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Top five: Alternative Cinemas

17 May 2013 | Rachel Ridge

A big screen in a dark room will no longer suffice! This summer, the capital are bringing us films on boats, films with hot tubs, hell even films within a real life reincarnation of Saturday Night Fever!

It was the 1950’s that birthed ‘the drive-in’ – a place to catch the latest ‘flick’, as well as being the stomping ground for the teens of yesteryear to ‘canoodle’ and try their luck with each other. Ok, I may be getting my sources from the film Grease but it must be said our forbearers of film-watching sure knew how to create a buzz in the air whilst watching a movie! The explosive advancements in technology that followed saw the rise of the multiplex; it even allowed us to bring the cinema to our homes. However, it can’t be denied that what we gained in-home comforts, we lost in ambiance and cinema-going camaraderie…. until now of course. A backlash has ensued - the world called and as usual London answered.

Left, right and centre bizarre interpretations of cinema watching are swarming the capital. And so it happens that slipping into your pyjamas, nestling into the sofa and slipping on a DVD simply doesn’t cut it anymore! Not when you can enter the world of your favourite film, or hit a cult classic in a hot tub Ron Burgundy style or be fed your stories sailing down a canal – the fabulous film gatherings are endless. We at London Calling have whittled them down to the best five - set to yank you out of your cinema rut and enjoy film with your fellow man as you never have before!

 

Hot Tub Cinema

Only in London can you strip down to your swimwear, pop in a sweltering hot tub, watch a cult classic, all the while being served champagne right to your perch of bubbles. Its pure unadulterated decadence and it sounds right up our street! Nestled on the rooftop of Rockwell House, looking over Shoreditch’s coolly urban skyline, a marriage of steamy hot tub frolics and movie watching is sweeping the nation. Kicking off their summer season this June with Best of British, sees a celebration of British pioneers who put our humble isle on the cinematic map! Watch Guy Ritchie’s reinvigoration of the gangster genre Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, alongside Hot Fuzz, The Full Monty, Withnail and I, Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, Human Traffic, Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Italian Job. God only knows what Michael Caine would think of his film being screened in such a setting! On the other hand, I think we all know what Austin Powers would make of it all…

 

Future Cinema presents Saturday Night Fever

There are films you enjoy and there are films that impact your life so immensely you would give anything to enter that world just for a day! Future Cinema allows you to do just that. With hugely successful reincarnations of Bugsy Malone and Casablanca behind them, from the 15 June to the 7July the Troxy will transform into Club 2001 Odyssey; a place where the flares are wide, the collars big, the medallions chunky and the chest hair out for all to see. That’s right my friends, Saturday Night Fever will come alive! Get lost in the pulsing disco underworld of 1970’s Brooklyn with reenacted scenes from the film erupting around you, light up dance floors, disco dance offs and the most immersive screening of the classic the world has ever seen. When it’s time for the film to hit, in the words of Bee Gees soundtrack song, “You should be dancing yeeeaah!”

 

The Floating Cinema

On an old Rosie-and-Jim style boat somewhere architects and artists have gone to work to offer a wonderfully quaint film experience on water. Outdoor film showings, performative tours and intimate on board screenings will light up the East London canals on the River Lee, Bow Back River, Regent's Canal and Hertford Union Canal.Here is where art and cinema merge in fantastical ways, as their art deco inspired cinemascope balances between being a kaleidoscope, a periscope, and a camera obscura. Wrapped indouble-sided mirrors, the screen will be sure to pick up otherworldly reflections from the water making this a dazzling floating cinema experience. This June they present FLOATING CINEMA ‘EXTRA-ORDINARY’devised by artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, enlightening you with offbeat films in a cinema that deeply invigorates the multi-faceted nature of storytelling!

 

Experience Cinema

The godfathers of ultimate film going experiences - The Rooftop Cinema Club - have reinvented their program once more in the guise of Experience Cinema. This bank holiday weekend will bring an all singing, all dancing evening as Purple Rain, Greaseand Dirty Dancing hit the screen. Come in film tailored fancy dress, or rather dig into the fancy dress box provided and get involved in the fun activities on offer. Not to mention the most vital ingredient of the night – their fully stocked bar!Who needs seats when you’re dirty dancing, wireless headphones in tow, in what is essentially a Rooftop Film party!

 

Film4 Summer Screen, Somerset House

This summer, London’s most beautiful courtyard brings back their outdoor cinema action offering Film 4 Summer Screen. Kicking off each night with DJ sets, this soothing open-air cinema will bring over fourteen nights of pure cinematic bliss. With a massive screen, surround sound, food and drink on offer and picnics more than welcome, Somerset House are giving cinemas all over the nation a run for their money. Keeping their cards close to their chest on their 2013 programme, it seems we’ll have to sit and wait eagerly for what’s in store. However, with the likes of the UK premiere of On the Road to their name we are expecting great things to come…

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