Peckham might be hip and up-and-coming but still it isn’t the most consumer-friendly part of town. The ease of getting to the rooftop film club at the Bussey building depends on how close you are to the overground line or local bus networks. Even when you find the right number on Rye Lane, you do have to go pass a few back alleyways before you can locate the actual building. Although you do walk pass some stunning graffiti artwork on the building walls.
Once you have climbed to the top floor, you do get a sense of why rooftop cinema has been such a popular activity with Londoners in the know. There is an undeniable sense of liberation and freedom when you are on top of a tall building with an uninterrupted view of the horizon.
There are 2 main areas: the first area you should head for is their relaxing rooftop bar. Run by Spirited Mixers, they offer delectable cocktails as well as inviting liqueur desserts. Whilst, Forza Win brings their uniquely delicious Italian snacks and wood-fired sarneys to the hungry cinema-goers.
The cinema part fits perfectly into the roof top space: it is incredibly stunning with a peerless view of South London and illuminating fairy lights on the edge of the building. The deck chairs are comfortable, the plasma screen is suitably large and they have ensured there are speakers around the whole space to ensure comprehensive audio coverage.
It is however very different from a traditional cinematic experience inside an auditorium. The colour contrast isn’t particularly strong in the daylight, but it does improve as the sun sets. Your aural experience is likely to be affected by the abundance of planes flying pass the Peckham area; at times you might be distracted into plane spotting instead of concentrating on the film. I know at some of their other sites, they do hand out audio headsets.
Certain films work particularly well for rooftop cinema: I can imagine films like the Revenant or older classics that demand a grand setting. They don’t just show older films though, at our visit, we saw the relatively new, Joy with Jennifer Lawrence which is a biographical comedy-drama film about Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire. For a new prospective on London and film watching, head to their website today and find out about their next screenings.