If you love a dog-friendly cinema, this Summer has you sorted, with many venues hosting special dog cinema screenings all around London! But does it end here? Not at all! We went on a hunt for Summer regular outdoor cinemas that allow dogs on a permanent basis, not just for special dates. In this post we tell you all about what you shouldn’t miss with your canine friend before Autumn comes! This post will be updated as soon as new dates are released.
This post was last updated on 13 June 2019.
Special dog cinema dates
Special dog-friendly screenings – i.e. one-off (or series of) shows open to canines – have been a big hit since 2017. If you like being surrounded by dogs and meeting like-minded people, this is a great thing to do with your four-legged companion and you should get your ticket for one or the scheduled dates at one of the venues offering them in London.
#1. Picturehouse Central’s dog-friendly screenings
Picturehouse Central is probably the cinema which has the merit of having started the trend. It has been hosting regular special dog-friendly cinema screenings since Summer 2017. At first, approximately once every 6 weeks, its schedule now adapts to the releases and also a number of dog films have used the venue for dog-friendly previews. Humans and dogs that are quick enough to get their tickets before they sell out (it is very common for these shows) are able to enjoy a film, in the comfy red chairs of this beautiful historic cinema. Blankets are provided to cover the seat to accomodate their furry friends and make sure that seats are kept clean from fur for the next guests, and doggie water bowls are provided.
If you want to get an idea about what this is like, you can read previous reviews here, here, and here or read an article by The Times in which we wer interviewed about the dog-friendly screenings here. Adult tickets are normally around £16, while dogs go free.
At the moment Picturehouse Central hasn’t releases the next dog-friendly screening date yet, but we will add them to the Dog Events Calendar as soon as they are and you’ll be able to find them here.
#2. Clapham Picturehouse opens to dogs again
Clapham Picturehouse has hosted a few dog-friendly screenings in the last year and a half, including “Isle of Dogs”, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (review here) and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”. Tickets for the previous screening cost £14.10 for adults, £7.70 for children, and there was a reduction for families at £30.80, while dogs went free! Like at Picturehouse Central, blankets to cover the seats and water bowls are provided.
If you want to combine your dog cinema date with some more dog-friendly activities in the neighbourhood, you can have a walk at the Common, and let your dog having swim in the pond. Nearby there is also dog-friendly The Windmill Clapham pub – where resident pub dog Max will greet you – and you can stop by for lunch.
They hope to make it a reasonably regular appointment, so we are keeping our eyes peeled to see when a new date comes out and we’ll keep you posted! New dates will be added here.
#3. Greenwich Picturehouse does the bis
Also Greenwich Picturehouse held a number of dog-friendly screenings, including “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”, “Isle of Dogs” and more. No new dates have been confirmed yet, but we’ll let you know.
#4. Other cinemas of the Picturehouse circuit
The Ritzy cinema in Brixton joined in with a few dog cinema screenings and so did Crouch End Picturehouse, Hackney Picturehouse, East Dulwich Picturehouse, and West Norwood Picturehouse.
#3. The Exhibit’s Puppy Love Cinema Club
The Exhibit in Balham is continuing its Puppy Brunch Cinema Club, now renamed Puppy Love Cinema, combining dog-friendly cinema screenings and pizza, with more dates and films. It started with classic Disney films like lady and the Tramp, and “101 Dalmatians”, during 2018, but it has now partially changed its formula with more non-dog films (thank dog!), so there is an interesting programme to satisfy all cinema tastes, and replacing the original pre-film brunch with a post-film pizza and drinks.
Weekly latest dates are held on selected Fridays or Saturdays for a 3.30pm film start. Tickets are available for film only (£8), cinema and pizza (£14) or cinema + pizza + bottomless drinks (£28). To know: the Exhibit is an 18+ year old only venue.
You can find the latest dates in the Dog Events Calendar here.
#4. Exhibit B’s Puppy Brunch Cinema Club continues
Also the Exhibit B, in Streatham, is in the game with their Puppy Brunch Cinema Club, and invites dogs and their owners to enjoy brunch and a screening. This year, also their calendar has shifted offering a more human-friendly film programme, with “Bohemian Rhapsody” on top of their list.
Tickets cost (£25) includes brunch, cinema and bottomless bubbles.
Latest dates here.
Other special dog-friendly screenings
South Place Hotel has hosted a few hot chocolate + movie events with dogs, the Sip and Snuggle, earlier this year. At the moment they don’t have any dates in the calendar, but we hope they will resume the events, as we found the experience really lovely.
Cinemas that are always dog-friendly
With so many special dog-friendly cinema shows, one may start wondering whether there are any venues that are always dog-friendly. We went on a hunt for them – especially with a thought to the many outdoor Summer cinemas in town – and this is what we found!
Unfortunately, the majority of outdoor cinemas don’t allow dogs. This is the case of Somerset House’s screenings (as I confirmed with the staff), The Luna Cinema (see their FAQs), The Nomad Cinema (see their FAQs), Rooftop Film Club’s Queen of Hoxton venue and Rooftop Film Club’s Roof East one, and City Cruises Time Out Movies on the River (as I confimed with their staff – as a side note, canines are not allowed on board for their dining cruises either, but they are allowed “at the captain’s discretion” on sightseeing cruises). Also, Pop-up Screens is not dog-friendly nor is the Backyard Cinema (as confirmed with the staff).
However, you will be pleased to hear that there are some cinemas that are always dog-friendly to any and all screenings, plus some cinema festivals.
1. Dog-friendly Rooftop Film Club at Bussey Building
1. First, the Bussey Building rooftop cinema is a silent cinema (you get headphones to listen to the film)! This means that you don’t need to worry about the volume of the screening for your dog! My concern before attending our first dog-friendly cinema, last year at Picturehouse Central, was exactly that it could have been unsensible to bring a dog for their sensitive hearing and I have spoken to many people who have the same worry before going. Most cinemas show films at a lower volume than normal for this exact reason, but what best than a silent one?
2. Second, Bussey Building’s cinema shows a mix of old classics (such as Top Gun, Dirty Dancing, etc) and recent releases (as for instance Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; A Quiet Place; La La Land). I lost count of how many times I heard dog owners complaining that special ad hoc dog-friendly screenings sometimes pick uninteresting films, or films featuring dog films that have the (unwanted) side effect of instigating agitation in the canine audience. For this majority (with which I tend to agree), the goal of going to the cinema with their dog is not to have their pooch watching the film, but rather being able to enjoy themselved and not having to leave their four-legged behind while they go out (avoiding the choice between sacrificing going to the cinema in order not to leave their dog at home or going anyway and feeling guilty about it). For this reason, looking at the Bussey Building rooftop cinema listing, this seems to offer the perfec range of choices!
Tickets are priced £15.95 for the lounge seat (on deckchairs) and £18.50 for lounge seat and bottomless popcorn, while double deckchairs start from £22.50 (more options on their website). You can find the full films programme on their website here.
2. Peckham Levels Film Club
Peckham Levels is a converted car park, which hosts a number of features, including co-working spaces bars and more. They also run a weekly free film club, the Peckham Levels Film Club, on most Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm in the Auditorium. Dogs are welcome to the screenings, which range from old classic to more recent releases.
For the latest dates and films, check out their Facebook event page.
3. Dogs at the Free Film Festival
Streatham Free Film Festival
The Streatham Free Film Festival (entirely run by volunteers) ran 15 to 29 September 2018, with pop-up cinemas appearing all around Streatham, the 2019 edition’s programme is yet to be announced, but they are hosting some screenings which will fund the festival, including a recent screening of “Isle of Dogs” which also welcomed dogs. We confirmed with the organisers that, in general, they allow dogs at their outdoor screenings. In the past, they have included dogs in screenings in pubs as well as out large screenings, adding that “we have had Alfie the Pug be our best PR weapon when flyering to promote our films”.
Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival
Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival will be on from 6th to 14th September 2019 and for last year’s edition we confirmed with the organisers that while for the indoor venues it will depend from the policies of the different commercial premises, their outdoor screenings are dog-friendly.
E N J O Y !