Review: Top Gun at Caversham Court GardensBy Caroline Cook
June 11, 2012
All through Saturday I was crossing my fingers and desperately hoping it wouldn't rain.
Although I'm a firm believer in the 'carry on whatever the weather' British attitude you have to admit, no matter how hardy you are, that an outdoor cinema is always going to be better on a dry night.
And we were certainly lucky on Saturday evening when, in between two of the soggiest days we've had this month, the clouds halted for a few hours for Top Gun.
Walking under the stone archway at Caversham Court Gardens we were met by the team from Summer Screens who gave us a wristband and headphones.
Having expected a barbecue we were a little disappointed, and hungry, to find out it had been cancelled last minute but we had just enough time to pop to The Griffin in Caversham for a speedy platter of tapas style food.
Upon return we made our way to the riverbank and found a little clearing filled with brightly coloured striped deck chairs and giant double bean-bags laid out underneath a huge screen.
The bean-bags (£25 for two people) looked comfy, and were a popular choice, selling-out for the Top Gun screening.
We found a pair of deck chairs (£10), after making a stop-off at the bar for a cider and an English ale, which were around £3.50/£4 a pint.
There was also popcorn and chocolate on offer, along with wine and soft-drinks.
At just after 9.30pm we were invited to switch on our headphones and the sounds of soaring fighter planes and the wonderful 80s soundtrack burst into our ears.
The headphones are a handy idea as you have your own volume control and after a few minutes you forget you're even wearing them.
Having expected a chilly night I piled on the layers but still envied the clever cinema-goers who had gone all out with woolly blankets, sleeping bags, and in one case, a fluffy looking onesie.
That's the beauty of Summer Screens, you can bring all manner of blankets and things to keep warm under the stars, and there was enough space between deck chairs to ensure you aren't snuggling up to your neighbours too.
Top Gun, of course, was brilliant on the big screen, and it's a treat seeing one of your favourite films in the great outdoors.
As the dusk turned to darkness the lights from homes and businesses across the river twinkled in the distance creating a cinema experience which is well worth the extra few pounds on the price of a normal cinema ticket.
And I can safely say it's probably the only time you'll hear a duck quack while you're at the movies.
- The next Summer Screens showings will be announced soon. Visit www.summerscreens.co.uk for more information.