Just a short walk from Elephant and Castle station, sits the prettiest cinema in London town. The Backyard Cinema is nestled in the Mercato Metropolitano, a haven for foodies and craft beer enthusiasts. But this place isn’t just any cinema, Backyard Cinema is a unique beach viewing experience to share with friends, family members, or a special someone for a completely different cinema experience. We were off to see Back To The Future like never before, and I was so in my element.
We were actually quite worried about finding the cinema, as even though I’m a Londoner from birth – I’ve rarely ever travelled to the Elephant and Castle area, however once you get to the Mercato Metropolitano – you can’t miss it. The front of the cinema is retro af, with the most instagrammable pastels you ever did see, and I totally appreciate all the small details that really add a luxe finish to this vintage-looking cinema. Even the logo omg… these guys have the whole aesthetic thing nailed – I wouldn’t change a thing! Also, bonus points for flamingos.
First thing’s first, we headed over the box office to pick up our pre-booked tickets. The box office opens 90 minutes before the screening time, and doors shut just 30 minutes before to allow everyone to take their seats, etc. However, once you’re in you can leave to use the loo etc – don’t worry! The lovely lad at the box office talked to us a bit about the experience and made sure to let us know about all the cinema rules, like not taking in food from outside (hot drinks permitted) and directed us to the toilets located in the Mercato Metropolitano. Guys, the tickets are even cute – right? We had coupons for cocktails also, so these came as little poker-esque casino chips!
Something to note – you do have to take off your shoes. Sooo.. if you’re not a big fan of going around with bare feet or just socks in public areas, this might not be for you. Don’t fret though, Backyard Cinema do provide you with a brand new pair of flip flops (hygenic!) to wear throughout your experience at the cinema. Weird, I know, but it totally makes sense. This helps to keep the sand clean and hygenic for everyone to enjoy. Oh, didn’t I mention? The cinema is filled with sand! Hence the beach, duh!
Once you’ve got yer flip flops on, you can enter the Backyard Cinema beach – it definitely gives off 80’s Miami Beach vibes. As soon as you walk in you blissfully enter London’s very own miami beach equipped with it’s very own lifeguards’ beach hut, speedboat, and 80’s themed radio station playing in the background. A moving image of a beach sunset scene was projected onto the screen, and I couldn’t wait to get all snuggled in with my boyfriend on our beanbags.
The fab lady sorting out all the seating was very quick and organised, and got us to our seat in super fast timing. We had seating on the Back left, next to the Premium slots, however we had to move to the Front (which was dealt with amazingly!!!) after two of the tallest people in the room sat in front of us and I couldn’t see a thing! We took up some free seats at the front which were in perfect view of the screen, but it’s something you should keep in mind if you are on the smaller side like me and perhaps book the front seats just to be sure.
Obviously, we headed to the bar to grab a drink and I’ve got to be honest, I thought the pre-made cocktails were a bit disappointing for the price (£12). Not a downer at all, I just think they could have been made more affordable or on the other hand, I would order a beer or something instead. They come in a flimsy plastic glass with a small cocktail umbrella in, and mine was… interesting. I had to actually go up and ask that the bar staff put a little more lemonade or something in mine as it wasn’t sweet at all, and very bitter. £12 for a small plastic glass of pre-made cocktails? Uhhhh I don’t know, BYC….
We then took our seats and waited for the movie experience to begin, and we both noted how great the ambience was in the room – everyone was in such a positive mood, and the lighting, sound effects of the sea, 80s beach radio, just added to the Miami Beach vibes. It wasn’t long til the “adverts” came on, which were real 80s digital adverts and clips of famous moments on television from the era. We were fully immersed in the Miami Beach experience.
The viewing itself was seamless, with a great quality projection and the audio was on point. We were quite worried about sitting near the front as, generally, this can be the loudest area of a cinema. But there really was nothing to worry about, crystal clear sound without any distortion. The bean bags were also noticeably comfy, however you should make a note to really adjust your seat before the movie starts! There were quite a few people getting up and “bashing” the bean bags to get them in the right position/shape, when really they could have just set them up properly before the film started. Don’t be shy, the bean bags need some reshaping and it’s all down to preference. Also something to note, it gets very, very hot in there. Obvz you want to be cosying under a blanket, so I would definitely wear something light or layers you can take off when the room warms up as there aren’t any windows!
A Standard Ticket to the Backyard Cinema will only set you back £16.50 per person, but Backyard Cinema also provide packages to help make your experience that extra bit special. For example, the Date Night ticket package which treats two people to a bottle of fizz, popcorn, ice cream, and blankets to wrap up in for £69 total. The pricing is also done by where you’re sitting: Front, Back, or Premium – I would personally recommend Front or Premium to any shawtys out there for sure.
To wrap it up, A* experience, A* film, C cocktails. I would definitely skip on the cocktails upon my return and opt for a wine, spirit, or a cool beer to see me through the film. It’s a shame as it’s the only really negative thing I have to say about Backyard Cinema – but if you don’t order the cocktails, you have nothing to worry about. Then again, I might just be being picky – you do you!
Is the ticket worth the money? 110%, definitely. It’s just perfect for a date night, girly catchup, or even just to see a movie you’ve never seen before on a whole different breed of “big screen”. The BYC is back with another instalment this Winter – Backyard Cinema Christmas!
Will they serve mulled wine?!
Will the floor be snow?!
Will they show The Nightmare Before Christmas?!
All I know is, I’ll be there.
I’m up for TWO blogging awards this year:
BEST IN BEAUTY – #biawards: http://bit.ly/2vLJB9E
BEST PHOTOGRAHY – #bloggersblogawards: http://bit.ly/2vLEjem
*I was gifted this experience, however all thoughts and opinions are my own*