Opening their first venue on the roof of Peckham’s Bussey Building in 2011, the Rooftop Cinema Club returns for its 5th season.
This year the club will be screening films at four venues – it’s original spot in Peckham plus Roof East on the top floor of the car park above the Stratford Centre in E15, the amazing Roof Gardens on Kensington High St and the rooftop of the popular Queen of Hoxton pub on the eastern edge of the City of London.
Each Rooftop Cinema Club venue has a bar and some sort of food offer, which frankly is a good thing in Peckham because sadly your only other alternatives are the low-end chains and the local Wetherspoons if you’re feeling peckish! Being out in the open patrons can also smoke, although they do ask people not to impose their smoke on others.
Screenings at the venues usually take place between 8:45 and 9pm so there’s no rush to get there after work, although when it comes to timing I think it’s probably worth getting there early just for the view. The rooftop in Peckham provides a particularly fine view of the whole of Central London, while at Stratford you can get a good look at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which sits just behind Westfield across the road.
The booking process takes place online – you can’t just pitch up for a screening – and when you arrive you’ll be given a pair of wireless headphones. They use deckchairs for seating so it’s all very relaxed and informal compared to your usual indoor cinema screen.
The only fly in the ointment when it comes to the Rooftop Cinema Club is inclement weather. Given the unpredictable atmosphere over London there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself having booked tickets for an evening when it decides to rain. You won’t be able to get a refund but they do give out waterproof ponchos in the case of a downpour – the only circumstances where they will refund your ticket is in the case of ‘dangerously high winds’.
Their website is currently taking bookings through to the end of June, but they will be screening movies right through the summer. If you fancy something different to your local multiplex you might want to give the Rooftop Cinema Club a try – the venues are really different and a lot of fun.