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Outdoor Movies in New York City

See Free and Cheap Outdoor Movies in NYC this Summer


The heyday of the drive-in movie is over, but New Yorkers can enjoy outdoor "walk-in" movies all over Manhattan this summer. So pack up your beach blanket and your popcorn for a night at the movies under the stars.

The HBO Film Festival in Bryant Park has become a summer tradition and inspired other outdoor movie screenings all over Manhattan. Choose from recent blockbusters, classic movies, indie films, and family-friendly flicks at locations uptown and downtown, east and west.

1. HBO Film Festival in Bryant Park

Bryant Park Movie Screen

Spread out a picnic on the lawn in Bryant Park and watch classic films in the open air with your fellow New Yorkers. The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival is a New York summer tradition. This year's films include classics from The Wizard of Oz to The Raiders of the Lost Ark

All films begin at dusk (usually between 8 pm and 9 pm), but the lawn opens at 5 pm for blankets and picnicking. See photos of the HBO Film Festival in Bryant Park.

2. Central Park Film Festival

Central Park in summer

Celebrate movie making in Central Park during this free August film festival. The first film shot in Central Park was Romeo & Juliet (1908). Since then, more than 250 films have used Central Park as a backdrop.

The Summer 2012 film selections are all cult classics. From August 21-25, enjoy free nightly screenings of films including Do the Right Thing, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, The Big Lebowski, and Animal House. The last night's film will be viewer's choice. Vote for Eddie Murphy in Coming to America or Kevin Smith's Clerks.

Rain or shine, all screenings start at 8 PM and gates open at 6:30 PM. Films will be shown just north of the Sheep Meadow, mid-park at 69th Street beside Le Pain Quotidien.

3. U.S.S. Intrepid Film Fest

The Intrepid Museum in New York

Enjoy classic movies at free screenings aboard the famous U.S.S. Intrepid from May 25-August 17, 2012.

The 2012 Intrepid Summer Movie Series is all about family fun. Films include Spider-Man, The Goonies, The Muppets, Star Trek, and Jurassic Park.

4. RiverFlicks for Kids and Grown-Ups

RiverFlicks Summer Movies

Enjoy free movie screenings with a Hudson River view this July and August. On Wednesday evenings, you can catch movies for grown-ups on the Pier 63 lawn at 22nd Street and the Hudson(including MoneyBall, Super 8, Bridesmaids, and Horrible Bosses). On Friday evenings, see flicks suitable for the whole family on Pier 46 at Charles Street (including Kung Fu Panda 2, Hugo, Puss in Boots, Rango, and Back to the Future).

5. River to River Movies on the Elevated Acre

elevated acre outdoor movies

The River to River Festival is hosting a free series of outdoor movie screenings on the Elevated Acre at 55 Water Street, a spectacular open-air plaza that overlooks the East River. The 2012 films are presented in association with Tribeca Film and the line-up features new independent features.

Selections include Martin Sheen in Stella Days (June 18), Martin Donovan and David Morse in Collaborator (June 25), The Runway (July 2), and Keanu Reeves' documentary Side By Side (July 9). All screenings start at 8pm and feature an opening program of short films. Seating is first-come, first-served beginnign at 6pm.

6. Rooftop Films

rooftop films
Photo courtesy of Sarah Palmer

The Rooftop Films summer series of "Underground Movies Outdoors" will run every weekend through August 18, 2012. Screenings are hosted on the rooftops of venues all over New York City and feature after parties at local bars. Tickets are $12 at the door or online.

7. madMovies: A Rooftop Movie Series at The Roosevelt Hotel

Roosevelt Hotel rooftop bar mad46

The rooftop lounge at The Roosevelt Hotel NYC is hosting a rooftop movie series this summer, complete with movie-theme drink specials. All films begin at sunset and this summer's diverse line-up includes Man on a Ledge (filmed at the hotel), The Dictator, Men in Black III, Jaws, and other favorites.

8. Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Series

Zip over to Roosevelt Island for free outdoor movie screenings. The series begins with Captain America on June 30, 2012 and continues on select Saturday nights with movies including Grease, The Help, and the Lion King. All films begin at dusk (about 8:00). Bring a chair or blanket and get cozy.

9. Movies on the Oval at Stuyvesant Town

Stuyvesant Town Oval

Stuyvesant Town will host outdoor movie screenings for residents and their guests in June and August. Summer 2012 offerings include The Muppets and Tower Heist. All films start at 8pm.

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