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Opinion

Opinion: Does anyone actually enjoy outdoor cinema?

Posted by Liv Siddall,

This week online editor Liv Siddall wonders if anyone actually enjoys the huge amount of wacky summertime events that are on offer in London. As always your comments and opinions are welcome below.

Summer’s here! Time Out London magazine’s wet dream has turned into a reality and rooftop bars, guerrilla picnics, and wacky boat races are go! Don’t get me wrong, I love London in the summer – it’s like you’re living in a 90s Blur album. You can sit on warm pavements drinking beers, stroke strangers’ dogs, watch gaggles of red-cheeked builders munch on ice lollies, or watch couples dramatically break up at dusk on the Southbank.

When you live in London and you breathe in poo particles and black soot all day and your office job keeps you indoors for exactly the hours in which the sun is actually out, people go to a lot of effort to make you feel that “summer feeling,” usually by making more pop-up events and manic flash mobs than you could shake a novelty sailors hat at.

One of these “keep London happy, aren’t we having a wonderful time” events that rears its head in the warmer months is outdoor cinema. You’ve probably all been to one – a kooky £6 a pint Pimms-fuelled event in an arse-end of nowhere park where grown adults get together to watch some classic children’s film like The Little Rascals or The Wizard of Oz. Some people may have flowered headbands on, or recline on waterproof Cath Kidston rugs with bemused children at bay. Some may have brought a cooler of pre-made snacks and Echo Falls to drink out of plastic wine glasses. All will have houmous.

London boasts some of the most incredible cultural events in the world, particularly in the summer months; but sometimes I feel like the “What’s On?” pages of the newspapers in the summer sound as if they’ve been curated by a posh five-year-old.

- Liv Siddall

I used to really enjoy these outdoor cinema events. At work we’ve been along to a few over the years, and usually my reaction is “Wow, I’m cool! I get free tickets to kooky outdoor cinema events!” But then when I was lying on the frozen grass, being devoured by midgies, my tastebuds on fire from Sainsbury’s acrid coriander dip, watching some Clapham couple tonguing each other on the grass next to me I suddenly think – why do we do this?

What is it about summer that makes us want to engage in wacky, somewhat unenjoyable activities? London boasts some of the most incredible cultural events in the world, particularly in the summer months; but sometimes I feel like London’s “What’s On?” pages of the newspapers in the summer sound as if they’ve been curated by a posh five-year-old.

Is it grumpy to not want to watch a film outside, or sail an Argos dinghy down the corpse-infested Regents Canal? Or can we stop pretending to actually like all this crap now?

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and worked across online, print, events and latterly Features Editor before leaving in May 2015.

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