Saturday, June 3, 2017

Your NYC Summer, 2017 outdoor movie guide

Summer season is here - - with Memorial Day kicking things off, it's time for vacations, street fairs, amusement parks, and most of all, outdoor movies.  Outdoor movies have been a longtime NYC staple and this year is no different with more offerings and more places to go.  Here is the complete list I know of (and some in Westchester and Long Island).  NOTE:  Always read the rules on each linked website, as some items may be prohibited, such as lawn chairs at the Bryant Park festival.  Most locations offer free popcorn and snacks.

1.  Bryant Park Film Festival:  The grandaddy of outdoor movies is now in their 23rd year with a rescreening of their first ever film at the great lawn, the original King Kong (1933).   Other notable films being shown this year are On The Town (June 26), The Muppets Take Manhattan (July 3), and the ultimate escapist Hitchcock film, North by Northwest (August 14).  The lawn fills up VERY fast as it opens to the public at 5 PM, so get there early if you want a good spot.

2.  NYC Parks Free Summer Movies  :   NYC Parks has the largest selection of free summer movies across all 5 boroughs.  They are great places to go if you don't want to deal with the crowds and parking like Bryant Park.  The list also includes the Hudson River Flicks at the two piers along the Hudson River - - Wednesdays for the adults at Chelsea Piers (Pier 61) and Fridays for the kids at Pier 46 near Christopher St.  I don't know why the Lego Batman film is scheduled for Wednesday when the site notes these films are rated PG-13 and up.

3.  Movies with a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park:   Another popular outdoor movie spot is also among the most beautiful and scenic places to watch a film, Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Right by the East River in DUMBO you can watch a great film on Thursdays from July 6th through August 24th with the final being show by popular vote of the three films, Footloose, Dear White People or Network.

4.  Rooftop films:   This independent website has different venues showing indie and documentary films - - some require advance ticket purchase while others are free.  As the name implies, some of their locations are at rooftops which is a neat and cool way to watch a film.

5.  SummerScreen at McCarren Park:   10 years strong, this Greenpoint, Brooklyn staple has another stellar lineup of Wednesday night films, including an audience pick for the finale on August 9th.

6.  Bronx Terminal Market Rooftop Films:   Right at the 145th Street Bridge and the Major Deegan Expressway is this interesting place of history, the Bronx Terminal Market - - once a month for the summer months, the rooftop is another place to watch family friendly films in the Bronx.

7.  Waterside Plaza movie nights in August:  It's in a semi-remote location off the FDR Drive and the M34A SBS+ bus route - - but it has a great view of Brooklyn and the East River but Monday nights in August is a great spot to watch a film right by the East River,  At this time, the 2017 schedule has not been released yet so check back on that link in July for more detailed information.

8.  Central Park movies:  Also in August, the Central Park Conservancy has their annual outdoor movie list.  Check back on the accompanying link for more info in July.

9.  Prospect Park Summer movies under the stars:   Enter from Grand Army Plaza and walk to the long meadow.    

And the outdoor movie fun is not limited to NYC - -  Westchester County and the eastern part of Long Island (which I call Nassau and Suffolk Counties) both have a short list too.


1.  Wednesday movie nights:   County-wide, they are showing outdoor films on select Wednesday nights, however there is a $5 admission for adults.   Each week is a different venue, so please check their calendar carefully and plan ahead.

2.  Hudson River Museum:   Nestled in the NW section of Yonkers, they use the outdoor amphitheater to show concerts and movies.  On select Saturday nights, they show family classics such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.   Check the events schedule and plan ahead as always.

3.  Ridge Hill Movie Mondays:   Right off the NY State Thruway and the Sprain Brook Parkway, Ridge Hill has three movies showing on alternate nights.   FYI:   Parking is only available in garages and costs $3 for the entire day.

4.  White Plains Movies:      Various locations - - dates are July 10 at Mattison Park (The Little Mermaid), July 11 at George Washington School (Finding Nemo) and two other movie night locations, both showing Moana.


1.  Jones Beach:  Thursday nights (and an non-Thursday), movies are shown at the bandshell.   Remember, there is a fee for parking at Jones Beach.

Other locations where you can watch outdoor movies are Eisenhower Park in Garden City (their 2017 schedule has not been announced yet), Baldwin Park, and other locations.  You also might want to look into websites like   and Life on Long Island which update their list of summer outdoor movies - - there will be announced by late June too.

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