Take in an Outdoor Movie This Summer
With the warm weather comes one of the best parts of summer: outdoor movies. Although Screen on the Green is well-known, there are quite a few other options in the DMV that might be closer to your neighborhood or your favorite bar or restaurant.
Screen on the Green is the most famous of the DMV’s outdoor movies returns for its 17th year. Shown on the National Mall at sunset (about 8 p.m.) on Mondays between July 20-Aug. 10, the films are shown on the Mall on a giant 20-foot by 40-foot screen between Fourth and Seventh Streets NW.
Bring blankets, umbrellas, bug spray and warm clothes. You can pack snacks and non-alcoholic drinks for a picnic vibe. This year’s schedule includes North By Northwest on July 20, The Poseidon Adventure on July 27, Desk Set on Aug. 3 and Back to the Future on Aug. 10.
Grab a blanket and some popcorn and head to Adams Morgan Movie Night with free movies at sundown at the Marie Reed Elementary School athletic field, 2200 Champlain St. NW. Concessions are available and benefit the Marie Reed PTA.
There’s only two screening remaining in the series: Whiplash on June 16 and Bicycle Thief on June 23.
The Alexandria Outdoor Film Festival will take place at Waterfront Park, 1A Prince St., on July 17 and 18. Take your blankets and beach chairs.
This year’s schedule is How to Train Your Dragon 2 on July 17 and X-Men: Days of Future Past on July 18. Admission is free. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the screenings begin at 8:30 p.m.
The Bethesda Outdoor Movies take place over five consecutive nights in July. The screenings begin at 9 p.m. at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues. A limited number of chairs will be available, so movie goers are encouraged to take their own lawn chairs.
This year’s slate includes Sixteen Candles on July 21, Chef on July 22, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I on July 23, Mrs. Doubtfire on July 24 and Imitation Game on July 25.
Another great venue for outdoor films is Capital Riverfront’s Canal Park Thursday Movies. This year’s theme is, “People’s Choice.” The series began June 4. The rest of the schedule includes The Princess Bride on June 18, Rush Hour on June 25, Independence Day on July 2, Bring It On on July 9, The LEGO Movie on July 16, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory on July 23 and Big Hero 6 on July 30. The series winds up with Pitch Perfect on Aug. 8, The Goonies on Aug. 13, Guardians of the Galaxy on Aug. 20, To Kill a Mockingbird on Aug. 27 and The Sound of Music on Sept. 3.
All Capital Riverfront movies will be shown at Canal Park, 200 M Street SE, down the street from Nationals Stadium. Take a picnic and enjoy the show or visit one of the nearby restaurants including Aqua 301, Bonchon Chicken, Bluejacket Brewery and Osteria Morini. You can grab a coffee at Lot 38, a cone at Ice Cream Jubilee or a cupcake at Buzz Bakery.
Crystal Screen is shown Mondays at sundown June through August at 1851 E. Bell St. across from the Crystal City Metro station. This year’s theme is “Spark Espionage.” Take a blanket, these free films are shown rain or shine starting at sunset.
This year’s films include Mission: Impossible III on June 15, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on June 22, Charlie Wilson’s War on June 29, RED on July 6, Argo on July 13, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on July 20 and Bloody Lie on July 27. The series rounds out with Enemy of the State on Aug. 3, The Bourne Identity on Aug. 10, The Bourne Supremacy on July 17, The Bourne Ultimatum on Aug. 24 and The Bourne Legacy on Agu. 31.
The Golden Cinema Series, shown at Farragut Square, can make for a very convenient after-work date. Taking place every Friday beginning at 7:30 p.m., the Golden Cinema Series began on May 22 and runs through July 31.
The All Worked Up-themed movies include Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on June 19 and Hook on June 26. The July lineup includes Nine to Five on July 10, Miss Congeniality on July 17, Italian Job on July 24 and The Wedding Planner on July 31.
From May through September, National Harbor presents Movies on the Potomac, movies on Sunday evenings on the Plaza’s big screen. The 2015 season runs from May 10-Sept. 27. Films begin at 6 p.m. So pack your blankets, grab food to go from one of the many restaurants and watch a free movie with a view of the Potomac. Parking is $3 for the first hour, $5 for 1-2 hours and $10 for 2-4 hours.
June’s theme is “Universal Smashes” with Space Jam on June 14, Martian Child on June 21 and ET The Extra Terrestrial on June 28. July’s them is “Jungle Adventure” with the viewer’s choice of The Jungle Book or The Land Before Time on July 5, Journey to the Center of the Earth on July 12, Jumanji on July 19 and The Flintstones on July 26. August’s series “Travel in Time” includes viewer’s choice on Aug. 2, Back to the Future on Aug. 9, Back to the Future Part II on Aug. 16, Back to the Future Part III on Aug. 23 and Disney’s The Kid on Aug. 30. The series finishes up with a “Back to School” series in September with viewer’s choice on Sept. 6, Matilda on Sept. 13, Monsters, Inc. on Sept. 20 and James and the Giant Peach on Sept. 27. People can vote on the viewer’s choice movies during the month prior to the screening.
NoMa Summer Screen started May 27 and will take place every Wednesday at sunset through Aug. 19. The gates open at 7 p.m. with music, giveaways and food trucks The screenings have moved to a asphalt lot at Storey Park, 1005 First St. NE so be sure to take folding chairs along with Frisbees and a cooler for a comfortable evening. This year’s theme is “Dance, Dance, Dance.”
The next movie screening will be June 17 with Flashdance . Other movies being shown at NoMa Summer Screen are Strictly Ballroom on June 24, Grease on July 1, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo on July 8, Singing in the Rain on July 15, Save the Last Dance on July 22, Moulin Rouge on July 29, Stomp the Yard on Aug. 5 and Footloose on Aug. 12. Aug. 19 a rain date in case one of the screenings is rained out.
The NoMa Business Improvement District also sponsors a Family Film Night also with the “Dance, Dance, Dance” theme at Sursum Corda plaza, First and L Streets NW, on four Tuesdays during the summer.
The lineup includes Annie on June 23, Happy Feet 2 on July 7, Rio 2 on July 21 and The Princess and the Frog on Aug. 4. The event starts at 7 p.m. with kid-centric activities and free food. Films start at sunset.
The 19th annual Comcast Outdoor Film Festival Benefiting NIH Charities brings a drive-in to the Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education building, 850 Hungerford Dr., Aug. 21-23. Movies are shown on an nine-story high, 52-foot wide inflatable screen. Admission is free but is limited to 180 cars. There is also lawn seating so take your blankets and lawn chairs. Outside food and drinks are not permitted.
This year’s lineup includes How to Train Your Dragon 2 on Aug. 21, Interstellar on Aug. 22 and Guardians of the Galaxy on Aug. 23. Films begin at dusk, but gates open at 5 p.m. with music, carnival games, inflatables and food trucks.
This year’s Rosslyn Outdoor Film Fest features movies movies with memorable quotes. Shown in Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Highway, screenings start between 8:30-9 p.m. Fridays. Take a picnic or enjoy dinner and drinks at one on the nearby restaurants. There will be pre-show games and prizes. There will also be a scavenger hunt for VIP seating and snacks.
This year’s lineup includes Happy Gilmore on June 19, Tommy Boy on June 26, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on July 3, When Harry Met Sally on July 10, Anchorman on July 17, Clueless on July 24, The Big Lebowski on July 31, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery on Aug. 7, The Hangover on Aug. 14, Despicable Me on Aug. 21 and Zoolander on Aug. 28. Admission is free and parking is $3 after 6 p.m. at Atlantic Parking Garage on Moore Street. Take blankets, low chairs and a picnic. Arrive early for best seating.
The Union Market Drive-In returns with “Flashback Fridays” every Friday in June. The market, 1309 Fifth St. NE, will show the flicks on the front of the building.
The remaining films include Jurassic Park on June 19 and Beverly Hills Cop on June 26. The films begin at 8 p.m. Admission is free for bikers and walkers, but parking is $10 per carload.
Outdoor movies are not only fun for the whole family, but make for a great date cuddled up with your significant other watching a movie while taking in some fresh air. Don’t forget to pair that movie with some dinner to make for the perfect summer date.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.