With summer feeling like it’s in full swing with all of this intense heat, what better summer activity to enjoy than an outdoor movie?
As the great outdoors have become a familiar and crucial space for everyone throughout the pandemic, New Yorkers will only continue to utilize outdoor spaces with warmer months ahead.
And one of the most nostalgic and entertaining ways to spend a summer night is definitely enjoying an outdoor movie. With that, here are 13 spots to go see an outdoor movie this summer before the cold weather is back and we regret ever saying “it’s too hot out!”
This unique drive-in cinema not only boasts incredible movie showings, but breathtaking skyline views! Open in Greenpoint, at 1 Oak Street, there’s even a concessions stand for all your theater snacking needs. Each night’s production varies so make sure to check the movie listings to find out when your favorite films will be screened. Get your tickets now!
2. Queens Botanical Garden, Queens
For their first movie series ever, Queens Botanical Garden is putting on an outdoor cinema this summer. Visitors should bring their own blanket or lawn chairs but people can order “movie-themed food and refreshments” at the venue. Ticket holders even get after-hours access to the garden. You do not have to be a member to go. Read more information here.
3. Pix on the Plaza, Manhattan
The Standard, High Line has begun screening movies on their Plaza. From cult classics to Hollywood favorites, check the lineup for all of the upcoming screenings. Guests can order all kinds of drinks and snacks from the menu, and the best part—complimentary popcorn is provided!
4. Movies Under the Stars, Various Locations
NYC Parks and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment are working together to host over 150 free film screenings in parks across the five boroughs. See here for upcoming movies like Gremlins (1984) being shown this Friday at Pier 35 in Manhattan or Tom & Jerry for the kids at Cooper Park in Brooklyn on June 27th.
5. Syndicated, Brooklyn
This Brooklyn bar-theater offers free nightly screenings at their “Sidewalk Cinema” located on the side of their building! No tickets are required and seats are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Showtime begins at 9pm sharp every night. You can browse the lineup here.
6. Queens Drive-In, Queens
Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, this drive-in shows everything from the classics to independent films. All tickets are good for 1 car with up to 5 people, and a portion of the proceeds get donated towards Queens communities hit hardest by the pandemic. See here for more information.
7. Borough to Borough, Various Locations
Tribeca Film Festival’s new Borough to Borough program is bringing movie screenings all across NYC parks including Van Cortlandt Park, Marine Park, Flushing Meadows and many more. Reserve your tickets here.
8. Nowadays, Queens
This backyard paradise is an incredible spot for movie and music lovers. Shown on their outdoor big screen with an immersive custom-designed sound system, catch engaging screenings of The Song Remains The Same, Word Sound And Power (along with extra interviews) and much more. Movies are free and don’t require a reservations. Films begin at 8:30 p.m. See more details here.
9. The Greens, Manhattan
This Seaport favorite destination will be offering movies all summer long on their private mini lawns. Reservations are released one week in advance at 10 am. See the summer line up including Toy Story, Dirty Dancing, Remember the Titans and more here!
10. Bel Air Diner, Queens
Located in Astoria, Bel Air Diner has everything from Drag Brunch, to live music, and of course, outdoor film screenings. Order from a 3-course prix fixe menu and enjoy popular movies like Pretty Woman and Crazy Rich Asians. Tickets are available for cars, tables, and lounge seats. Look here at the upcoming events and reserve your tickets now.
11. Movies With A View, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy just announced the return of their beloved Movies With A View series, and this year’s theme is “Grit!” Movies will be screened on Thursdays beginning August 5th and running through August 26th. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. but the films won’t begin until 8:30 p.m. at sundown. Movie snacks will be available through Smorgasburg along the Pier 1 promenade. View the lineup here.
It’s not a NYC summer without Bryant Park’s free movie nights. And lucky for us, they will return after their year hiatus in 2020. The park will show 10 films this season beginning August 23rd on Monday and Tuesday evenings through September 28th. “Clueless” will kick off the events return, with the remaining lineup just announced.
13. CinemaLIC, Long Island City
Returning for another year on Long Island City’s waterfront, Hunters Point Parks Conservancy is putting on public movie screenings through September. Watch on their 30-foot inflatable screen and purchase all your necessary snacks on-site. The next showing will be on August 26 for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Learn more here.