Outdoor movies are a New York City tradition when the warm weather hits. Spend those summer evenings under the stars, watching both new flicks and classic films. We’ve narrowed down all of the best outdoor and rooftop film series happening throughout the Big Apple, so grab your blankets and your picnic baskets because these movies are coming to a park or pier near you. By Carly Petrone.
Syfy Movies with a View
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Syfy Movies with a View returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park starting July 11th. Mark your calendars because this year’s theme, “With Love From…”, will take you on a movie excursion around the world. Watch classics like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (7/25) and Enter the Dragon (7/18) while DJs from Brooklyn Radio spin pre-movie music from the films’ locations. Stargazers are also encouraged to attend as telescopes from the Astronomers Association of New York will be available for those who want to take a peek at the night sky. Viewers can also be a part of the summer movie series via Instagram , Facebook, and Twitter. All screenings begin at sundown through August 29th.
Intrepid Summer Movie Series
Intrepid’s Summer Movie Series has officially begun and that means it’s time to take family fun to the next level. Each film will be shown aboard the massive aircraft carrier, making it even more of an experience. Bring your lawn chairs and snacks and get ready to celebrate some your favorite heroes from the big screen at this year’s 5th annual movie series. Just a few of the films on this summer’s docket include National Treasure (6/21), Star Trek (7/26), and The Karate Kid (8/23). Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and series runs through August 23rd.
RiverFlicks for Grown-Ups
Hudson River Park
Hudson River Park’s RiverFlicks is catching you up on all the great movies you may have missed last year. Make your way to Pier 63 to watch Silver Linings Playbook (7/10), Looper (7/17), Argo (7/24), Moonrise Kingdom (7/31), The Avengers (8/7), and Pitch Perfect (8/14) on the big screen. The series starts on July 10th and concludes on August 21st with a screening of The Hunger Games, starring Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence. All movies are rated PG-13 and R so make sure the kiddos stay at home. Spend your Friday evenings snacking on free popcorn and watching the sunset along the Hudson. Screenings begin at 8:30 p.m. and admission is free.
Central Park Conservancy Film Festival
This year, the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival is letting you choose which movies to screen inside the “People’s Park.” From August 22nd – 26th, a different movie genre will be shown. Vote for your favorites online and then share your choice on Facebook and Twitter. Voting ends on June 23rd so make sure to log in and tell your friends what film you’re looking forward to watching at Sheep’s Meadow. This year’s genres include Classics, Family, Romantic Comedy, Horror, and Adventure. Festival runs from August 22th – 26th. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and movies begin at 8 p.m.
Rooftop Films Summer Series allows you to watch feature and short films at various parks and locations across the city. Check out shorts from the Sundance Film Festival, documentaries from around the world, and animation by some of the next great filmmakers. Whether you live in Brooklyn, Queens, or Manhattan, there’s something for every moviegoer to watch. Make sure to check out the Animation Block Party happening on July 26th. Series runs through August 17th and admission varies depending on location. Check website for more details.
Movies Under The Stars
Pier A Park
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Beginning in mid-June, Hoboken will offer free movies at Pier A Park, which overlooks the Manhattan Skyline. Located on First St. and Frank Sinatra Drive in Hoboken, the films will start at 9 p.m in June and July and at around 8:15 p.m. in August. Bring a blanket and food — but no booze, as alcohol is not allowed. There will be live entertainment before the movies start. Films to be shown include Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pie, Argo and Mary Poppins.
Movies Under the Stars at Habana Outpost
Every Sunday through October 27th, Habana Outpost will screen classic films like Grease (8/18), Can’t Buy Me Love (7/21), and The Goonies (9/1) out on the courtyard. The Fort Greene establishment, best known for its award-winning Cuban sandwich and bold tasting Mexican style corn, is the perfect place to kick back, relax, and enjoy the show with the entire family. Screenings begin at 8 p.m.
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival kicks off on June 17th with a screening of everyone’s favorite Dustin Hoffman film, Tootsie. Grab something to eat at ‘wichcraft and stake out your favorite spot on the lawn because this popular summer series is back through August 19th. Get ready to watch Academy Award-winning actresses like Sally Field star in Norma Rae (8/5) and screen legends like Bette Davis play the lead in Hush…Hush, Sweet Caroline (7/15). Gates open at 5 p.m. and admission is free.
Films in Tompkins
Tompkins Square Park
Not sure how to spend your Thursday evenings? Head over to Tompkins Square Park and watch a free movie screening along with live music before the show. Hang out in the East Village with your friends and family and gear up to see such classic cult films as Rushmore (6/20), The Big Lewobski (7/25), and Rocky Horror Picture Show (8/1). This free event runs every Thursday through August 8th. Gates open at 6 p.m. and movies begin at sundown.
Mad46 Summer Movie Night Series
Roosevelt Hotel, 19th Floor
What better way to watch a movie than on top of a rooftop with a cocktail in hand? Starting on June 11th, you can do just that thanks to the folks over at The Roosevelt Hotel. Head to the 19th floor lounge for the Summer Movie Night Series and watch your favorite films like Saturday Night Fever (8/13) and Animal House (9/24) al fresco. Table-side waitress service is available with reserved seating (with minimum $20/person order) while guests can sip on drinks from the bar. All you have to do is make a reservation here. Reservations@mad46.com. Pre-show cocktail hour starts at 8 p.m. and showtime begins between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The series runs through October 16th.
SummerScreen in McCarren Park
SummerScreen at McCarren Park begins on July 10th. So far, High Fidelity is in the lead for this year’s “Audience Pick,” which will be screened on the final night of the series. Other films to be shown include Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (7/17), The Craft (7/24), and Speed (8/7). Every Wednesday evening, you can enjoy a beer on the grass along with live music and local food. Get there early to claim your movie spot. Doors open at 6 p.m., bands go on at 6:30 p.m., and movies begin at sunset. Go to their Facebook page to vote for which movie you’d like to see on August 14th.
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Carly Petrone is a freelance writer living in New York City.