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outdoor movie screenings in NYC

Lights, Camera, Action: The Complete List of Outdoor Movie Screenings in NYC

By / May 18, 2018

Summer in New York City means plenty of ways to watch movies al fresco, with most flicks available for your viewing pleasure at no cost to you. We’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of venues to experience the magic of the movies under the summer sky.

NYC Parks Presents: Free Movies Under the Stars

Various Locations

The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation has sprinkled a bunch of movie nights into its summer event calendar. Across the five boroughs, enjoy a selection of family-friendly films, most of which are free and are all great excuses to spend a night in one of the city’s hundreds of parks.

When: May 18–September 9, select days and times

The lineup includes: Moana (6/8), Black Panther (6/16), and A League of Their Own (6/30)

Check out the full lineup here.

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Rooftop Films

Various Locations

Rooftop Films will be screening all kinds of genres at venues across the city this summer. The series will feature independent movies, short films, and even Q&A sessions with filmmakers. Many titles have been named, but the list is constantly being updated. Keep an eye on the lineup — the best is yet to come.

When: May–August, select days at various showtimes

The lineup includes: American Animals (5/30), Nancy (5/31), and Damsel (6/2)

Check out the full lineup here.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Summer Movie Series

Hell’s Kitchen

Here’s a uniquely New York experience: Catch a movie on the deck of an aircraft carrier used in World War II, while taking in views of NYC’s skyline and the Hudson River. Did we mention it’s also free? Just make sure you arrive early, since space is limited.

When: May 25–August 24, Fridays at 7pm

The lineup includes: Wonder Woman (6/29), Friday the 13th (7/13), Dunkirk (7/27), and Ghostbusters (8/10)

Check out the full lineup here.

Rooftop Cinema Club

Midtown

Featuring cult, classic, and recent releases, Rooftop Cinema Club hosts the ultimate after-work hangout. This year, the series will take place in its new home at SkyLawn at Embassy Suites by Hilton. Your ticket hooks you up with a pair of wireless headphones to control your preferred volume, sweet skyline views, and options for handcrafted cocktails and delicious bites.

The film lineup has been released for only May and June so far, but you can keep your eyes peeled for future announcements here. Tickets sell out fast, so keep a close eye on the upcoming film lineup and snag your spot.

When: May–September, select days at 8:15pm

The lineup includes: Top Gun (5/27), Do the Right Thing (5/28), and Baby Driver (6/1)

Check out the full lineup here.

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Bryant Park’s Movie Nights

Midtown West

Spend your Mondays sprawled out on the lawn at Bryant Park this summer, with a movie playing just as the sun goes down. Bring your own food for an epic movie picnic, or take advantage of the bites for sale from a rotating mix of Hester Street Fair vendors located on the Fountain Terrace. A full lineup of films is expected to be released in the coming weeks, so more info will be available soon.

When: June 18–August 20, Mondays from 5pm to 11pm

The lineup includes: The Breakfast Club (6/18), Little Miss Sunshine (7/9), and The Princess Bride (7/23)

Check out the full lineup here.

Films on the Green

Various Locations

Films on the Green, a French film series, will celebrate its 12th anniversary this year by presenting 12 classic and contemporary French films that focus on the relationship between French culture and gastronomy. Movie themes will include everything from Parisian bistros to the vineyards of Southern France. You might want to pack some French wine to sip as you enjoy the weekly films.

When: June 1–September 6, select days at 8:30pm (except for September 6 at 7:30pm)

The lineup includes: Le Grand Restaurant (6/1), The Rules of the Game (6/15), Le Boucher (7/6), and The Grocer’s Son (9/6)

Check out the full lineup here.

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach

Coney Island

As if Nathan’s and Luna Park weren’t enough reasons to spend a summer evening at Coney Island, the neighborhood’s free outdoor movie series will definitely inspire you to make the trip. The beach at West 12th Street will transform into an outdoor movie experience with a 40-foot inflatable screen playing movies across all genres.

When: July –September

Check soon for the full lineup here.

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Hudson RiverFlicks

Chelsea

Catch a free film on Big Hit Wednesdays on Pier 63 aimed at the older crowd, with all titles rated PG-13 or R. Movies start around 8:30pm when the sun sets, but get there early to grab free popcorn and buy snacks and beverages from the on-site vendors.

When: July 11–August 22, Wednesdays at 8:30pm

Check soon for the full lineup here.

Summer on the Hudson: Pier 1 Picture Show

Upper West Side

Pack a picnic basket and leave your wallet at home. For seven weeks this summer, it’s free to find a spot on the pier and enjoy a flick each Wednesday. Just arrive early if you want a prime spot — seating begins at 6:30pm and showtime starts around 8:30pm. This year’s titles all fall under comedy, so get ready to laugh the night away under the stars.

When: July 11–August 22, Wednesdays at 8:30pm

The lineup includes: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (7/11), Toy Story 3 (7/25), Coco (8/1), and Up (8/22)

Check out the full lineup here.

Outdoor Cinema

Long Island City

Film Forum and Rooftop Films are joining forces to present another year of Outdoor Cinema, a free international film festival that celebrates the cultural diversity of Queens. The event takes place at Socrates Sculpture Park on Wednesdays, highlighting films that represent a different country or culture, with English subtitles provided. Movies are intended for an adult audience only, so leave the kiddos with a sitter. Guests can bring their own food if they choose, and all are welcome to sit back, relax, and enjoy everything Outdoor Cinema has to offer.

When: July 11–August 29, Wednesdays at 7pm

The lineup includes: Monsoon Wedding (7/11), The Young Girls of Rochefort (7/25), Spirit of the Beehive (8/8), and Kedi (8/22)

Check out the full lineup here.

SummerScreen

Williamsburg

Thanks to Northside Media Group (the same folks responsible for Northside Festival, Taste Talks, and Brooklyn Magazine), McCarren Park will be the summer hangout spot for six hump days from July to August — and the place to check out some major pop culture hits for free.

SummerScreen’s film series, now in its 13th year, is about more than just the cult classics, though. Before films start at sundown, live bands will play at 6pm to make the experience extra awesome. The final film of the series will be the audience’s pick, so make sure to cast your vote on SummerScreen’s website. The series is also dog-friendly, so bring your pup along, and don’t forget the treats (for both you and your furry friend).

When: July 11-August 29

The lineup includes: Jawbreaker (7/11), Love & Basketball (7/25), and Die Hard (8/15)

Check out the full lineup here.

Central Park Film Festival

Midtown

The Central Park Conservancy will once again host its free weeklong film fest, taking place on the vast green space between Sheep Meadow and the 72nd Street Cross Drive. DJs kick off the fun with live music at 6:30pm, and movies start just as the sun goes down. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and pack a picnic basket, but to leave the glass bottles and chairs at home. The schedule for this year will be announced sometime soon.

When: August (Dates TBA) at 8pm

Check soon for the full lineup here.

Movies With A View

Dumbo

One of the city’s most scenic spots for watching movies is Brooklyn Bridge Park. Its appropriately titled “Movies With A View” series will screen pop-culture classics on the Harbor View Lawn every week. Bring a blanket and pack a picnic basket for the ultimate movie experience, and arrive early to enjoy a live set from various Brooklyn radio DJs.

When: July–August

Check soon for the full lineup here.

Outdoor Movie Night at Randall’s Island Park

Randall’s Island

See a free movie at this series featuring a mix of old and new classics. Showing family-friendly films, this is a destination with fun for all ages. Just pack snacks and a blanket, and enjoy your mini island getaway for an epic movie night out.

The lineup includes: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (6/9), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (7/8), and Guardians of the Galaxy (8/19)

When: May 25–August 19, select dates at 8:30pm

Check out the full lineup here.

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ImageNation Outdoors Film & Music Festival

Harlem

This free festival fuses music and movies, with live soul performances going down before every film. Presented in partnership with the NYC Parks Department, showings take place at some of Harlem’s most beloved green spaces, like Marcus Garvey Park and St. Nicholas Park.

When: June 15September 7, select days at 6pm

The lineup includes: Pacific Rim: Uprising (6/15), Fences (7/20), and Black Panther (8/11)

Check out the full lineup here.

Red Hook Flicks

Red Hook

Bring your picnic blankets and well-behaved (A.K.A. quiet) pups to this free film series set on Brooklyn’s waterfront at Valentino Pier. You can bring your own snacks and drinks along, but if you’re running to Red Hook straight from work, rest assured there will be vendors selling bites on-site.

When: July 10–August 28, Tuesdays at 8:30pm

Check soon for the full lineup here.

 

CinemaLIC

Long Island City

See a mix of classic movies set against the backdrop of the New York City skyline at this free film series in Hunter’s Point South Park that’s presented by NestSeekers International and Hunters Point Park Conservancy and hosted by LIC Landing.

When: June 8–September 15, select days at sunset

The lineup includes: Moonstruck (6/15), Sleepless in Seattle (7/19), and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (8/16)

Check out the full lineup here.

Tribeca Drive-In Presents Westfield Dinner & A Movie

FiDi

For nine nights this summer, this free series at Oculus Plaza will show movies that all share one thing in common: food. Whether it’s a theme or just a scene, cuisine will be featured in one way or another, and to elevate the experience, local vendors like Eataly NYC Downtown, Choza Taqueria, and Blue Bottle Coffee will be there to satisfy any cravings.

When: Three blocks of three days; June 14–16, July 12–14, August 9–11 at 7:30pm

The lineup includes: La La Land (6/14), When Harry Met Sally (7/12), and Coming to America (8/10)

Check out the full lineup here.

Escape in New York: Outdoor Films on Governors Island

Governors Island

New to the outdoor movie screening scene this year, this film series will bring four movies to Governors Island this summer. With each flick inspired by New York City, moviegoers can feel right at home on the newly restored Parade Ground, complete with panoramic views of Lower Manhattan. Created in partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, each movie will also be paired with a short film from a local filmmaker.

When: June–September, second Friday of each month at 7pm

The lineup includes: Desperately Seeking Susan (7/13), Ghostbusters (810), and The Last Dragon (9/14)

Check out the full lineup here.

By

Melanie is a Jersey girl who now calls Brooklyn home. She’s written for Fuse TV, MTV News, Interview Magazine and more, and enjoys creating content that informs, inspires and entertains people. She’s passionate about music, running, cheese and dachshunds, and her husband fully accepts her love affair with NYC.

More articles by Melanie Gardiner

Comments

12 Comments

  1. Rob Basch

    Best outdoor movie series in NYC is CinemaLIC on the waterfront in Long Island City. Series starts Saturday night with Wizard of Oz and then Moonstruck, Sleepless in Seattle, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Ratatouille. For more info go to Hunterspointparks.org or cinemalic.com

  2. Real New Yorker

    As always with these things, this isn’t “every” screening – you’re missing several series and list some duplicatively – and you listed a lineup from last year as this year’s. But that’s what you get for clickbait content from non-natives.

  3. Sue Rock

    you missed Fab Flicks in Brooklyn, in cooperation with BAM:
    FAB Flicks
    Presented in Partnership with

    Multiple Dates, Thursdays + NEW Location
    8:30p
    The Lot at Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, 650 Fulton (at Lafayette), Fort Greene

    Fans of the ‘80s and ‘90s rejoice: FAB Flicks is back with cinematic favorites presented al fresco under the stars in a new location: our own Brooklyn “backlot!” You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll recite classic lines alongside neighbors and friends as you revisit a block of FAB films, especially curated for this summer series by BAMcinématek. (Arrive early for music, fun giveaways and special treats!)

    June 28

    Coming to America

    Dir. John Landis (1988) 116 min

    Comedian Eddie Murphy stars as pampered African prince Akeem, who rebels against an arranged marriage and heads to America to find a new bride.

    Also starring Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos.

    July 19
    The Five Heartbeats
    Dir. Robert Townsend (1991) 121 min
    Five friends leave their poor neighborhood and head for a new type of music – Motown – in this exciting film starring Diahann Carroll, Leon, and Robert Townsend (who also directs).

    August 9

    The Princess Bride

    Dir. Rob Reiner (1987) 98 min

    A grandfather (Peter Falk) reads a book to his ill grandson (Fred Savage). He assures a romance-weary boy that the book has much more to deliver than a simpering love story, including but not limited to fencing, fighting, torture, death, true love, giants, and pirates. Also starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin Wright.

    August 23
    Purple Rain
    Dir. Albert Magnoli (1984) 111 min
    Set against the subculture of the thriving Minneapolis music scene, a struggling musician (Prince) deals with his hatred for his abusive father and his love for a beautiful singer/dancer. Also starring Apollonia Kotero and Morris Day.

  4. Susan Anderson

    Would you mind adding SummerStarz movies at Transmitter Park? And how can we send you a schedule next year?

    14th Annual FREE SummerStarz Movies
    Six Fridays, July 6th to August 10th, 8 PM
    Transmitter Park, Greenpoint Avenue & East River Waterfront, Brooklyn

    Town Square’s SummerSTARZ free family movie nights are back. Bring a picnic blanket, friends & family to the gorgeous Greenpoint waterfront.
    The Lego Batman Movie (PG) – July 6
    Inside Out (PG) – July 13
    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13) – July 20
    Coco (PG) – July 27
    Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (PG-13) – August 3
    Black Panther (PG-13) – August 10

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