Where to Catch Outdoor Movies in DC This Summer
Nothing says summer in DC quite like an outdoor movie against some of the city’s most iconic and up-and-coming backdrops. From the Georgetown Waterfront to NoMa to the National Mall, there are plenty of outdoor movies in DC to keep you entertained all summer.
National Mall: Screen on the Green takes place right on the National Mall. Established in 1999, Screen on the Green has hosted tens of thousands of people and takes place on the Mall between 4th and 7th streets. Starting on July 20, this year’s lineup includes North by Northwest, The Poseidon Adventure, Desk Set, and Back to the Future. Screen on the Green is free and open to all, and you can find updates for each night as they come here.
Georgetown Waterfront: Georgetown Sunset Cinema kicked off its inaugural year on July 7 with the 1985 brat pack classic St. Elmo’s Fire. All of the films in this year’s series were filmed or take place in Georgetown; the rest of the season will see State of Play, No Way Out, Burn After Reading and The Exorcist. Sunset Cinema takes place at Georgetown Waterfront Park at the intersection of K/Water Street and Cecil Place, and it is best to arrive around 7 or earlier for a prime spot. It is free and open to all, and you can find more information here.
Farragut Park: Golden Cinema Series provides a perfect conclusion to the work week with its 2015 “All Worked Up” outdoor film series. It takes place every Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Farragut Park at Connecticut Avenue and K Street. Upcoming movies on the roster are Nine to Five, Miss Congeniality, Italian Job and The Wedding Planner. Golden Cinema is free and open to all.
GWU Mount Vernon Campus: Every Summer Has a Story is an annual outdoor summer film series on George Washington University’s quiet and beautiful Mount Vernon Campus. It is easily accessible by the Mount Vernon Express Shuttle which leaves every several minutes from GWU’s main campus. This year’s July lineup includes Now& Then, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, and The Goonies. Films are free and open to all, and begin at 8:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial: Films at the Stone is in its inaugural year and is the only outdoor film series to take place at a memorial in DC. Presented by the Memorial Foundation, Films at the Stone feature pictures of which the theme is overcoming adversity and inspiring others. Films start at 8:15 p.m. On July 16 you can catch Annie (2014), and on August 27 you can watch Selma. Films are free and open to all.
NoMa: NoMa Summer Screen‘s theme this year is “Dance, Dance, Dance.” It takes place every Wednesday at Storey Park at 1005 First Street NE, where you can find a funky urban park adorned with temporary murals. Summer Screen is more than just a film series; it is an experience. There are food trucks, giveaways, and music in addition to the weekly movie. It is highly acclaimed by both Travel & Leisure Magazine and Travel Pulse as one of the best outdoor movie series in the country. This summer’s lineup includes Singing in the Rain, Save the Last Dance, Moulin Rouge, Stomp the Yard, and Footloose. Summer Screen is free and open to all.
Navy Yard/Nationals Park: Capitol Riverfront Outdoor Movie Series this year has a lineup that was hand selected through public votes. You can find it at Canal Park at 200 M Street SE every Thursday at around 7 p.m. The lineup for the rest of the summer includes the LEGO Movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Big Hero 6, Pitch Perfect, The Goonies, Guardians of the Galaxy, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Sound of Music. You can find updates for each night as they come here.
National Harbor: Movies on the Potomac run through September, so there is no rush and plenty of options from which you can choose. They run every Sunday and begin at 6 p.m. on the National Harbor’s main plaza. Each month has a different theme; July is “Jungle Adventure,” including Jumanji and The Flinstones. August is “Travel in Time,” including the Jungle Book, the entire Back to the Future Trilogy, and Disney’s The Kid. September is (aptly) “Back to School,” including either Remember the Titans or We Are Marshall, as well as Matilda, Monsters, Inc., and James and the Giant Peach. Movies are free and open to all, and you can find updates for each night as they come here.
Alexandria: Alexandria Outdoor Film Festival provides showings of films for all ages throughout July and August. You can find it at Waterfront Park in Alexandria on July 17, 18, 24 and 25. Movies start at 8:30 p.m. The Comcast series lineup includes How to Train Your Dragon 2 and X Men: Days of Future Past, and the Beasley Real Estate lineup includes Big Hero 6 and Blank Check.
Crystal City: Crystal Screen takes on a “spy” theme this year with its weekly Monday movies. Through the end of August, check out Crystal Screen for a chance to see Argo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Body of Lies, Enemy of the State, and all four Bourne films. On some dates there will even be an International Spy Museum booth where you can enter for giveaways, free tickets, and a Codebreaker Challenge. Movies are free and open to all.
Photo by YBIA via Flickr