Please stay sunny, please stay sunny. All throughout Friday (22/7/11), this was my one wish. Would the London weather listen to me and grant such a wish? I hoped so, the past 4 days had been grey and miserable so as far as I was concerned, all Londoners were owed a Friday of sunshine. The reason for my sunshine based prayers was that I’d gotten my girlfriend and I tickets to an open air cinema showing at the Queen of Hoxton bar in Liverpool street, and for our date to be classed as a success, I reckoned we needed to not get soaking wet whilst watching the film.
I’d chosen to surprise my Mrs with this date as I found the prospect of watching a film on a rooftop in central London pretty damn exciting! Rooftop Cinema Club, located as mentioned at the Queen of Hoxton bar near Liverpool St station was the awesome little venue for our evening … but sadly the rain did come L.
We arrived in good time (whilst the sun was still out) and went to scope out the bar and its rooftop garden. The place was heaving, office workers getting smashed after a hard weeks work and scoffing the bbq based delights that were on offer. It looked a good set up … if you could get a seat … we couldn’t. We decided to go get something to eat and come back to the rooftop later when the masses had cleared.
We went for a romantic meal at KFC.
Upon return to the Queen of Hoxton rooftop it was all change, the drunken hordes had vanished and had been replaced by fairy lights and a quaint fountain that we didn’t notice on our first visit. The big screen was now up and the chairs were being aligned, along with our headphones and blankets. There was now room to get to the bar and bbq, and a popcorn stand had also been erected. It was a proper little cinema set up, I was quietly impressed.
The movie on show was ‘Four Lions’ it was a black comedy of sorts. It was based around 5 (you would have guessed 4 I bet) Islamic extremists from Birmingham who were basically terrible at being terrorists. The blow stuff up they shouldn’t, produce crap internet videos and just do/say really outrageously dumb things. It was actually very funny, but it did have that dark side too it and we both took a while in deciding if we like the film as a whole.
In parts it was very easy to get lost in watching the movie, in others parts I had trouble. Like I said, it rained, and that did make the viewing a little tough, especially when drops landed on the lenses of my glasses. The blankets we were supplied with were also damp and smelt a bit. Every so often a waft of damp cloth would hit my nostrils and again distract me from the screening. If only the blankets had been washed and a small plastic tent type structure had been erected over the seating area (leaving the views intact), this would have been an amazing event. I’m not saying it was shoddy by any means, I had a great night, but those little bits go a long way and with a couple of tweaks it could have been amazing. Had the sun stayed out, I probably wouldn’t have had anything negative to say about the place. It’s a terrific idea, we were just unlucky with the London ‘summertime’ weather. Not the first time that’s happened.
For your hit of outdoor cinema check out the Rooftop Cinema Club. The events runs till the end of September and I for one hope to take my seat again before the 2011 London Summer is out.