Review: Backyard Cinema. Al Fresco Big Screen, Burgers & Beers.
Backyard Cinema has launched their six-week Film Festival hosted by London’s Camden Market from 29th July – 4th September 2015. Nicola Greenbrook grabbed her popcorn and joined the press night for an outdoor movie experience with a difference.
Backyard Cinema has built a strong reputation for a captivating cinema encounter in a variety of immersive and interesting locations around London and they have been popping up in Camden Lock for the past three years. For Summer 2015, they’re back with an even bigger offering – catering for the more inquisitive film buff with the new Cuban Screen and adding a few surprises along the way including guest appearances, Q&A’s and other special touches.
For the uninitiated, going along to the Backyard Cinema Film Festival at Camden Market is no ordinary night at the flicks. There’s definitely something special about the labyrinthian location; nestled deep in the famous North London market, tucked away from the bustle and chatter and surrounded by festoon lighting you get to hang out and enjoy the picture, bolstered by an impressive sound system, in an intimate setting on the iconic cobbles.
Brooklyn Brewery and The Craft Cocktail Company provide the beverages including craft beer, wine and summer cocktails, while Honest Burgers with a side of fries and fancy-flavoured popcorn put the usual cinema fare to shame. Sweet teeth are catered for by Chin Chin Labs Nitro Ice Cream and a glamorous usherette is on hand to show you to a choice of seat to sink into, be it zingy deckchair or gigantic beanbag. As the sun goes down a klaxon sounds to indicate the picture is about to begin, before the familiar Pearl and Dean music plays out to add to the retro flavour.
The programme is diverse with two film screens showing thirty-six films across six weeks. There’s a hell of a party on the Main Stage where classics and special anniversary showings are screened, featuring Clueless, The Goonies, and Teen Wolf. Not to mention a Sing-&-Dance-a-Long to old favourites such as Dirty Dancing and Grease, which let’s face it, would be futile to resist after a craft beer or three.
For the more inquisitive movie connoisseur keen to avoid mass sing-along participation, there’s the Cuban Screen. New for 2015, a handpicked programme of critically-acclaimed indie films and documentaries including Selma, The Badadook and Nightcrawler will be shown in a smaller, more intimate setting. With only 50 seats a night, this exclusive area takes on the appearance of a secret haven with The Cuban bar serving a selection of drinks and snacks.
Those who favour a soundtrack with their screenplay, have Get on Up and Northern Soul to whet musical appetites but be warned; screenings of Amy have already sold out and as to be expected, given Winehouse’s famous association with the area.
What separates Backyard Cinema from the other raft of pop-up cinema experiences across London is the upbeat and cheerful staff. On the night, nothing was too much trouble. Predictably unpredictable British weather? Deckchairs were covered in a jiffy to avoid soggy bottoms later on in the night and ponchos dished out in case the pitter patter of rain became a downpour. Long queue of journalists / bloggers all wanting a piece of the Honest Burger action? The team appeared from nowhere to apologise and assure there would be plenty for everyone. Sun gone down turning the air a bit nippy? The Backyard Crew dished out fleecy blankets to ensure head-to-toe coverage and optimum snugness as we settled down to watch the film.
Founder and Creative Director Dominic Davies wanted to create an experience that makes you feel like ‘you have been personally invited to our back garden, no matter the size of the event’ and they have succeeded in their mission with a very personal event. Backyard Cinema brings together all the ingredients for a memorable outdoor cinema experience and offers more than just the movies. Whether having a party at the Main Stage or heading to the Cuban Screen for some refined cinematography, it’s perfect for a night out with a group of mates or an impressive first date.
Backyard Cinema – their movies brings all the people to the yard. Damn right, it’s better than most.
Films, Dates & Times
Timings – Food & Drinks Courtyard open from 7pm – Film Starts 9pm (When it gets dark)
Camden Lock Market, Camden Lock Place, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AF
Nicola has her own great blogger website here: http://materialwhirl.wordpress.com/