Today: May 26, 2024

Social Cinema At Its Best

Five years ago, the UK’s first community social enterprise cinema, The Lexi Cinema in NW London decided to spread its wings and take the magic of independent cinema on the road. And so The Nomad was born.

The dream has always been to ‘transform lives through film’ which is achieved, not only through donating 100% of profits to charity, but by bringing local communities together; creating a shared experience for audiences to lose themselves in the wonder of film; to create new memories together; and enabling people to do good by simply having a great time.

Now entering its 6th year of meandering between some of London’s most inspiring, quirky and diverse locations, The Nomad brings its pop-up movie magic to many an unseen spot on London’s landscape. Collaborating with ever more partners and communities to bring the city to life in new, creative ways, all the time encouraging a sense of community and connection among audiences united by the love of film, the outdoors, and a shared cultural heritage. Bringing that little bit more sparkle to the pop-up cinema circuit, with street food, pop-up bars, bespoke pre-film playlists, special live music events, freebies, competitions, ‘Magic Carpet’ upgrades and more. Screening cult classics, Bowie/Rickman tributes, guilty pleasures, silver screen gems, recent hits and retro favourites; and, for the first time this year, introducing lates, shorts, exhibitions and canine cinema!

The programme this year speaks for itself – fun, familiar yet fresh, thought-provoking, relevant, bold and adventurous. A sense of community is at the heart of The Nomad: proudly enmeshed in London’s cultural tapestry, The Nomad is pleased to be introducing ‘1000 Londoners’ – a series of shorts created by Chocolate Films, portraying Londoners from all walks of life and all corners of the Capital. The films foster a sense of understanding between different communities and offer an insight into the lives of people who consider themselves to be Londoners. For each event, one of these 3 minute shorts has been thoughtfully hand-picked to complement the feature being shown.

New venues for this summer include landmark cultural destination Olympic Way, Wembley Park; the majestic National Maritime Museum; The Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey, steeped in the history of working Britain; the Royal Trinity Hospice and the Old Deer Park in Richmond. Even more venues still to be announced.

The Nomad prides itself on its partnerships and continues its 4-night season with the Royal Academy of Arts – RA Courtyard Cinema with Nomad. This year, film-goers will also have the opportunity to buy tickets to an intimate late evening viewing of the exhibition David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life.

The Grosvenor Film Festival presented by Nomad (GFF) is back for a third year at some of London’s most exclusive squares and elegant gardens including Grosvenor Square, Belgrave Square, Brown Hart Gardens and Wilton Crescent Garden. New for the GFF this summer, The Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey will offer a contrasting backdrop with a sense of the history of London’s working life, screening a ‘Made in London’ series.

Once again, The Nomad partners with The Royal Parks, bringing some cinematic magic under the stars to the beautiful leafy escape Bushy Park, the serene Hyde Park Lido on the banks of the Serpentine and the especially eerie Brompton Cemetery – with an extra date this year due to overwhelming popularity.

You can also catch the Nomad returning to some favourite haunts including Queen’s Park; Coram Secret Garden; Meantime Brewery, Greenwich; Victory Park, East Village; Paddington Street Gardens; and our year-round ‘Slackers Lounge’ residency at The Hoxton, Shoreditch.

At Queen’s Park this year, The Nomad is hosting a special dog-friendly screening of ‘Best in Show’ in support of The Mayhew Animal Home. So dog-owners can rejoice in being able to bring their dogs for some one-off canine cinema! The Mayhew Animal Home will be offering free microchipping on the day, as well as a ‘Pooch & Pal’ photo-booth, doggy décor and much more to keep you and your four-legged friend happy!

Tickets are available from Friday 22nd April. London estate agent Chestertons is generously subsidising a limited number of early-bird tickets at selected screenings, allowing movie fans who book early to receive £10 off each ticket. Simply sign up to the newsletter to access the early-bird discount, which is subject to availability.

This summer, pick up a brand new Nomad Passport to London loyalty card: come to 3 events, and join The Nomad on home turf at Queen’s Park at end of the season and celebrate a great summer of pop-up for free!

The Nomad’s ever-popular ‘Magic Carpet’ upgrade will once again be available at selected events where, for a little extra cost, film fans looking for a premium experience can upgrade their tickets for fast-track access and a spot in a prime viewing area for some extra comfort and luxury. The Magic Carpets (real carpet rugs, inspired by The Dude!) are decked out with fleece blankets (yours to keep) and comfy back supports, with goodie bags full of delicious treats.

Every ticket you buy to a Nomad or Lexi event means The Nomad and The Lexi Cinema are able to give more to The Sustainability Institute, a pioneering sustainable living and learning centre based in rural Stellenbosch, South Africa. Through a series of internationally acclaimed programmes, the SI is making a major difference for the families of Lynedoch Village and surrounding area. Much of the funding from the Lexi and Nomad is dedicated to working with the children in the village. Past projects include: supporting the village’s crèche; providing much-needed school meals; creating after-school clubs and activities (football, karate, and – yes – film-making!) to keep vulnerable teens engaged; as well as developing groundbreaking solar power and water management systems.

As the UK’s first Social Enterprise Pop-Up Cinema that donates 100% of its profits to charity, The Nomad has a fantastic Volunteer Programme offering valuable experience and ensuring as much profit as possible gets donated each year.

If all that makes you feel good, then The Nomad has done half its job. For the complete feel-good package, we’ll try one – or all – of Nomad’s cinematic adventures soon.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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