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June 13, 2014

Roundup: The Top Outdoor Movie Screenings Coming To Philadelphia This Summer: The Awesome Fest, Screenings Under The Stars, Schuylkill Banks And More

Outdoor movie screenings are a summertime staple here in Philadelphia. Across the city — from small neighborhood parks to major downtown parks — outdoor movie screenings pop up almost every night of the week. (Photo by Max Grudzinski for Awesome Fest)

Summer in Philadelphia means giant, inflatable movie screens popping up almost every night of the week at parks across the city. The outdoor movie screenings are often a part of a larger series that return to the same locations on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.

As dusk sets in, feature films, ’80s hits, kid-friendly blockbusters, cult favorites and more fill movie screens all over the city for after-work fun. The best way to enjoy an alfresco film is by packing a blanket and picnic, grabbing friends and making a night of it.

Read on for our guide to the outdoor movie screenings in Philadelphia this summer.

Take note, since all of the movie screenings listed below are outdoors, cancellations are to be expected with inclement weather. Be sure to check the hosting organization’s social media pages for up-to-the-minute weather notifications.

The Key: Look for a notation at the end of each paragraph for information about the frequency of the film screenings (weekly, monthly, bi-weekly or sporadic), whether or not food is available on-site and whether or not it’s free (most are free!).

The Awesome Fest Film Series at Clark Park: Thursdays, June 26-August 14; Except July 31. The Awesome Fest begins its outdoor movie series on Thursday, June 26 with a screening of Riot on the Dance Floor, a documentary about the now shuttered punk music venue, City Gardens, at Clark Park. Beyond the opening night screening, look forward to screenings of The Wizard of Oz, Jingle Bell Rocks and more. Clark Park continues to host outdoor movies on Thursday evenings through Thursday, August 14 — with the exception of July 31. This summer, The Awesome Fest’s programming is presented under the subject of “The Soundtrack of Awesome,” a rock and roll theme.
[ Free | Weekly ]

The Awesome Fest Film Series at The Oval: Fridays, July 18-August 15. The Oval, the pop-up park on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, gets in on the Awesome Fest action with movie screenings on Fridays from July 18 to August 15. The Oval hosts the centerpiece event on Friday, July 18, a screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a performance by Macaulay Culkin’s band, Pizza Underground and a giant pizza party. In addition to the centerpiece event, stop by for free screenings of School of Rock and Wayne’s World. This summer, The Awesome Fest’s programming is presented under the subject of “The Soundtrack of Awesome,” a rock and roll theme.
[ Free | Weekly ]

The Awesome Fest Film Series at Liberty Lands Park: Saturdays, June 28-August 16; Except July 19. Liberty Lands Park in Northern Liberties welcomes Awesome Fest festival-goers for free movie screenings on Saturday from June 28 through August 16 — with the exception of July 19. The series kicks off with a screening of Positive Force: More Than a Witness on June 28. Also look forward to screening of Dazed and Confused and Pulp. This summer, The Awesome Fest’s programming is presented under the subject of “The Soundtrack of Awesome,” a rock and roll theme.
[ Free | Weekly ]

Screenings Under the Stars brings recent blockbusters and a few well-loved classics to an outdoor movie screen at Penn's Landing. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Schuylkill Banks Movie Nights at Walnut Street: Every other Thursday, June 26-August 21 and July 3. The Schuylkill River Development Corporation keeps up its outdoor summer movie tradition as it hosts free movie screenings throughout the summer on the grassy part of the trail just north of the Walnut Street bridge. The series kicks off on Thursday, June 12 with a screening of Rocky on the Schuylkill Banks by the Walnut Street Bridge. Following this week, the series continues to fill the silver screen — with films including Pitch Perfect, Zoolander and Finding Nemo — at the waterfront park every other Thursday through August 21. Bonus: On warmer nights, enjoy a waterfront breeze as you tune in to the flicks. All Schuylkill Banks movie nights provide guests with free food, drinks and a free raffle.
[ Free | Bi-Weekly | Food ]

Schuylkill Banks Outdoor Movie Nights at the Grays Ferry Crescent: Thursdays, June 19, July 17, August 14. Free outdoor movies take over the Grays Ferry Crescent (at the Schuylkill River and Wharton Street) as part of the Schuylkill Banks outdoor movie nights this summer, too. On select Thursdays in June, July and August stop by to watch Despicable Me 2, Back to the Future and The Karate Kid under the stars. All Schuylkill Banks movie nights provide guests with free food, drinks and a free raffle.
[ Free | Sporadic | Food ]

Schuylkill Banks Outdoor Movie Night at Paine’s Park: Thursday, July 31. Paine’s Park, a skatepark on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway which opened for the season last summer, hosts a free screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World for the summer Schuylkill Banks movie night series. All Schuylkill Banks movie nights provide guests with free food, drinks and a free raffle.
[ Free | One-Night-Only | Food ]

Many more movie nights, below.

Screenings Under the Stars at Penn’s Landing: Thursdays, July 3-August 27, Except July 31. New releases take the spotlight at the Screenings Under the Stars events at Penn’s Landing. A recent blockbuster, or well-loved classic, hits the waterfront screen each week. Film starting times depend on the time of the time of sunset; the first batch of films begin at 8 p.m., and as the summer goes on, films begin at 8:30 p.m. The Goonies is first up on Thursday, July 3, followed by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Thursday, July 10.
[ Free | Weekly ]

Moonlight Movies In Mt. Airy: Fridays and Saturdays, June 20-August 16, Except July 4 and 5. Moonlight Movies in Mt. Airy return for summer 2014 on not one, but two nights per week — on Fridays and Saturdays. The series starts on Friday, June 20 with a screening of Frozen. Friday night screenings will be held outside at Lovett Library Park, and Saturday night screenings are slated for the Trolley Car Diner. Look forward to screenings of Now You See Me, Annie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and more. The full list of upcoming films is available right here. All movies being at 8:30 p.m.
[ Free | Weekly | Food ]

Folks of all ages are invited to catch a range of flicks projected onto outdoor movie screens this summer — family films, indie movies, summer blockbusters and more. (D. Tavani for Visit Philadelphia)

Wawa Welcome America: Philly at the Movies: June 30, July 1 and 2. The epic Wawa Welcome America festivals brings three outdoor movie screenings along with its slew of additional Independence-centric events. On Monday, June 30, enjoy a screening of Frozen at Franklin Square, on Tuesday, July 1 tune in to a screening of The Hunger Games at Rittenhouse Square and on Wednesday, July 3, catch Rocky at the Art Museum steps. All films begin at 9 p.m.
[ Free | Three-Days ]

Film al Fresco at Moore College of Art and Design: Fridays, June 13, 27, July 11 and 25. After a successful first year, Moore College of Art and Design hosts indie films with a side of food truck fare. This summer, head out to Film al Fresco at Aviator Park at 1916 Race Street select evenings over the summer for screenings of independent films by local filmmakers. The first screening is Assumption of Risk on Friday, June 13, Mi Pueblito Tacos and Milk & Sugar will be on sight to provide guests with tasty treats. The film series continues on June 27, July 11 and 25 with numerous feature and short films slated for the big screen (and food trucks!). Film screenings each begin at roughly 8 p.m.
[ Free | Bi-Weekly | Food ]

Movie Nights at The Mann Center: July 18, 30, 31. One of Philadelphia’s favorite outdoor entertainment venues, The Mann Center, gets in on the movie night action with three evenings of alfresco film screenings accompanied by The Philadelphia Orchestra. First, check out Gladitor on July 18, next, catch a screening of West Side Story on July 30. Lastly, tune in to a screening of Star Trek Into Darkness on July 31. Admission to the outdoor movies at The Mann are ticketed and start at $14.50. Tickets are available online.
[ $14.50 | Sporadic ]

Memphis Taproom: Select Saturday nights through October 4. Pair your outdoor movie screening with a craft beer and a hot dog as Memphis Taproom in Fishtown hosts outdoor movie screenings on select Saturdays through October 4. A variety of summer blockbusters, ’80s hits, classics and more are slated for the summer — films are announced shortly before each screening. For the full rundown of movie night dates, click here.
[ Free | Sporadic | Food ]

Penn Treaty Park: July 8, 22. Summer arrives at the Penn Treaty Park with a slew of alfresco events including two outdoor movie screenings in July. On July 8, head to the Fishtown park for a screening of Despicable Me 2, and on July 22, enjoy a screening of Alpha and Omega. Both films begin at dusk and are completely free.
[ Free | Sporadic ]

The summer isn't complete without a night of alfresco movie watching with friends and neighbors at well-loved parks in the city. (Photo courtesy Wawa Welcome America))

Cinema in the Cemetery at Laurel Hill Cemetery: Friday, June 27. For those looking for a slight fright this summer, head to Laurel Hill Cemetery for a screening of Carnival of Souls, a horror classic hailing from 1962. The film begins at 9 p.m., and gate doors open at 8 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their own snacks, drinks and picnic blankets. Take note, Spot Burger is also slated to be on site. Tickets are $10 and are available online.
[ $10 | Sporadic | Food ]

Hawthorne Park Movie Series: Fridays, June 27, July 25, August 29. On the final Friday of every summer month, Hawthorne Park hosts a screening of a family-friendly flick. Beginning at 7 p.m., the park welcomes guests for activities and snacks, and the feature film follows with a start time of dusk — approximately 8:30 p.m. On June 27, catch a screening of Frozen and on July 25, watch The Lego Movie. The final film on August 29 is guest’s choice, vote for your favorite film at the events leading up to the August movie night.
[ Free | Monthly | Food ]

Movies Under the Stars and Stripes at the Betsy Ross House: Fridays, August 1, September 5, October 3. In addition to the plethora of First Friday festivities in Old City, the Betsy Ross House hosts movie screenings on the first Friday of every summer month — with the exception of July. Guests are encouraged to BYOB and explore the historic Betsy Ross House before the film begins at dusk. The full list of upcoming films is available here. Admission is $5 per person.
[ $5 | Monthly ]

Family Movie Nights at Barrall Field in Media: June 13, July 12, August 9. Families are invited out to Barrall Field in Media for a series of movie nights on select dates throughout the summer. Bring snacks, blankets and friends and enjoy the flick. Movie titles will be announced as the dates grow closer.
[ Free | Monthly ]

Bensalem Community Park: Fridays, June 20, July 18, September 12. Bensalem Community Park hosts three evenings of free alfresco movies this summer. The series kicks off with a screening of Frozen on June 20 and The Nut Job follows on July 18. All films begin at dusk.
[ Free | Monthly ]

All summer long, three parks along the Schuylkill River host free outdoor movies complete with free food, drinks and a raffle.

 

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Monica hadley says:

Excellent idea. I can’t wait. Thanks you & I pray that each & every event is kept safe.