The much-loved outdoor cinema event returns to Grantchester Meadows. Here's what's in store
This August bank holiday, slip away to Grantchester Meadows at dusk to enjoy what has become one of Cambridge’s most popular summer events. Movies on the Meadows, running 25 to 28 August, invites film fans to enjoy a spectrum of movies – from big blockbusters to Hollywood classics to family favourites – in a unique open-air setting.
The event is a prelude to Cambridge Film Festival, which returns in October, and takes place on the banks of the River Cam at Grantchester River Meadows. Guests are encouraged to bring picnics and get comfy while they’re treated to the magic of the silver screen (or in this case, giant inflatable screen!), creating an atmosphere that’s hard to beat.
Leading the line-up this time around is La La Land, the dazzling Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone musical that swept the board at this year’s Oscars. Another big hit, the live action rework of Disney classic Beauty and the Beast joins it on the bill. This visually spellbinding film will delight filmgoers young and old with its tale of the bright and beautiful Belle (Emma Watson), who grows to love the kind-hearted beast.
Another great choice if you’ve got little people in tow is Moana, the colourful Disney animation about an adventurous teenager on a daring mission to save her people. There’s also Lego Batman, in which you can see Gotham’s brooding superhero as you’ve never seen him before, plus music and fun-filled kids flick, Sing, and a journey into the Harry Potter universe with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
There’s a crop of stone cold classics to get your teeth into too, starting on the Friday with Singin’ in the Rain. Regarded as one of the best movie musicals ever, this cinematic gem starring Gene Kelly has lost none of its charm in the more than 60 years since it was first released. On the same night, you can indulge in a 1980s nostalgia trip with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The next evening, it’s the turn of fantasy-comedy Groundhog Day, which sees Bill Murray playing an arrogant TV weatherman who finds himself trapped in a time loop. Murray also gets an airing with a screening of the original Ghostbusters, which remains as much of a treat as ever.
Perhaps you’d rather frolic with the von Trapps and Maria on an Austrian hillside? That’ll be The Sound of Music, which plays on 27 August, when you could also catch epic Indian historical masterpiece Bajirao Mastani. The films show at the same time; you pick which audio to listen to and screen to watch (don’t forget to take your own headphones).
“Movies on the Meadows weekend was a massive hit last year with 2,800 people over the four days, so obviously we are really excited to be bringing such huge titles to Grantchester again this year,” says Cambridge Film Festival marketing manager, Owen Baker. “There really is something for everyone, with a great mix of films in a perfect outdoor setting. Our Bollywood film, Bajirao Mastani, will look absolutely stunning under the stars, and personally I can’t wait for the amazing Bill Murray double header of Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters on Saturday and Monday!”
Dates for your diary
La La Land, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Singin’ in the Rain
Beauty and the Beast, Groundhog Day, Lego Batman
The Sound of Music, Bajirao Mastani, Sing
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Moana, Ghostbusters (1984)
Tickets for Movies on the Meadows are on sale now at the Arts Picturehouse Cinema and online through the Cambridge Film Festival website. camfilmfest.com/grantchester