There are moments when you want to enjoy a view of the sunset and city skyline in peace, rather than getting head-locked at another overcrowded rooftop happy hour. One alternative activity comes from Rooftop Cinema Club, which started off in 2011 with one rooftop cinema in London’s East End. Five years later, they’ve expanded to five locations within their hometown, plus stateside in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
Much more tech-savvy than retro drive-ins, Rooftop Cinema Club offers deck chairs and wireless noise-canceling headphones for intimate immersion despite the city brightly twinkling (and roaring) in the background. The selection is fantastic and not too full of itself: titles include classics like Requiem for a Dream, Rear Window, Purple Rain, American Psycho and Pan’s Labyrinth mixed in with guilty pleasures like Spice World and Dirty Dancing. There are also screenings of newer releases like Mustang (Turkish-French director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s first feature and an indie favorite), Deadpool and High-Rise.
In addition to their original location in Times Square, using Yotel’s rooftop, Rooftop Cinema Club opens their second location in Brooklyn this summer. “Whenever we go scouting for venues we always want to find unique rooftop spaces and breathtaking views in the most awesome cities,” Head of Programming Jade Desumala tells CH. “We always knew we wanted to open a cinema in Brooklyn and when we found OfficeOps in Bushwick we instantly knew it felt like home. It has a similar vibe to our flagship London venue in Peckham; it’s a unique, creative space in the thick of vibrant Brooklyn.” (OfficeOps also has an indoor screening room, too.)
The summer programming will conclude 30 September, and as they’ve only scheduled up through July, there’s plenty of time to put in requests. “Our audience plays an integral role in programming all of our cinemas too,” says Desumala. “We have the most amazing, engaged, film-loving followers on social media so whenever we come to program a new season we always put it to them in the first instance.” Drop a comment on their Instagram account, and maybe it’ll hit the screen in August.
Tickets for Rooftop Cinema Club’s screenings in Bushwick are $19 (no bar but BYOB is welcome); screenings in Manhattan atop Yotel are $33 (includes a miniature bottle of Moët & Chandon and popcorn). Peruse the upcoming calendar for the three other cities—Los Angeles, Chicago and London—as well.
Images courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club