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:

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)

Brooklyn Bridge Park


Prospect Park

Films on the Green: French Film Festival

Rooftop Films

Governors Island

Randall's Island Park

Carl Schurz Park Sunset Film Festival

(Includes free Insomnia Cookies)

Intrepid Museum's Summer Movie Series

Socrates Sculpture Park

NYC Parks: Movies Under the Stars

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.