Things to Do

Here Are All the Places to Catch Outdoor and Drive-In Movies Around the DMV This Summer

Your complete guide to where to watch a movie under the stars.

Enjoy a free outdoor movie at Alethia Tanner Park, CiNoMatic. Photograph by Sam Kittner.

Watching a movie outside is a classic summer activity. Whether you’re bringing a lawn chair or driving up to the screen, here’s where to catch a flick outdoors in the Washington region. Did we miss one? Please let us know by sending an email to ol

 

Summer Film Nights at the Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave., NW

Watch films about talking animals while surrounded by animals during the National Zoo’s inaugural film series. You can bring a blanket to sit on grassy Lion-Tiger Hill, and arrive by 6:30 PM for a round of zoo-themed trivia before each screening. Upcoming Films: Turning Red and The Lorax. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

Movies on the Potomac

165 Waterfront Street, National Harbor

For waterfront screenings, head to National Harbor twice a week. Thursdays feature date night flicks and Sundays are for family-friendly films. Upcoming films: The Little Mermaid (2023) and Mean Girls (2024). Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

Drive-In at Union Market

1309 5th St., NE

Park your car (or a chair) in the lot at Union Market on Fridays for an outdoor show. Movie theater snacks get an upgrade with goods from Union Market vendors, including kebabs from Yasmine, Suburbia cocktails, and cones from the Creamery. Upcoming films:  Mamma Mia! and Ratatouille. Details: $20 per car, free on foot. Reserve tickets here. 

 

Cinematery

1801 E St., SE

It’s the “Summer of Spirits” at this historic cemetery, where you can bring your own blanket, food, and alcohol to watch films about spooky specters. Screenings take place one a month on Fridays through September 6. Upcoming films: Beetlejuice and The Sixth SenseDetails: Recommended $10 donation. View schedule here.

 

CiNoMatic

227 Harry Thomas Way, NE

Unroll a blanket in Alethia Tanner Park every Wednesday through June 5. This year’s theme is “Epic Expeditions,” highlighting cinematic adventure stories. Upcoming films: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Goonies. Details: Free. View schedule and RSVP here.

 

Adams Morgan Movie Nights

2201 18th St., NW

Are you ready to go for gold? Inspired by the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, the Adams Morgan BID is screening a lineup of sports films. On Tuesdays through June 25, you can head to the field outside Marie Reed Elementary School and Upcoming films: I, Tonya and Bend It Like Beckham. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

The Reach at the Kennedy Center

2700 F St., NW

Starting on May 31, the Kennedy Center’s “Extraordinary Cinema” series is moving outdoors for the season. Enjoy classic films and family-friendly favorites projected onto the Reach’s massive video wall every Friday through August 30. Upcoming films: Jurassic Park and In The Heights. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

Bengies Drive-In Theater

3417 Eastern Blvd., Middle River

Looking for not just a big screen, but the biggest possible screen? Bengies offers the largest movie theater screen in America. Make sure you arrive early: No one is allowed in after the box office closes. Upcoming films: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes and The Garfield Movie. Details: $4 per vehicle, plus additional $12.50 per adult, and $7 per child. Reserve tickets here.

 

Wolf Trap

1551 Trap Rd., Vienna

Immerse yourself in a live film score, courtesy of the National Symphony Orchestra. The hybrid movie and music nights take place at the Filene Center, Wolf Trap’s outdoor amphitheater, during July. Upcoming films: Star Wars: A New Hope and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Details: Starting at $38. View schedule here.

 

UDC Amphitheater

4200 Connecticut Ave., NW

Find a seat on a wooden bench or get settled on the grass at the UDC Amphitheater. Outside food and drink, including alcohol, are allowed. Upcoming films: Barbie and Spy Kids. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

Columbia Pike Movie Nights

909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington; 2501 9 Rd., Arlington

See free movies at the outdoor plazas of Arlington Mill Community Center on Fridays and Penrose Square on Saturdays from July 6 to August 24. The films are shown in English with Spanish subtitles. Alcohol is not allowed, but leashed pets are welcome. Upcoming films: Wonka and Dirty Dancing. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

Movies in the Park Rockville

Multiple Locations

The outdoor theater rotates between Rockville parks for four weekends in July and August. Bring your own chairs, blankets, and snacks. Upcoming films: The Emperor’s New Groove and Encanto. Movie. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

“Summerbration” Reston

1901 Reston Metro Plaza, Reston

Reston Station is playing a roster of sports-themed films this summer. Many of the movies are paired with a themed activity such as a martial arts demo for Kung Fu Panda and a batting cage for The Sandlot. Upcoming Films: Space Jam and Bring It On. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

Rosslyn Cinema

1300 Langston Blvd., Arlington.

Relax on the lawn of Rosslyn’s Gateway Park while enjoying a film on the big screen every Friday in June. Before settling in, grab a beer flight at the “Pub in the Park” pop-up or a bite to eat from the rotating lineup of food trucks. Upcoming Films: Hairspray and The Secret Life of Pets. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

Films in the Park Mosaic District

Strawberry Park, Fairfax

On Thursdays starting June 20, this outdoor mall is screening films at the grassy Strawberry Park. Pick up food from nearby restaurants such as Colada Shop or District Dumpling to set up a picnic for the movie. Upcoming films: High School Musical 2 and Top Gun: Maverick. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

Sunset Cinema at the Wharf

970 Wharf St., SW

Catch sunset and a movie every Thursday at the Wharf’s Transit Pier starting on Memorial Day. No need to buy tickets in advance but plan to arrive early if you want one of the limited seats (You can also bring your own chair or blanket.) Looking for concessions? Grab food from nearby restaurants such as Bartaco and Lucky Buns, plus drinks are available at waterfront bar Cantina Bambina. Upcoming films: Toy Story 2 and Love & Basketball. Details: Free. View schedule here.

 

Films at the Stone

964 Independence Ave., SW

Located at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Films at the Stone features a lineup of animated films that center social justice and equality. Bring snacks, blankets, and chairs to the lawn. Upcoming films: Elemental and Kung Fu Panda 4. Details: Free. View schedule here.

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