Review | Backyard Cinema - Mission To Mars

24 April, 2018
Blogger, Leigh Travers, reviews the Backyard Cinema's Mission To Mars theme

Sci-fi aficionados, brace yourselves - you can now watch some of the genre's most iconic movies from an actual* spacecraft at the Backyard Cinema, based in London's Elephant & Castle. Who knew space travel was possible in south London?

*Well, maybe not an 'actual' spacecraft but it's believable enough!

You may have read my previous feature on Backyard Cinema's Snow Kingdom edition over the winter months and I didn't hold back when gushing over the cinematic experience. Backyard offer film-lovers a unique experience that immerses them within an imaginative version of that season's film genre's setting. As a huge sci-fi and dystopian film enthusiast, I was far more excited at the thought of this theme than any of their previous ones. In fact, just looking at the available film listings (click here to view the upcoming films), that boasts everything from Bladerunner (one of my all-time fave films) to Wall-E, had me facing the debacle of what film I should see!

Eventually, I settled on Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) because believe it or not, I hadn't actually seen it before our evening at Backyard Cinema - pretty embarrassing considering I call myself a sci-fi fan, eh? With our booking made, we headed south of the river on Easter Sunday evening to finally familiarise ourselves with the 70s cult classic.

Backyard Cinema have replicated the inside of a space craft for their Mission To Mars theme
Blogger, Leigh Travers, reviews the Backyard Cinema's Mission To Mars theme

Backyard Cinema is located within the Mercato Metropolitano Italian street food market and just a 5-minute walk from Elephant & Castle station. The cinema is tucked in the far corner but isn't easy to miss due to its futuristic exterior. Ticket holders begin their journey being screened at security before making their way to board a shuttle that takes passengers to the spacecraft!

The staff at the cinema are incredible and always stay in character so you really do fall into the narrative too. Backyard Cinema really is designed those still young at heart and indulge in a little escapism from time-to-time. However, if you're not one for full-on immersive experiences where you have to completely adopt a new role for the night, then Backyard Cinema is still for you as there's no pressure to play along - you can simply go along and just watch the film from the comfort of their beanbags!

The shuttle waiting to be boarded before it takes you to the 'spacecraft' screening room
An inside look at the shuttle at the Backyard Cinema

Inside the spacecraft, you'll find the crew ready to take your to your designated beanbags where you'll be able to kick back and enjoy the film. Backyard Cinema never miss a touch and even offer an intergalactic selection of drinks behind the bar, including 'Space Bubbles' shots and cocktails in astronaut ration pouches! With their cocktails boasting names such as Martian Mai-Tai, Rocket Fuel and Cosmo-politan, they really have created the perfect place to lose yourself whilst watching your fave sci-fi film.

The front of the cinema where the screen sits has been built to replicate the front of a giant spaceship complete with a control board, seats and steering wheels! Obviously it makes the perfect photo opportunity and there were plenty of people posing, taking the opportunity to get a snap before the film started (myself included).

Space Bubbles: themed vodka shots for the Mission To Mars edition of Backyard Cinema
Rocket Fuel, Martian Mai-Tai & Cosmo-politon: Space-themed cocktails in foil pouches to replicate astronaut rations

If you're looking for a completely different and affordable date night idea in London, be sure to put Backyard Cinema at the top of your list - it's out of this world (definitely not sorry for the pun)!

Find Backyard Cinema

Address: 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR
Closest tube stations: Elephant & Castle, Borough


Disclaimer: I was invited to the Backyard Cinema by their press team but all words are my own.


  1. I wish I lived closer to London, my boyfriend would really love this!

  2. I can't believe you hadn't seen Alien Leigh �� even I've seen all 4 Alien films, and I don't even really like sci-fi (number 2 is definitely the best)! Though I don't like sci-fi that much, I love the sound of this immersive experience - do you have any clue to what their next themes are going to be? As I'd love to visit x

  3. Well, that's father's day present sorted for my husband (and he needs to take me of course) I didn't know about this, thanks for the head up!

  4. Oh this looks amazing! What a fantastic place for a night out. Kaz

  5. That sounds so cool!! What a unique thing to do -- I wish there was something like this near us

  6. Omg my son would so love this! And me! I’m great fan of sci-fi myself however now I see or read less, but I would love to watch there Blade Runner. Thank you for sharing this place

  7. This looks like so much fun and those chairs super comfy. I would love to do this, although maybe not alien!

  8. OK, this has got to be the coolest cinema I've ever seen! I think both my little ones would enjoy having a visit here :)

    Louise x

  9. I REALLY want to do one of these, but I just can't quite get my act together and get along to a screening! Can kids go along too? My girls would absolutely love it too. x


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