Picnic and drive-in movies, and fitness and wellbeing classes at Hatfield open-air cinema

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 20:16 10 July 2020

A fitness session at The Screen Space at Hatfield House. Picture: Matt Gourd, The Screen Space.

A fitness session at The Screen Space at Hatfield House. Picture: Matt Gourd, The Screen Space.

Matt Gourd.

A huge open-air cinema space has opened in Hatfield.

A picnic movie at The Screen Space at Hatfield House. Picture: Matt Gourd, The Screen Space.A picnic movie at The Screen Space at Hatfield House. Picture: Matt Gourd, The Screen Space.

Picnic films, fitness and wellbeing classes, and drive-in movies can all be enjoyed at The Screen Space in the stunning grounds of Hatfield House until August 2.

The event boasts a giant widescreen LED screen, which is one of the biggest in Europe.

The Screen Space is the brainchild of local events company owner Matt Gourd, who has provided the screens for the St Albans Film Festival, Watford Big Screen and many sports screenings around London.

With over 20 years of experience with big screens, he has worked with many top names in the music industry including Glastonbury, Muse, Coldplay and Robbie Williams.

An aerial view of The Screen Space at Hatfield House. Picture: Matt Gourd, The Screen Space.An aerial view of The Screen Space at Hatfield House. Picture: Matt Gourd, The Screen Space.

The Hatfield House venture opened on July 4 and has already proved to be a huge hit with both adults and kids.

State-of-the-art technology is used, with the ability to show films in 4K resolution.

A high-end sound system and FM transmitter ensures the quality of the visuals and sound is at cinema levels, but the experience is in the open air, with a lot of space to stretch out and move around safely.

Organiser Matt Gourd, of Vortex Events, said: “When the COVID-19 situation hit, I started to think about what I could do to keep my team busy and provide something that the local community could enjoy.

“Our experience of running large screen events such as movies and sports screenings meant that we could hit the ground running and a partnership with a beautiful local venue like Hatfield House made perfect sense.

“There is so much space at this venue, so social distancing is very easy, and the massive screen size means spectacular viewing from wherever your allocated space is.

“Parking is also plentiful, and free.”

The Screen Space aims to provide a spectacular experience for the drive-in and picnic movies, and also the wellness sessions.

It is hosting yoga, HIIT and Zumba, as well as Pilates, meditation, Clubbercise and dance classes.

Cameras are able to relay the fitness and wellness instructors onto the big screen, enabling everyone to see the action while remaining socially distanced outside.

To keep the kids entertained, there’s The Flying Seagull Project, and yoga and dance.

The historic venue itself has starred in many films, include recent Oscar-winning movie The Favourite, which was mostly made on location at Hatfield House.

A packed programme of events runs every day, kicking off with exercise and wellbeing classes in the mornings, with familiar faces such as Naomi Czuba, and Lorna Catchpole running sessions.

This is followed by family picnic movie screenings in the afternoons and evenings, and drive-in movies when the weather is not being kind.

The screen is about four times bigger than the one used for the St Albans Film Festival open air cinema in the grounds of St Albans Cathedral.

Movies coming up in the next few weeks include The Shape of Water, Beetlejuice, Moulin Rouge! and The Lost Boys, and for families Mary Poppins Returns, The Lego Movie, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and Toy Story, among others.

Tonight you can see Marvel movie Black Panther, while Captain America: Civil War is on Saturday afternoon.

Dirty Dancing is Saturday night’s entertainment.

On Wednesday, July 15, there’s a drive-in screening of Jaws, while Jurassic World can be seen on Sunday, July 19.

The Screen Space runs at Hatfield House until August 2. All tickets much be purchased prior to arrival.

Ticket holders are able to enter Hatfield Park in their vehicles via Station Lodge, located directly opposite Hatfield railway station on the A1000 Great North Road, in order to park closer to the event site.

Station Lodge is usually a pedestrian-only entrance, but for this event it will be accepting vehicles. Event parking will be on grass.

Drop off and disabled parking is available closer to the event site. All parking is free of charge.

For the kids’ morning sessions all children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

To help with social distancing, ‘social circles’ have been marked on the field.

Ticket holders will only be permitted to leave their social circle to access the toilet facilities, to visit the food court and to leave early.

Organisers say a maximum of four people are permitted in each social circle for wellbeing sessions and six for picnic film screenings.

For a full programme of events and to book tickets go to https://thescreen.space

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