Cinema set to be installed on Hampstead Heath

Plan for temporary screen with movie-goers following the action via headphones

Thursday, 22nd April 2021 — By Dan Carrier

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Back To The Future will be screened in September

A TEMPORARY outdoor cinema is set to be installed on Hampstead Heath in a bid to make up for lost revenue from a series of cancelled events.

The City of London which manages the Heath, is working with outdoor film group The Hideaway Cinema on a project that would allow 1,000 people to safely watch movies together. The installation is planned for five days in September, with visitors following the films through headphones to avoid disturbing people.

A field behind Parliament Hill Lido has been earmarked as the preferred location.

At a Heath Consultative Committee meeting on Monday night, members heard how other events scheduled for 2021 had either been cancelled or postponed.

They include a popular athletics meeting, the Night of the 10,000 Personal Bests, which has been cancelled and plans to add a second weekend for the Affordable Art Fair, usually held on the East Heath fairground site. Amid tight budgets, the film programme will help offset the loss of income elsewhere, the committee was told.

The Hideaway Cinema team use wireless headphones for guests, similar to “silent disco events”, to cut noise and regularly screen big-selling classics including Grease, Dirty Dancing, La La Land, The Shawshank Redemption and Back To The Future.

The City c­onfirmed money raised by ticket sales would go directly to the Hampstead Heath charity, and that they were also offering a number of free passes to community groups.

Films will be shown on the Parliament Hill area of the Heath [Chesdovi]

Heath management committee chairwoman Anne Fairweather said: “One of the disappointing things during the pandemic is that we’ve not been able to put on the kind of events we would normally look to stage on the Heath during the summer months. The cinema will give people the chance to enjoy watching some much-loved classic films and newer releases, against the iconic backdrop of the stunning views of London from Parliament Hill.

“After a year of restrictions, we hope the event will satisfy people’s desire to come together with others, with appropriate social distancing measures in place, and to enjoy some outdoor entertainment amid the natural beauty of the Heath.”

Five nights of films begin on September 8. Michael J Fox in Back to the Future


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