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A Guide to Free Outdoor Movies in Washington

Al fresco screenings are everywhere this year—here’s a comprehensive list of where to find them.

Catch free outdoor movies at the Mall and myriad other spots this summer. Photograph by Flickr user brunosan.

Seeing a movie in the summer usually means forgoing a warm evening outside for the refrigerated darkness of a theater. But not this year, thanks to the ever-growing array of outdoor film festivals and movie screenings in the Washington area. Throughout the summer, catch outdoor movies everywhere from your local town square or park to the Mall and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.


Screen on the Green
When: July 22 and 29, and August 5 and 12
Where: The Mall between Seventh and 12th sts., NW
Theme: See titles online, including E.T. and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Follow @SOTGinDC for updates.

NoMa Summer Screen 2013
When: Wednesdays, July 3 through August 21
Where: Loree Grand Field, Second and L sts., NE
Theme: “Outlaw heroes,” including titles such as The Hunger Games and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Follow @NoMaBID for updates.

Family Film Night at Sursum Corda
When: July 9 and 23, and August 6
Where: Sursum Corda at L and First sts., NW
Theme: “Family-friendly movies,” including Despicable Me and Toy Story 3.

Canal Park Thursday Movies
When: Thursdays, July 11 through August 29
Where: Canal Park at M and Second sts., SE
Theme: “DC Versus Marvel Comics,” including flicks such as The Dark Knight and The Avengers. Follow @CanalParkDC for updates.

The DC Drive-In
When: July 12, 19, and 26, and August 2
Where: Union Market at 1309 5th St., NE
Theme: “Movies about Washington,” including Dr. Strangelove and The American President. A car isn’t required. Follow @UnionMarketDC for updates.

Films at the Stone
When: July 11 and August 8
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, 1964 Independence Ave., SW
Theme: “Struggle and courage,” with screenings of Hotel Rwanda and Cry Freedom.

Golden Cinema Series
When: July 5, 12, and 19
Where: Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Theme: See a list of titles online, including Casablanca and The Philadelphia Story


Bethesda Outdoor Movies
When: July 23 through 27
Where: Woodmont Triangle at Norfolk and Auburn aves., Bethesda
Theme: See a list of titles online, including Back to the Future and Life of Pi.

Movies on the Square
When: Wednesdays, July 3 through August 21
Where: Rockville Town Square; 200 East Middle La., Rockville
Theme: See a list of titles online, including Big and Les Misérables.

Movies on the Potomac
When: Sundays, July 7 through September 1
Where: The Plaza at National Harbor
Theme: “’80s classics” (July 7 through 28) and “silver-screen sports” (August 4 through September 1), including Back to the Future and Remember the Titans.

Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival
When: Select Mondays and Fridays, July 1 through September 14
Where: Columbia Lakefront Stage, 10275 Wincopin Cir., Columbia
Theme: See a list of titles online, including Monsters, Inc. and Skyfall

College Park Aviation Museum Summer Outdoor Movie Series
When: July 25 and August 22
Where: College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Dr., College Park
Themes: See a list of titles online, including Brave and October Sky. Screenings are free with museum admission.

Outdoor Film Festival for NIH Charities
When: August 23 through 25
Where: Mid-Pike Plaza; 11810 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda.
Theme: Visit the website for information on this year’s showings, which include All the President’s Men, Midnight in Paris, and We Bought A Zoo


Crystal Screen
When: Mondays, July 1 through August 26
Where: Bell Street Courtyard, 1850 Bell St., Arlington
Theme: “Blockbusters,” including Forrest Gump and Inception.

Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival
When: Fridays, July 5 through August 30
Where: Gateway Park; 1300 Lee Hwy., under the Key Bridge.
Theme: “Summer school,” including flicks such as Sixteen Candles and Grease.

Mosaic District Films in the Park
When: Fridays, July 5 through August 30
Where: Strawberry Park at Strawberry La. and District Ave., Fairfax
Theme: “Take me out to the ballgame” (July 5 through 26) and “best men” (August 2 through 30), including films such as Moneyball and Good Will Hunting.

Pinn Movie Nights
When: July 5 and 19, and August 2, 16, and 30
Where: David R. Pinn Community Center; 10255 Zion Dr., Fairfax
Theme: See a list of titles online, including The Sandlot and Finding Nemo.

Starlight Drive-in Cinema
When: August 3, 10, 17, and 24
Where: 5875 Trinity Pkwy., Centreville
Theme: See a list of titles online, including family films such as Ice Age: Continental Drift and Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom.

Lake Anne Summer Film Festival
When: July 14, August 11, and September 8
Where: Lake Anne Plaza; 1690 Washington Plaza, Reston
Theme: See a list of titles online, including Ghostbusters and When Harry Met Sally.

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