Ultimate New York List

Where to Enjoy Free Outdoor Summer Movies in NYC, 2018 Edition

Updated 1 year ago David Stone
Where to Enjoy Free Outdoor Summer Movies in NYC, 2018 Edition
Photo courtesy of RIOC

Free outdoor movies are popular throughout New York City. This year, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation stepped ahead of the crowd, announcing an impressive series that includes the blockbuster Black Panther on May 9th. Now, all the others have chimed in, and we've got the list.

2018 marks RIOC's tenth year of treating Roosevelt Island to free outdoor community movies. Ten years is nothing to sniff at. Thousands of families have enjoyed cinema under the stars in Southpoint Park, courtesy of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

“Our movies are a great way for families and friends to enjoy a night on the Island under the stars,” said RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal. 

And unlike other venues, RIOC thoughtfully includes rain dates.

Which brings us to the list:

  • Friday, June 22: Wonder Woman; (rain date June 29)
  • Friday, July 6: A League of Their Own; (rain date July 13)
  • Friday, July 20: Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi; (rain date July 27)
  • Saturday, July 21: The Fifth Element; (rain date July 28)
  • Friday, August 3: Black Panther; (rain date August 10)
  • (Postponed) Friday, August 17: A Wrinkle in Time; (rain date August 24)

This year's series is way more than just movies. It "kicks off Friday, June 22, at the Island’s Southpoint Park, is free admission and includes contests and prizes, food vendors; a state-of-the-art sound system, pre-movie DJ music, and a 40-foot-premium screen," according to RIOC's announcement.

"The festivities begin at 7 p.m. and the movies start at sunset. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early and bring their own lawn chairs and blankets."

RIOC welcomes sponsors, including ads in pre-show presentations, pre-movie on-screen advertising, and/or on-site signage. Sponsors might also consider trivia contest prizes or giveaways. Interested? Contact Jessica Murray, RIOC Community Affairs Department at 212.832.4540 or jessica.murray@rioc.ny.gov for more information.

More movie fun around town...

Note: Start times are variable, across the summer, as sunset times vary. Most movies are preceded by music or other performances appropriate for the occasion and location.

Bryant Park (Always packed early)

  • June 18: The Breakfast Club
  • June 25: The Philadelphia Story
  • July 2: A League of Their Own
  • July 9: Little Miss Sunshine
  • July 16: Fried Green Tomatoes
  • July 23: The Princess Bride
  • July 30: When Harry Met Sally
  • August 6: The Wiz
  • August 13: Thelma and Louise
  • August 20 The Terminator

Brooklyn Bridge Park

  • July 12: Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
  • July 19: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
  • July 26: Paris is Burning (1990)
  • August 2: Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
  • August 9: Wayne’s World (1992)
  • August 16: Love & Basketball
  • August 23: Wonder Woman
  • August 30: Public Vote! Here are the choices: Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) directed by Dorothy Arzner
  • Big (1988) directed by Penny Marshall; Point Break (1991) directed by Kathryn Bigelow; The Matrix (1999) directed by Lana and Lily Wachowski. 


Prospect Park

  • July 18: "The Wizard of Oz" with Highline Chamber Ensemble's jazz trio playing standards and songs from the film's soundtrack.
  • July 25: "Alice in Wonderland" with Morricone Youth playing psychedelic tunes.
  • Aug. 1: "West Side Story" with Skyline Salsa Band.
  • Aug. 8: "Space Jam" with DJ Dr. Israel spinning '80s and '90s hip-hop and dance hits.

Films on the Green: French Film Festival

  • June 1: "Le Grand Restaurant" by Jacques Besnard at Central Park
  • June 8: "The Scent of Green Papaya" by Trần Anh Hùng, presented in partnership with the Vietnam Heritage Center (in Vietnamese with English subtitles) at Washington Square Park
  • June 15: "The Rules of the Game" by Jean Renoir at Washington Square Park
  • June 22: "La Bûche" by Danièle Thompson at Transmitter Park (Brooklyn)
  • June 29: "Garçon!" by Claude Sautet at Transmitter Park (Brooklyn)
  • July 6: "Le Boucher" by Claude Chabrol at Tompkins Square Park
  • July 11: "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" by Luis Buñuel, presented in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York and the Instituto Cervantes (in French with Spanish subtitles), at J. Hood Wright Park (West 173rd Street)
  • July 13: "Romantics Anonymous" by Jean-Pierre Améris at Tompkins Square Park
  • July 20: "You Will Be My Son" by Gilles Legrand at Riverside Park, Pier 1
  • July 27: "Haute Cuisine" by Christian Vincent at Riverside Park, Pier 1
  • Sept. 3: "The Grocer's Son" by Eric Guirado, presented in partnership with the Columbia Maison Français, at Columbia University (116th Street)

Rooftop Films

  • May 31: "Nancy" at MetroTech Commons with a performance by Katie Von Schleicher 
  • June 8: "Wrestle" at MetroTech Commons
  • June 23: "En El Séptimo Día" at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park 
  • June 27: "Dangerous Documentaries" short films at MetroTech Commons 
  • July 18: "Black Mother" at Socrates Sculpture Park 

Governors Island

  • June 8: "Escape from New York" with "The Road to Magnasanti"
  • July 13: "Desperately Seeking Susan" with "My Last Film"
  • Aug. 10: "Ghostbusters" (1984) with "Review"
  • Sept. 14 "The Last Dragon" with "Hernia"

Randall's Island Park

  • May 25: "Moana"
  • June 9: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
  • June 22: "Wonder Woman"
  • July 8: "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle"
  • July 22: "The LEGO Batman Movie"
  • Aug. 5: "Coco"
  • Aug. 19: "Guardians of the Galaxy"
  • Sept. 9 "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"

Carl Schurz Park Sunset Film Festival

(Includes free Insomnia Cookies)

  • July 31: "Paddington 2"
  • Aug. 8 "Night at the Museum"

Intrepid Museum's Summer Movie Series

  • May 25: "Top Gun"
  • June 29: "Wonder Woman"
  • July 13: "Friday the 13th"
  • July 27: "Dunkirk"
  • Aug. 10: "Ghostbusters"
  • Aug. 24: Community Choice Pick: Vote on which film you'd like to see out of "Blade Runner," "Planes" by Disney/Pixar, "The Hunt for Red October," "The Breakfast Club" and "Airplane."

Socrates Sculpture Park

  • July 11: "Monsoon Wedding"
  • July 18: "Black Mother"
  • July 25: "The Young Girls of Rochefort"
  • Aug 1: TBA
  • Aug. 8: "Spirit of the Beehive"
  • Aug. 15: "Tampopo"
  • Aug. 22: "Kedi"
  • Aug. 29 "The Passionate Thief"

NYC Parks: Movies Under the Stars

  • May 23: "Wonder" at Happy Warrior Playground, 7:30 p.m.
  • May 24: "The House" at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, 7:30 p.m.
  • May 25: "Despicable Me 2" at Wolfe's Pond Park, 7:30 p.m.
  • May 25: "Coco" at Frank D. O'Connor Playground, 8 p.m.
  • May 25: "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" at Bensonhurst Park, 8:15 p.m.
  • May 26: "Jaws" at Detective Russel Timoshenko Soccer Field, 7:30 p.m.
  • May 26: "Spider-Man: Homecoming" at Sol Bloom Playground, 7:30 p.m.
  • May 26: "Finding Dory" at Gormon Playground, 8 p.m.
  • May 26: "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" at P.S. 249, 8:15 p.m.
  • May 27: "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie" at The Painter's Playground, 8 p.m.
  • May 30: "Ghost in the Shell" at Sward Park, 7:30 p.m.
  • May 31: "Coco" at St. Vartan Park, 7:30 p.m.
  • June 1: "Thor: Ragnarok" at Willowbrook Park Archery Range, 8 p.m.
  • June 1: "Stonewall" at McCarren Park Pool Deck, 8:30 p.m.
  • June 1: "The Lego Ninjago Movie" at Leif Ericson Park, 8:30 p.m.
  • June 2: "The Lion King" at Lemon Creek Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 2: "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" at Westerleigh Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 2: "Zootopia" at Shore Park and Parkway, 8:30 p.m.
  • June 8: "Moana" at The Meadow at Cedar Grove Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 8: "Saturday Church" at McCarren Park Pool Deck, 8:30 p.m.
  • June 9: "Field of Dreams" at LaTourette Park Parking Lot, 8 p.m.
  • June 14: "West Side Story" at Greenbelt Rec Center, 8 p.m.
  • June 15: "Transformers: The Last Knight" at Midland Field, 8 p.m.
  • June 16: "Black Panther" at Bloomingdale Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 16: "Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat" at Arthur Von Briesen Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 16: "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" at Amersfort Park, 8:30 p.m.
  • June 22: "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: Sponge Out of Water" at Seaside wildlife Nature Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 22: "Yogi Bear" at Farber Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 23: "Dunkirk" at Detective Russel Timoshenko Soccer Field, 8 p.m.
  • June 24: "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" at Sheepshead Playground, 8:30 p.m.
  • June 28: "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" at Rockaway Beach at 17th Street and Seagirt Boulevard, 8 p.m.
  • June 28: "Chicago" at Greenbelt Rec Center, 8 p.m.
  • June 29: "Spider-Man: Homecoming" at Willowbrook Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 30: "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" at Cpl. Thompson Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 30: "A League of Their Own" at Schmul Park, 8 p.m.
  • June 30: "Despicable Me 3" at Parkside Playground, 8:30 p.m.

Aside from Roosevelt Island, where RIOC includes rain dates, all showings are subject to weather and may be cancelled or postponed on short notice or even without notice.

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