Summer Fun—Watching Films Outdoors


The drive-in is long gone, but we can still enjoy outdoor movies in the summertime. Bring a blanket, pack a picnic supper, gather a group of friends, and plan for a fun inexpensive evening out.

Some outdoor venues show old films, while others focus on upcoming independent offerings. Movies play except in extreme weather. For more information, check individual websites.

New York

Rooftop Films

Launched in July, 1997, on the roof of a tenement building, this outdoor film series has built up a loyal following. Rooftop Films shows independent films, many having their New York premiere outdoors! The venues change, from the American Can Factory in Brooklyn, to an Open Road Rooftop on the Lower East Side. Check the Rooftop’s website.

Intrepid Summer Movie Series

The carrier is back and so are the films. And somehow the films fit the setting—Top Gun, Spiderman, Goonies, E.T., Back to the Future, and other former blockbusters. Bring the kids but leave the alcohol at home. For more information check out the Intrepid’s website.

Bryant Park

Located behind the New York Public Library, this spot for outdoor movies remains a fan favorite. Offerings include The 39 Steps, Easy Rider, and The Lady Eve.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Watch films with a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Choices include The Sweet Smell of Success, Ghostbusters, and Basquiat.

For a complete list of outdoor films in New York , check the New York Parks website.

Washington DC

Capital Riverfront

E.T. makes an appearance in DC, too. Along with Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing, Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side, and Shakespeare in Love with Gwyneth Paltrow in her Oscar-winning role. Films show on Thursday nights (you didn’t plan to go into the office anyway on Friday, right?) Show up early for the best seats. Look at the website for more information.

Screen on the Green

What could be better than relaxing on the National Mall on a warm summer evening? Classics are on the menu here—Cool Hand Luke, In the Heat of the Night, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. See the website for dates and times.

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