Sunday, 26 July 2009

'Cinema under the stars'

caught my eye while surfing the 'whats on in London' web page and i decided i had to go for it. What came to my mind immediately was the scene from 'The Wedding Planner' where JLo and Matthew McConaughey watch a movie in a park eating M&M's. The event was over a span of 5 days and i had seen all the movies mentioned except the one called 'Funny Face,' a 1957 musical starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. What could be more romantic than watching a classic under the star studded sky? So I quickly did some research on the park in which it was being screened, timings, how to get there etc. and sent it out to Ro hoping he would be as enthu as i was. To my surprise he replied saying we should get a bottle of wine and just go. I was thrilled and i went a bit overboard preparing an entire picnic.
Syon Park, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, was the perfect venue for the evening. Although getting there was a bit of an issue, with us forgetting to get off at the required stop (which Ro claims was because of my non stop chit chat that we didn't notice the stop and over shot) and the sudden down pour which put us in a state of bewilderment on whether the show would take place at all, we were relieved to see a whole lot of cars at the car park and people walking in with huge picnic baskets. After paying 25 quid for both of us (yes very expensive indeed) we made our way to the park. It was so beautiful with well-manicured lawns and pretty flowers and trees breaking the monotony. There was a big glass conservatory, maintained in tropical temperature, growing all sorts of vegetables, creepers and palms. There was also a lily pond and an entire section on Cacti. The movie was supposed to start at 9pm, but it still wasn't dark by then and so we ended up finishing off our food and half the bottle of wine. There was a good crowd and most of them came fully prepared with portable chairs and huge picnic baskets and even umbrellas (which we also had brought along). By about 9.30 the movie started and everyone settled down pretty fast. The movie was ok. I expected it to be like the 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' type, but it didn't come close to that. Audrey Hepburn is gorgeous as ever and Fred Astaire is old. Towards the end, it started getting a bit chilly and the wine had made us pretty tipsy and we completely started fooling around and i secretly hoped the movie would come to an end because of the cold winds. I must admit, the whole idea of a romantic evening under the stars, huddled together with a blanket, was more appealing than the movie itself, though 25 bucks for a night out was a bit on the steep side, but what the hell...these are things you do once in your life.
There are more outdoor movies coming up in September at the South Bank Centre and are fee of cost. Only thing is, they are showing movies like 007 and Slumdog Millionaire which i cant really associate with 'romance.' I would however like to go see 'Mamma Mia,' the sing-along version again, just so i can scream out the songs :)
Events like these make me feel happy being in London.
I kicked myself for not taking my camera and had to make do with Ro's phone camera. So please bear with the 'not so perfect' pics.

The Great Conservatory, Syon Park

One of the Lily Ponds

A huge Cactus

Enjoying the picnic. See how bright it was...time was around 8.40pm

The huge screen

Thats the last part of the movie. Its not too clear.


  1. oh...UK thru ur eyes look i wish i was at a place i could take advantage of the beautiful outdoors...these pics even without a camera have come out well...i haven't seen the movie...but the idea of a star lit night, beautiful surroundings and blanket arnd makes me for 'Mamma Mia' you shud dfntly go for it...personally the movie kinda disappointed me....i'm a huge fan of ABBA songs n' Merly Streep and ended having a lot of expectation than i should've had. The place the movie is shot at looks heavenly…

  2. Miri...i have seen Mamma Mia and it was just about you said i kinda expected something awesome.The only reason id want to go see it a second time would be to sing along:)

  3. sounds wonderful! Sigh! We have been to a drive in ...but an open air theater sounds soo much more appealing! :)

  4. P..I have never been to a drive-in inspite of having one very close to my place. But yeag this was really made up for my open air movie mania

  5. Wow, the whole idea sounds real good to me. Movies under the stars. Totally wow. And the pics are good too.

  6. Wow! It sounds awesome...
    you are right , the idea is romantic in 'The Wedding Planner' kinda way...I guess it will be ages before something like that catches on here(we might have to go really remote villages to find "open air theaters" and it might not be actually *that* romantic, LOLZ)...Hope you enjoy Mama Mia:)