Outdoor movies are modern-day versions of drive-in theaters, except without the ticket price. Going to see an outdoor movie is a great activity for everyone — whether it’s a date night, girlfriend get-together or family outing. And it almost doesn’t matter what’s on the screen.
Various parks, organizations and other groups throughout the nation host these events for all ages. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, blankets, food and even your pet, depending on the venue.
Interested in a night of free fun and entertainment in front of the big screen? Here is a list of some outdoor movie series for the Fourth of July weekend through the end of September. Each date has a different movie, so click the links for more information.
Mall of Georgia: Movies Under the Stars is a series of concerts and movies with four remaining dates between July 4 and July 27. The movies are all family-friendly films such as Rio 2 (above) and The Lego Movie.
Man of Steel, Jurassic Park and Clueless are just a few of the choices at Movies in Central Park, located at Atlantic Station. Movies start at dusk from July 3 to Aug. 6.
New York City
Key Largo, The Shining and The Karate Kid are among the offerings at the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival. Bryant Park has seven dates left: July 7, July 14, July 21, July 28, Aug. 4, Aug. 11 and Aug. 18.
Red Hook Flicks are shown at Valentino Pier on the Brooklyn waterfront with a view of the Statue of Liberty on Tuesdays from July 8 to Aug. 26. The movies, whose ratings vary, include Dazed and Confused, Madagascar, Hustle and Flow and Independence Day (below).
The Tony Dapolito Recreation Center in Manhattan hosts the Arts, Culture, and Fun Series on Tuesday nights from July 8 to Aug. 26.
Hudson River Park’s River Flicks Big Hit includes movies, with ratings ranging from PG to R, such as Iron Man 3, This Is the End and Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Wednesdays from July 9 to Aug. 20 on the Pier 63 lawn.
The Awesome Fest hosts three separate movie series, including a 75th anniversary mash-up of The Wizard of Oz synced to “Dark Side of the Moon,” by Pink Floyd, on July 10 at Clark Park:
- The Oval, a park on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Fridays from July 18 to Aug. 15
- Clark Park on Thursdays through Aug. 14, except on July 31
- Liberty Lands Park in Northern Liberties on Saturdays until Aug. 16, except July 19.
Three series are also part of Schuylkill Banks Outdoor Movie Nights:
- Grays Ferry Crescent on July 17, Aug. 14 and Aug. 28.
- Walnut Street Bridge on July 3, July 24, Aug. 7 and Aug. 21.
- Paine’s Park, a skate park on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, on July 31.
MUNCHKIN MASH-UP: The original MGM trailer for The Wizard of Oz. For the film’s 75th anniversary, the Awesome Fest in Philadelphia will include a mash-up of the classic synced to “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd.
Film Night in the Park is a Saturday series with films ranging from Frozen on July 12 at Union Square to American Hustle on Sept. 27 at Dolores Park.
Screen on the Green is a series at the National Mall on July 21, July 28, Aug. 4 and Aug. 11, when the Oscar-nominated film A Soldier’s Story, featuring Denzel Washington, will be shown.
Some of the movies in the Gateway D.C. Summer Film Series have a local connection such as Talk to Me on July 9. The biopic focuses on legendary radio personality Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene, portrayed by Don Cheadle with co-star and D.C. native Taraji P. Henson. Life of a King is a true-life story of a chess club at a D.C. high school on July 16. Other showings at St. Elizabeths East Campus will be on July 2, July 23, July 30, Aug. 5 and Aug. 13.
Capitol Riverfront: It’s a Whole New Ballgame is a series at Capitol Riverfront Canal Park on July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31, Aug. 7, Aug. 14, Aug. 21 and Sept. 4.
Films at the Stone is a new historic series near the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial with two remaining dates. The film 42 will be shown on July 24, chronicling Jackie Robinson’s contribution to history as the first black professional baseball player. The series ends on Aug. 28 with Mandela, which chronicles the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, the late South African leader.
Amylia Johnson is a writer based in Washington, D.C.