Film4 Summer Screen

06 Jun 2022

Although Somerset House will no longer continue with our August open-air cinema experience Film4 Summer Screen, we’re incredibly proud of our seasons with Film4, hosting over 200 screenings and talks over 15 years, and helping us to cement Somerset House’s distinctive profile as a world-class cultural venue. Film4 Summer Screen was one of the first large-scale events to be presented in our courtyard, and it set the precedent for many other outdoor cinemas popping up around the UK. 

We've so many wonderful memories and special moments to draw upon, from Tippi Hedren telling an audience of 2000 people about her experiences of working with Hitchcock as birds circled above our heads, Michael Caine revealing the answer to the enigmatic ending of Inception, Brian Blessed spontaneously reciting all of his lines live to Flash Gordon and Ava DuVernay's inspiring introduction to Selma. 

“This must be the most iconic venue for a film festival in the world”

Al Gore at the UK première of An Inconvenient Truth

We hosted over 30 UK and world premières, many of which went on to win the most coveted awards in the industry, and welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors into the real-life movie set of Somerset House to share in the laughs, suspense and emotion of much-loved movies, as well as sharing some incredible summer picnic spreads. 

We'd like to thank the fantastic team at Film4 for their collaboration and in particular, David Cox (Film4’s Channel Editor), who has been at the helm of Film4 Summer Screen since the very start. His unparalleled programming, invaluable guidance, support and abounding warmth and generosity to all who helped to make Film4 Summer Screen happen every August, united everyone behind his passion for the unique communal power of cinema come rain or shine.  We all very much hope that we'll find other ways of working with Film4 again in the future. 

“The one that started it all – or at least the one that made outdoor cinemas so popular”