food options from 6pm, and cinema-goers can bring their own picnics. Booking is essential.
Wellington Country Park sunset cinema
Friday 27 – Saturday 28 July | 7.30pm, film starts 9pm | Wellington Country Park | Tickets from £13.20 | Book now
Family-friendly Hampshire green space, Wellington Country Park, puts on a weekend of safe bets for outdoor cinema, there’s a screening of Top Gun (28 July) and, you guessed it The Greatest Showman (27 July). There’ll be refreshments and food, but details are TBC.
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Hello! I'm Claire, the founding editor of Explore Reading. I'm a Reading native and former digital director of Time Out Shanghai. I founded Explore Reading so no one can say, ‘there’s nothing to do in Reading’, again. When not editing Explore Reading, I'm probably drinking a Manhattan.