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The Picnic Cinema Experience

Audience members (centre) and Picnic Cinema crew (far left and far right) at Muncaster Castle, Cumbria

You either know about it, or you don’t. The North’s No.1 Outdoor Cinema has been carving out exceptional experiences to film lovers and party goers for the past 8 years. It’s become quite a club.

Whether it’s a cinema party featuring The Blair Witch Project in the depths of a forest, Dracula in the grounds of a stately home or the UK’s no.1 cult film Withnail & I at the cottage where it was filmed in Wet Sleddale, Cumbria Picnic Cinema is not just your regular outdoor cinema.
The whole experience includes dressing up, camping over and letting your hair down, with quizzes, audience games, activities and more all related to the themes of the films and pop culture.

The incredibly loyal following (we did mention it’s a club) means that for the past 5 years tickets to the iconic screenings of Withnail & I sell out to mailing list subscribers moments after they are released. People have travelled from all over the world to this remote location, battling the public transport issues of just 1 bus a day, followed by and a 3 mile hike to the cottage. But for fans of the film the experience is second to none.

Picnic Cinema at Uncle Monty’s Cottage from Withnail & I

‘The whole thing! Being THERE! The setting and crew and the folks and games! And the film of course!’ – Audience Feedback
‘This was my first year actually getting tickets for Crow Crag [the cottage where Withnail & I is filmed] and it was extra-special because it was part of my 50th birthday celebrations.  The whole experience was amazing, but the Picnic Cinema crew always put such an effort into making each event memorable that I think they deserve a special mention.’ – Audience Feedback

The events are hosted by a small dedicated crew, who run everything from car parking, assisting with tent troubles, giving out goody bags, adding the finishing touches to your fancy dress outfit, conducting mass participation games such as Extreme Rock Paper Scissors and filming ‘audience interviews’ which are then screened on the big screen before the main film.

Speaking with Bryoney Cartlidge, Project Manager, she commented ‘the whole night is curated, each detail from your arrival to the event, how you are greeted, the music on offer, and the goody bags has been thought about and tailored to the film or the location. The crew and the audience participation is what really sets Picnic Cinema apart. The whole experience is really sociable, when you leave you will almost forget you were there to watch a film as there are so many other elements packed into the night’

‘The ethos is all about having fun, being able to enjoy yourself, meet different people and generally get into the spirit of the night. We give out sweets, badges, prizes and last year we decorated peoples faces with glitter, or custom temporary tattoos too which everyone enjoyed. We help people if they have forgotten something such as tent pegs, sunscreen, bug spray and the crew are now well adept at ‘un-popping’ pop up tents! The events have more of a festival feel than a cinema. ‘Picnickers’ return to the pop up cinema year after year, we know and recognise many of them!’

Events in this year’s Picnic Cinema;

Uncle Monty’s Summer Soiree at Crow Crag, f.t Withnail & I (15) – 21st June Tickets still available (22nd, 28th & 29th June Sold Out)

The Big Kahuna Party at Kirklinton Hall, Carlisle f.t Pulp Fiction (18) – Saturday 6th July

The Alien Invasion at Hamsterley Forest, nr. Barnard Castle, f.t Close Encounters of the Third Kind (PG) – Friday 19th July and Blade Runner (15) – Saturday 20th July

Freddies Fabulous Fandango at Muncaster Castle, Cumbria f.t Bohemian Rhapsody (12A) – Friday 9th Aug (sold out)

The Striped Pyjama Party also at Muncaster Castle, Cumbria f.t. Beetlejuice (15) – Saturday 10th Aug.

For more information and tickets visit www.picniccinema.co.uk

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