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Lights, camera, outdoor cinema action!

So long, tiny TV screen; hello, massive outdoor cinema with classic films, sing-a-long action and street food stalls to boot. Here are the best in Suffolk, Cambs and beyond.

An outdoor cinema screen, deckchairs and fairy lights
Enchanted Cinema

Outdoor cinemas in Cambridgeshire

People sit on striped deckchairs watching a film
The Star and Mouse Picture Show

The Star and Mouse Picture Show, Cambridge, 4 Jun – 5 Sept

The Star and Mouse Picture Show are one of our favourites. This summer, they’re showing various films you might actually want to catch (Moulin Rouge; Midnight in Paris; Knives Out), in a range of stunning locations. Taking advantage of the beauty of the Cam in summertime, a few of their screenings begin by Scudamores, before you’re chaperoned to a secret riverside location – how intriguing. Take a look at their website for more details. 

A couple watch an outdoor cinema screen, on which is written Enchanted Cinema
Enchanted Cinema

Enchanted Cinema, Cambridge, 11 – 27 Jun

The Enchanted Cinema has a packed schedule of classic outdoor flicks – we’re talking Grease, Dirty Dancing and Romeo + Juliet, Top Gun and Pretty Woman. It’s not a nostalgia-fest per se, however. Enchanted Cinema is one of the best for creating a mood, so the films tie into the glowing, fairy light-strewn garden vibes. Take a look at their website for more details. 

Outdoor Cinema, Chippenham Park, 19 Jun

The ever-so-peaceful Chippenham Park, with its quiet lakes and charming woodland, is being transformed for one night only. That’s right, it’s Dirty Dancing again (organisers seemingly can’t resist leg warmers on film), but with tickets starting at around £15, it’s about the same price as a trip to the multiplex – in a much more memorable setting. 

An artist's impression of two couples watching Dirty Dancing on a large screen.
Adventure Cinema, Huntingdon Racecourse

Adventure Cinema, Huntingdon Racecourse, 25 – 26 Jun

Adventure Cinema have planned their events for later in summer, so it could be nice to have this in the calendar. On the schedule is a singalong of The Greatest Showman, so if musicals are your thing, this could be a lovely end to the season. A bar and hot food will be available onsite, with tickets starting from £14.50.  

A lakeside framed with trees
Hitchingbrooke Country Park

Flix and Picnics, Huntingdon, 10 Jul

Held at the picturesque Hitchingbrooke Country Park, Flix and Picnics have a rather straightforward approach to social distancing. Cinemagoers get a ‘marked box on the ground’, in which you can have up to six people (and all the al fresco dining equipment your heart desires). Tickets are £30, but that’s for your box, rather than the number of people. 

Outdoor cinemas in Suffolk

Ipswich Film & Food, 12 – 15 Aug

Showing 14 films over four days, this festival looks unmissable. They’ve thought of it all, too: there are two for one tickets in the daytime, late-night horror shows if you fancy a thrill, and Sunday brunch offers. Children go free, and with films like The Lion King and Jungle Book on the schedule, there’s a ready-made weekend of activities planned. The street food looks exceptional too, with barbecue, pizza, waffles and more on the menu. Make sure to book tickets in advance, because it’s likely to be popular. 

Outdoor cinemas near Cambridgeshire and Suffolk 

An image of Holkham Hall estate
Holkham Hall

Hideaway Cinema, Holkham Hall, 18 – 22 Aug

Lovely Holkham Hall in North Norfolk are hosting a five-day festival, with everything from cult classics to family favourites being shown. Think Paddington and Moana for the kids, Harry Potter and A Star is Born for teens, and La La Land for date night. Worth making the trip, we think. See the full schedule on their website here

Moonbeamers, Billericay, 11 Jun onwards

Heading across the border to Billericay, there are multiple drive-in screenings planned for June and July. Catch Elton John biopic Rocketman, or join the waiting list for ET, Titanic or Dreamgirls. While a lot of the films aren’t exactly laugh-a-minute – The Dark Knight; Godzilla vs Kong – they are decidedly blockbusters, which really is all you need for a drive through. Find out more here

A big screen by an empty car park reads 'welcome to nightflix'

Nightflix, Colchester, 4 Jun onwards

Nightflix offer a ‘gin and drive-in’ experience, so I’m already sold. With 20 mixers to choose from (and non-alcoholic options, of course), this isn’t your typical car-park-with-a-big-screen. You can request a comfy bean bag to watch the movie from, and they’re showing actual new releases like Cruella, A Quiet Place II, and – allegedly – the new Bond flick, No Time To Die. Book tickets here. 

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