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The Social Cinema

We organise innovative and inclusive screenings and events.

In the summer we run an open-air cinema in Higham Hill Park (E17) with screenings for children and adults alike.

Bring a picnic blanket, your charged smartphone and headphones as we stream the audio to your own device.
The tickets are offered on a pay what you can afford basis. No questions asked.

We also produce events that encourage participation and exploration, and merge diverse media and technology.
We believe in the power of storytelling as a communal experience.

Have a look below to see what we have in store for you.


17-18 July 2021

Wood Street Library

We’ve partnered with community-led housing association Forest CLT to help them spread the word about their fantastic organisation.

Come to Wood Street Library on 17th and 18th July. You will be able to find out more about what Forest CLT does and discover what community-led housing is.

We’re producing a custom, analog video wall installation to tell Forest CLT’s story.


Weekends - August 2021

Higham Hill Park

Pay what you can afford, with ticket prices at £3/£6/£9. No questions asked.
Audio will be streamed to your phone. Bring a charged smartphone, a pair of headphones and your picnic blanket.
No need to worry if the weather looks bleak, we now have a marquee to cover our heads.

Food and drink will be available for sale.
Have a look at our FAQs and How it works sections for more info.

Note on COVID-19:

Please stay at home if you are displaying COVID symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who tested positive, your ticket will be re-funded in full.
We also would like to strongly encourage everyone to keep their distance at our screenings, Please keep you picnic blanket two meters apart from others and wear a face covering when arriving, using the toilets, or going to the bar.


With great films suitable for younger viewers - but enjoyable for all - Saturdays will be dedicated to our FAMILY PROGRAMME.

Sundays will feature our WOMAN-MADE PROGRAMME, where we celebrate women film-makers. We will show some of our favourite films from the last few years, all four movies exclusively written and directed by women film-makers.




18-19 September 2021

Leytonstone Loves Film

For this year’s Leytonstone Loves Film festival we’re planning a Scavenger Hunt for families.

We will embed installations in buildings and shops along the High Road in Leytonstone. We want to explore moving images through a range of techniques and media and to return to the roots of the production of illusion and movement.

You’ll have to look for glowing things: projections, lights, mirror balls and vintage monitors.

Can you find them all?

Clues and details coming soon!


Family Programme:

Poster for Spider man: into the Spider-verse

9pm - Saturday 7 August 2021

Spider man: into the Spider-verse (2018), dir. Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Bob Persichetti

Rating: PG

Winner of the Golden Globe and the Academy award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2019, this latest chapter in the Spider man series re-invents the genre showing us a depressed and divorced Spider man and introducing five super-heroes with spider super-powers. They will have to work together to save New York City form Kingpin and his Super Collider.


Poster for Portrait of a Lady on Fire

9pm - Sunday 8 August 2021

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019), dir. Céline Sciamma

Rating: 15

We fell in love with this film – one of the best ones of writer and director Céline Sciamma - and we're truly excited to be able to screen it as part of our programme.
In 19th century Brittany, a painter has been asked to secretly paint the portrait of a young aristocrat that will be sent to her future husband, despite the young woman refusal to marry and to pose for such a portrait. The painter will pretend to be there as a companion and try to remember her features to paint them in secret.


Family Programme:

Poster for Missing Link

9pm - Saturday 14 August 2021

Missing Link (2019), dir. Chris Butler

Rating: PG

Mr. Frost is trying to prove he's a great explorer to gain membership of an exclusive explorers' club and leaves for a mission to America to find the mythical Sasquatch. To his surprise, he'll also discover that the last surviving Sasquatch can talk, write and is feeling very lonely. They embark together on a mission to find the Sasquatch's cousins, the Yetis, in the Himalayan mountains.


Poster for Rocks

9pm - Sunday 15 August 2021

Rocks (2020), dir. Sarah Gavron

Rating: 12

Rocks follows a week in the life of a 15 year old girl, who's left, by her struggling mother, to look after herself and her younger brother. Determined to avoid the attention of the authorities, she carries on as best as she can, relying only on her resourcefulness and her friends.
One of the best films of 2020, this is a truly collective and anti-hierarchical project, written, directed, produced and edited by a fantastic woman-led team.


Family Programme:

Poster for The Kid Who Would Be King

8.40pm - Saturday 21 August 2021

The Kid Who Would Be King (2019), dir. Joe Cornish

Rating: PG

12 year old Alex has just started secondary school. After pulling a sword from a rock he realises he has found Excalibur – the sword of King Arthur - and that he has now woken up the wicked sorceress Morgana. To defeat her, Alex will need the help of his friend Bedders, a couple of school bullies and Merlin, who ages backwards and is now an awkward teenager.
Another great film for the writer and director of Attack the Block.


Poster for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

8.40pm - Sunday 22 August 2021

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), dir. Ana Lily Amirpour

Rating: 15

In a timeless post-industrial city, a girl walks home alone at night. But nothing in this film goes as you would expect: meet the coolest skate-boarder vampire (in a chador) you'll ever see. Written and directed by Iranian-American Ana-Lily Amirpour, it's already become a cult movie.


Family Programme:

Poster for Coco

8.40pm - Saturday 28 August 2021

Coco (2017), dir. Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich

Rating: PG

Winner of the Best Animated Feature Film at the Academy Awards, at the Golden Globe Awards and at the BAFTAs, it's one of the best Pixar's films yet.
The story takes place during the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead. Young Miguel tries to take part to a talent show for musicians despite his family's prohibition. He will have to travel to the Land of the Dead to reconnect with his ancestors and reverse his family's ban on music.


Poster for Booksmart

8.40pm - Saturday 29 August 2021

Booksmart (2019), dir. Olivia Wilde

Rating: 15

One of the most hilarious comedies of the last few years and one of the sweetest. It's a film that takes us on a truly wild night out, where two geeky teenage girls try to make up for four years of missed fun. A teen-comedy like no other, filthy and fun, but tender and awkward at the same time.


If you or any member of your household are showing symptons of COVID or have received a positive test you must self isolate and not attend our screenings.

When should I arrive?

- Doors will open as listed, note that times change as it becomes darker earlier. Please arrive in good time to allow time to find a space and set up the audio on your phone.

Is there wheelchair access the space?

- There is step-free access to the site. Please let us know in advance, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Are there toilets?

- Yes, including an accessible toilet. Please queue outside as we will operate a one in one out policy.

How are pitches assigned?

- Pitches are not assigned. Please keep your blanket 2 meters apart from others.

Can I bring a chair?

- Yes, if you feel you require one, However, we would ask those with chairs to sit at the back or sides so as not to restrict others’ views.

Can I bring children?

- Yes, but please note the film certification, as we cannot admit those under age to restricted titles.

Can I bring a dog?

- Yes, responsible dog owners are welcome.

What if it rains?

- The event will go ahead in bad weather. There is a marquee at Higham Hill Hub that can accommodate most of the audience. Please arrive early to secure a place under the roof. Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately. Patrons accept the risk that weather they consider to be unsatisfactory may occur on a screening night and acknowledge that tickets will not be exchanged or refunded unless the ticket is cancelled by The Social Cinema. In the unlikely event of extreme wind or rain The Social Cinema may cancel the event due to safety concerns. This will be communicated as early as possible and you will be refunded the ticket cost.

Will there be subtitles?

- For any foreign-language film or segment subtitles will be on-screen.


- This year we have decided to sell single tickets only. Just buy as many singles as you need - as you would do in a standard cinema. People from the same household or bubble will be able to sit together.
Please keep your distance from others.
- Despite mask wearing and social distancing now being voluntary, we would like to strongly encourage everyone to keep their distance at our screenings, as number of cases are high. Please wear a face covering when arriving, using the toilets, or going to the bar.

How it works

When you arrive you will need to connect your phone to our network in order to have all audio for the evening streamed to your device. The process works as follows:

Connect your headphones to phone.
Open the Settings app. Select Wi-Fi.
Connect to network which will be provided.
Enter password
Open your browser.
Type the provided address
Press play button.
Wait for the sync video to test.

If you require fine adjustment to audio timing this can be done with plus and minus buttons on your browser.

The right hand button is for if your audio is after the bip/bop indicator on the screen.
The left hand button if your audio is early.

These buttons can be pressed multiple times during sync video.
Please leave the audio running after you have sync.


The gate to access the space can be found via this pin: https://goo.gl/maps/e42dFmN2M2YzZBkX9

Once at this point walk past the cafe, The Higham Hill Hub space is through the yellow gates on your right.

Nearest underground: Blackhorse Road (approx. 15 minute walk.)

Bus: W15, 158

Who we are

We are Ben and Anna, we have worked with museums, galleries, lighting and projections. We decided to do this mid-lockdown. Trying to do something good during strange times.

None of this would have been possible without Insight Lighting. (equipment/support/good nature)

and Magnus Dahlstrand (audio app/website/support/good nature)


Email: [email protected]

Web: socialcinema.london

Instagram: @socialcinemalondon

Single pitches are strictly for one person.
Double pitches are for two adults and up to one child, or one adult and up to two children from the same household or support bubble.
If your group size is larger you must sit across multiple pitches.