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10 Open Air Cinemas & Theatres to book now

So long, tiny TV screen; hello, massive outdoor cinema with classic films, sing-a-long action and boozy picnics to boot. Here are the best in Kent.

Theatre & Cinema: Hever Castle, Until 30 Aug

For your guaranteed summer of fun, you’ll want to know about The Festival Theatre which is an open air venue set in the gardens of Hever Castle. They plan music acts, operas, films, plays and family shows every year all summer long and this year will be no different! They have a whole calendar of exciting events and this summer you can expect, family favourite The Jungle Book (Weds 28 July), Grease Sing-along (Weds 4 Aug), drama with Shakespeare’s Merry Wives Of Windsor (Mon 30 Aug) and lots, lots more. Book your tickets now!

Cinema: Leeds Castle, Thurs 29 July – Sun 1 Aug

Roll out your picnic blanket and enjoy a night at the flicks with a difference at Leeds Castle, the perfect setting for cinema under the stars. Located on Cedar Lawn, it’s a magical setting! Watch A Star Is BornBohemian Rhapsody Dirty Dancing or from a galaxy far, far away Star Wars – A New HopeBook your tickets now.

Theatre: Tonbridge Castle, Fri 30 July & Fri 27 – 28 Aug

Award-winning outdoor theatre company Illyria return to the Castle Lawns once again, performing HMS Pinafore (a comic opera), The Further Adventures of Dr Dolittle and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Bring your snacks, a blanket, get your favourite people together and book your tickets here now.

Cinema: Strode Park, Herne Bay, Sat 7 & Sat 14 Aug

Enjoy a night of brilliant musicals in the Park! Experience Boheiman Rhapsody, a foot-stomping celebration of Queen on Sat 7 Aug or watch Tracy Turnblad, a teenager with all the right moves in Hairspray on Sat 14 Aug. Tickets are £13 so get yours now!

Cinema: The Harbour Screen, Folkestone, Until Thurs 9 Sep

Folkestone’s restored Harbour Arm is a beautiful promenade out at sea which offers a whole load more than just a pretty awesome view. There’s live music and events throughout the year, plus a brilliant collection of small, independent street food sellers. Also home to Harbour Screen with its programme of film and sports – there’s always something to look forward to! This August they have a very fun line-up of cinema from Top Gun (12 Aug), Shrek (18 Aug), Finding Nemo (25 Aug), Nomadland (26 Aug) and finishing it off with audience’s choice on 9 Sept! Get your tickets.

Theatre: The Jungle Book, Leeds Castle, Tues 13 – Weds 14 Aug

Filled with original music, audience interaction (and the chance to meet the characters after the show), you are invited to join Mowgli and his friends, Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther – not forgetting fierce tiger, Shere Khan! Enjoy some outdoor theatre this summer on Leeds Castle‘s beautiful lawn. Funny, exciting and wildly entertaining, this larger-than-life musical will have you howling with laughter; The perfect treat for the whole family! Get your tickets here.

Theatre: Penshurst Place, Sun 15 Aug

Join in this summer for a season of Outdoor Theatre on the South Lawn as Facsimile Productions are welcomed to Penshurst Place for the very first time with their hilarious performance of Twelfth Night this August. Door will open from 5:30pm where you’ll be able to enjoy a private wander through the gardens and get some food and drink from their bar before curtain’s up at 7pm. There’s no seating so don’t forget to bring your chair or blanket! Book your tickets now.

Cinema: Hever Castle, Weds 25 Aug

Brand new for 2021! Frontier Sapiens Film Festival is coming to Hever Castle this August. Showcasing the very best of humankind, from action and adventure to goodness and giving on the big screen. Drawing attention to those whose voices aren’t being heard and to shine a spotlight on the captivating stories behind individuals working towards positive change in the world. Book your tickets now.

Cinema: Whatman Park, Maidstone, Thurs 26 & Fri 27 Aug

Adventure Cinema is at Whatman Park this summer so you can sing your heart out in those idyllic surroundings for an unforgettable evening of movie magic with hot food, snacks and a bar all on site! Enjoy The Greatest Showman Sing-A-Long and Grease Sing-A-Long from 8:30pm. Get your tickets now.

FURTHER AFIELD…

The Three Musketeers, Hatchlands Park, East Clandon, Tue 27 July

Immersion Theatre invites you to their exciting and action-packed adaption of the classic Three Musketeers story. Cosy up on the lawn of Hatchlands Park with your favourite blankets and cushions, and bring your own nibbles or buy some onsite. Find out more here.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Wed 28 Jul – 29 Aug

This beguiling comedy of enchantment and transformation is brought to life by the Australian Shakespeare Company within a dream-like woodland, filled with feuding fairies, eloping lovers and a hapless troupe of actors. Read more here.

A Comedy of Errors, Painshill, Cobham, Thu 29 July

As part of Painshill’s Summer Series in the Walled Garden, this production follows a servant and master from far off Syracuse who arrive in Ephesus in search of their long-lost twin brothers – and they are soon trapped in a terrifying chain of chaotic events. Doors open at 6pm! Book your tickets now.

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