Summer Fun

The Best of NYC’s Outdoor Movies This Summer

Watch “Finding Dory” on the beach! See “Die Hard” with a skyline view! Pretend to follow “West Side Story” while making out with your bae in the park!

We like them in the sand. We like them with a band. We watch them on a roof. We watch them with a pooch. There are lots of ways to catch outdoor films during NYC summers (though none serve green eggs as of yet). These screeners give you a chance to enjoy special perks like bottomless popcorn, preshow mini concerts, and killer skyline views, not to mention a warm breeze in your hair and cool grass under your feet.

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach

What’s better than a movie date on the famed Coney Island beach after a few rides on the Cyclone? This year’s lineup is pretty varied, including family-friendly flicks like Finding Dory, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Lego Batman Movie, but there will also be some more mature movies, such as Get Out, Crown Heights, and Landline. Make it a proper dinner-and-a-movie with a few hot dogs from Nathan’s. July 10–September 9

Photo by Ethan Judelson

Rooftop Films

The indie-heavy lineup for this series—spread around various out-of-the-box venues like the sprawling Green-Wood Cemetery and New Design High School’s famed rooftop—includes Sundance darling The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Muay Thai boxing flick A Prayer Before Dawn, and the Big Apple–centric Skate Kitchen. Before each screening, a mini concert from up-and-coming local musicians takes place—keep them on your radar before they break it big. Through August 25

Photo Courtesy of Rooftop Films

Bryant Park Movie Nights

Offering an escape from the midtown commotion, the Bryant Park outdoor movies on Monday evening have long been incredibly popular (read: get there early!) and this year will likely be even more so, with cinematic gems picked by the pop culture aficionados at VultureA League of Their Own, The Wiz, and Thelma & Louise among them. Bring your own picnic or sample treats from the various vendors of the Hester Street Fair. Through August 10 

Photo courtesy of Bryant Park/Facebook

A Summer Under the Stars

Brooklyn-based cinema-eatery Nitehawk is trading its cozy indoor home for Prospect Park’s Long Meadow lawn this season. Combining live music with family-friendly flicks that appeal to multiple generations, the Wednesday-evening lineup includes The Wizard of Oz paired with jazzy standards from the Highline Chamber Ensemble and West Side Story paired with the two-stepping Skyline Salsa Band. July 18–August 8

Rooftop Cinema Club

Movies on a rooftop overlooking midtown Manhattan: What’s more New York than that? This curated cinema club is all about giving you the ultimate theater-going experience—without the sticky floors and worn seats of a conventional theater. Plush deck chairs, wireless headphones, bottomless popcorn, and handcrafted cocktails are waiting for you at Embassy Suites by Hilton’s SkyLawn, all for under $25. Upcoming screenings include throwback classics like Some Like It Hot, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and a 60th anniversary showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s VertigoThrough July 30 

Photo courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club/Facebook

Movies With a View

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s signature summer screening program returns for its 19th year, and this time around it’s teaming up with the culinary juggernauts at Smorgasburg. Fries from Bed-Stuy’s Home Frite, chef-crafted concoctions from Bona Bona Ice Cream, and Wood Fired Edibles’s artisanal pizzas will be readily available for alfresco dining while watching iconic female-driven flicks including Wonder Woman, Desperately Seeking Susan, and Love & BasketballJuly 12–August 30 

Photo courtesy of Smorgasburg

Summerscreen

Cool Brooklynites—along with their pups—sprawl out in McCarren Park every Wednesday night in July and August. Cult gems and popcorn flicks like Jawbreaker, Hackers, and Die Hard will bring out every kind of urban cinephile, while indie bands perform before the metaphorical curtain rises. July 11–August 29 

Want even more ideas and recommendations from NYC’s leading experts? Try our mobile app. The very best of New York, wherever you are or plan to be.