We had an invitation to one of Backyard Cinema’s events in London Fields recently.
‘It’s film but in a cool venue, with popcorn, comfy seats, BBQ food and booze’ was how I heard it described.
Was I going to take up this invite? Hell yeah. It sounded laid back, cool and Oh So London.
If you haven’t heard of Backyard Cinema Club it was set up by a great guy called Dominic.
After having a bit of a lousy experience at the cinema from some seriously dry nachos and uncomfortable seats, Dominic decided to take cinema matters into his own hands. He set up a screen in the comfort of his back garden in North London and realised that watching movies was much more fun when you had a great big comfy sofa, great tasting BBQ’d food, some ice cold beers (of course), some mood-setting circus lights and a fun crowd.
The result? Backyard Cinema, London, was born.
Since last year Dominic and his gang have been seeking out some of London’s best spots to set up the pop-up cinema. His latest – the arches of the London Fields Brewery in Hackney, East London.
Genius right? Not only do you have the great setting of railway arches and the surrounding vast space that is London Fields. But you also have lots of unique craft beers on tap and a great venue all round.
I didn’t know quite how good Backyard Cinema would be until we got there. Films were running all day from early afternoon and after very nearly opting for the 3pm showing of The Goonies (good old classic) I was persuaded by Mr OhSo to watch a film neither of us had seen – Django Unchained.
The film started at 6pm so when we arrived at the London Field Brewery early evening, the event was in full flow.
People were mingling with glasses of cocktails, a DJ was setting up in the bar area and there were queues galore for all sorts of hot dogs, burgers and delish Italian fast food which were set up in the courtyard outside. The atmosphere was great.
The obligatory circus lights were up and there were all sorts of craft beers on tap – including London Fields brewery’s well-known ‘Hackney Hopster’ and all sorts of other brews.
After a cheeky glass of wine and a nibble of some food, we took our very retro cinema tickets and boxes of popcorn to comfy ourselves on some out-of-this-world beans bags. Seriously, they were like bean bag arm chairs which y0u could literally lie down in!
As some of you will know, Django Unchained is quite a long film. So after Dominic did a quick intro on the stage, the film started and we were surprisingly impressed.
‘Be honest, give us your feedback, we want to make sure you enjoy your night’ Dominic said (which is a great way to approach a new event I thought).
And the verdict? We were brilliantly surprised.
While BC thought the sound quality could have been quite limited in a pop-up cinema, I thought we might end up being annoyed by an over-talkative crowd.
I also imagined feeling pretty restless in a three hour film if we weren’t surrounded by the booming speakers of a cinema.
But worry we needn’t. Because apart from the occasional rumbling sound of a train passing overhead (which was actually quite atmospheric) the sound was fab. So loud in fact, you couldn’t hear anything other people were saying.
I imagine if we hadn’t had such great second row seats we might have been affected by people bobbing up and down to go to the bar. We may also not have felt like we were chilling on our home sofa if we’d been allocated a deck chair over one of their amazing bean bags.
But hey, I imagine wherever you’d sat, this would have been a brilliant experience. I think the only thing I’d ask for was someone to bring me a tub of ice cream to my seat (perhaps that’s asking too much?!) But with barrels overhead lit up by the colourful circus lights and what Mr Oh So described as a kind of ‘festival feel’ to the place, you don’t get any more charming than this.
Django? Wow. A bit too violent for me in parts, but what a powerful Tarantino film.
I almost forgot to mention too, many events are themed. So if you’d been to the London Fields weekend you may have seen a few dark shades and Blues Brother-esque suits(Dominic included).
But for now, here are some of Backyard Cinema’s brilliant photos from London Fields.
Your thoughts? Let me know.
Until next time x