Things to Do

Drive-Ins and Other Outdoor Movies Around the DMV

Great spots to watch a flick under the stars

Movies on the lawn of the National Building Museum. Photo by The Interstellar Studio.

Adams Morgan Movie Nights

Northwest DC

On Monday evenings through August 9, bring a blanket to the Marie Reed Recreation Center’s soccer field and catch a movie that was made in DC—as in, filmed here—including two with scenes shot in AdMo. Local restaurants are offering special “brown-bag movie meal” deals. Upcoming flicks: Punk the Capital, In the Line of Fire, All the President’s Men.

Alamo Drafthouse

Ashburn

A pop-up drive-in, expected to re-open in mid-June and run through July 27, will show some of the same new releases playing inside. $35 to $40 a car for up to two people; $12.50 each additional passenger. Upcoming flicks: F9, Black Widow, Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Bengies
Bengies Drive-In Theatre. Photo by Lauren Bulbin

Bengies Drive-In Theatre

Middle River, Maryland

In business since 1956, Bengies has a delightfully retro vibe and shows some current releases—plus double features. $10 per adult. Upcoming flicks: Godzilla vs. Kong, A Quiet Place Part II.

Cinematery
Watch a classic horror film amid headstones at Congressional Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Congressional Cemetery.

Cinematery

Southeast DC

Enjoy a horror classic amid headstones at Congressional Cemetery. (Think that’s disrespectful? Victorians picnicked in cemeteries to keep the memory of loved ones alive.) The $35 ticket includes a sandwich, sides, dessert, and a nonalcoholic drink. Upcoming flicks: Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolf Man.

Columbia Pike Movie Nights

Arlington

The films at this drive-in are shown in English with Spanish subtitles. Registration and a donation to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization are required. Upcoming flicks: The Farewell, Godzilla, Just Mercy.

DowntownDC Summer Flicks

Northwest DC

Sit at a “swinging table” or on socially distant triangles on the National Building Museum’s west lawn for films every Tuesday through July 27. Enjoy a live original soundtrack by DJ 2-Tone Jones. Free; registration required. Upcoming flicks: Tron: Legacy, Minority Report, Mad Max: Fury Road.

The Drive-In at Union Market is open to both cars and walk-ins. Courtesy of EDENS.

Drive-In at Union Market

Northeast DC

Open to cars and walk-ins, this drive-in’s concessions include night-market noodles from Som Tam, burgers from Lucky Buns, and ice cream by the Creamery. $20 a car. Upcoming flicks: Wonder Woman 1984, Crazy Rich Asians, Cruella.

Evening Star Cafe

Alexandria

The Del Ray eatery shows free movies on Wednesday evenings to patrons eating on its back patio. Possible upcoming flicks: What About Bob?, Men in Black, Independence Day.

Films at the Stone

Southwest DC

This series at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is the only one at a DC monument. Upcoming flicks: Soul, Black Panther.

Visitors watch “Beauty and the Beast” during the Summer Movies on the Lawn series, July 18, 2019. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Library of Congress

Southeast DC

The LOC’s fourth annual Summer Movies on the Lawn film festival will show movies from its National Film Registry, Thursday evenings between July 8 and August 5. Upcoming flicks: The Princess Bride, Shrek, The Sound of Music (audience sing-along).

Photo courtesy of Kentlands Mansion.

Moonlight Movies at the Mansion

Gaithersburg

Bring a chair or blanket for a movie on the lawn of Kentlands Mansion; $5 per person. Light concessions will be available. Upcoming flicks: Independence Day, The Sandlot, Rio.

Movies at the Pfitz

Woodbridge

This drive-in at Pfitzner Stadium is showing films through July and August. $35 and up per car; proceeds go to Prince William County charities. Upcoming flicks: National Treasure, Captain America: The First Avenger, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Prince George’s Stadium

Prince George’s Stadium, home to the minor league Bowie Baysox, is hosting drive-in movies in the parking lot through July. No alcohol allowed. $30 a car. Upcoming flicks: Coming to America, A League of Their Own.

Starlight Cinema

Centreville

Fairfax County’s free drive-in series is back in August, with movies Saturdays at 7 p.m. at Trinity Centre. Upcoming flicks: Trolls World Tour, The Croods: A New Age, Raya and the Last Dragon.

Sunset Cinema

The Wharf

Grab takeout from one of the Wharf’s eateries and catch a free movie on Transit Pier. Reservations required. Upcoming flicks: Goonies, Best in Show, Girls Trip.

UDC Amphitheater

Northwest DC

The wooded, hillside UDC amphitheater, which has both rows of wooden seating and grassy areas, will show family-friendly flicks this summer in collaboration with Van Ness Main Street. The movies are free, but registration is required. Picnics, blankets, and cushions are allowed; no chairs. Upcoming flicks: Moana, Mamma Mia, Hidden Figures.

Willco Drive-In Theatre

Rockville

Rom-coms, Disney fare, new releases, and more on a large LED screen. $12 adults, $8 ages 13 and under. Recent flicks: Nomadland, Ferdinand, Ford vs. Ferrari.

Neighborhood Shows

Community parks and plazas host free outdoor movies, too. Many series will be back this summer, including monthly Saturday films on the plaza (with concessions by AMC) at Tysons Corner Center, monthly cinema at Mitchell Park in Kalorama, weekly movies in August at Arlington’s Virginia Highlands Park, and Wednesday screenings (mid-August through October) at Alethia Tanner Parka newish park in NoMa that was built with movies in mind, including a sound system and cafe.

Know a Washington-area drive-in or outdoor film series we missed? Email sdalphonse@washingtonian.com so we can add it.

This post has been updated since its original posting.

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Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986. She is the editor in charge of such consumer topics as travel, fitness, health, finance, and beauty, as well as the editor who handles such cover stories as Great Places to Work, Best of Washington, Day Trips, Hidden Gems, Top Doctors, and Great Small Towns. She lives in DC.