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Top 5 open-air cinemas

Outdoor theatre – meh. While the idea is lovely, in reality it doesn’t really work. Why? Well (and this might just be me), the ‘theatre’ part conjures up images of getting dressed up; sipping something expensive, cold and fizzy; and enjoying a dose of culture, while the ‘outdoor’ part is more about pongy bogs, mosquitos and, well, rain. The two just don’t marry (and while I don’t mind a bit of mud on the hot pink stilettos girls, I don’t want it all over my nice frock…).

Outdoor cinema, however… now you’re talking. For, no matter how high-brow the movie, you’re unlikely to have spent a fortune on tickets, thrown on your Sunday best or be hankering for a glass of Verve. I mean, who celebrates a special occasion at the cinema? Nobody (unless you’re a cheap date). What’s a speck of rain on your popcorn and a mossie bite on your bum if you only spent a tenner and are sporting your comfy jeans? Quite.

So, in celebration of all things outdoor cinema-y, we round up the top five cinema experiences coming to Norfolk this summer. Just remember the Deet!

Picturehouse Outdoor Cinema, The Plantation Gardens, Norwich
As settings go, this one is pretty special – a Grade II English Heritage-registered Plantation Garden tucked behind a wall in Norwich’s trendy Golden Triangle area. Eight classic films will be brought to you by Picturehouse Pop-up and shown in the idyllic auditorium under the stars. There’s a fully-licensed bar sponsored by Leffe and snacks.

The Reindeer Pub & Kitchen, Norwich
A Norwich institution that’s loved as much for its juicy steaks and its beer garden as its beers, The Reindeer Pub on The Dereham Road will hoist a huge projector screen into the air and join the outdoor cinema trend for one night and one night only (see the website for details). BBQ food will be available from 5pm until 8pm, while the popcorn is free (that’s right, free!).

Fritton Lake, Great Yarmouth
The grounds of Fritton Lake Country Park is the setting for Pop-up Pictures’ summer movies this year, including classic films. Unlike most cinemas – where over-salted popcorn, greasy hotdogs and massive buckets of wee-inducing soft drinks are the order of the day – snacks on sale here include fresh wood-fired pizzas and warm nachos, as well – of course, as a licensed bar.

Earlham Park, Norwich
If you missed the showings at Fritton Lake, then panic not! The nice folks at Pop-up Pictures are running three more films for you a month later at Earlham Park (love those guys). A different trio of movies will delight and entertain (check the website for details). Earlham Park is home to a large, picturesque lake; the modern art gallery, The Sainsbury Centre; and backs onto the University of East Anglia.

Blickling Estate, Blickling
Head to the beautiful and historic Blickling Estate – part of the National Trust – for the second Summer Nights Film Festival. The website suggests bringing a blanket, a picnic and your friends (Goose, perhaps?). Nah, I’m hopelessly devoted to you, Tom Cruise!


Find more ideas here

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