While New York City provides endless activities during the summer months, not many are free of charge. The Outdoor Film Series invites you to watch a movie while enjoying the ambiance of a summer night in the city. Attend one film or the entire series at the following viewing locations.
Socrates Sculpture Park
Finish out a day in Long Island City's (Queens) Sculpture Park with a cultural event and outdoor movie. Every Wednesday, starting in July, the Park focuses on a different culture of the world. Regional foods of that culture are provided by local restaurants, followed by a live performance and film featuring the culture of that week.
River to River: Movies on the Elevated A
Get a taste of NY culture with the River to River film series. Located on the Elevated Acre park in the Financial District, this film series features NYC themed movies. Last year, one of these Monday night feature films was West Side Story. Each film is preceded by a short film, introduced by its NYC director.
Sponsored by L Magazine, a guide to NYC, the Summerscreen film series takes place at the baseball fields in McCarren Park. Venture out to Brooklyn for six consecutive summer Wednesdays for this adult appropriate film series. Snacks are available for purchase at the park.
Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movies
Located on the East River, Roosevelt Island offers a family-friendly film series throughout the summer. Before the film series begins, guests can vote on which film will be shown; last year the choices included 50 First Dates, Hairspray, and Forest Gump.
- Location: Firefighters Field, Roosevelt Island
- Subway Stop: F train to Roosevelt Island, Roosevelt Island Tramway to Roosevelt Island
Summer on the Hudson: Riverside Park
On Wednesday nights during July and August, settle down for a film at Pier 1 in Riverside Park South and a view of the Hudson River. This film series is part of the Summer on the Hudson cultural event schedule, which offers films screenings, concerts, and other free cultural events during the summer. Movies begin at 8:30 pm, but arrive earlier, because the park fills up quickly.
Movies with a View: Brooklyn Bridge
After 10 years in operation, the Brooklyn Bridge Summer Film Series is a well-known summer activity. Taking place on Thursday nights at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, the series offers DJ-spun music followed by a variety of eclectic films, all with a dazzling view of the Brooklyn Bridge, the NYC waterfront, and a summer night sky. Feel free to bring a blanket and low chair, or rent one once you arrive. If you arrive in time for the music at 6pm, dinner and light snacks can be purchased while you start your evening. The movies start around 8 or 8:30pm, when the sun sets.
River Flicks Series
Bring the whole family along to the River Flicks series on Friday nights, featuring both new and classic films for children. On Wednesday nights, leave the kids at home and attend the series for adults. The River Flicks series is located at Pier 46, and takes place each Wednesday and Friday during July and August. Not only is the movie free, but there is also complimentary popcorn (other snacks and beverages can be purchased).
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Clear your Monday night schedule during the summer and prepare for a picnic and movie at Bryant Park's big screen. You can arrive as early as 5pm to set down blankets and dine through the evening. The movies begin around 8 or 9 pm and take place every Monday night, weather permitting. The park tends to fill up quickly, so arrive early and reserve a comfortable spot.
Central Park Film Festival
Held for the past seven years, Central Park has hosted a five-day film series in its Rumsey Playfield (5th Avenue and 69th Street). Enjoy the seclusion of Central Park and view movies under the starry sky, rain or shine. Each year, the films pertain to a particular theme; last year's theme was 'Be Cool'. The movies, hosted five days in a row during the summer, begin at 8pm and are free admission.