There’s something special about cozying up on a blanket and watching a movie as the summer sun sets behind the screen.
Unfortunately the days of drive-in movie theatres are well behind us, and it’s becoming harder to catch a flick beneath the stars.
Lucky for us, a number of Canadian cities have found new ways to bring the cinema outdoors and are playing beloved classics outside all summer long.
So whether you need a great date idea or an evening activity with your friends, an open air movie is the perfect way to spend a summer evening. Here’s where to make it happen from coast to coast…
Evo Summer Cinema Series
Where: Stanley Park
When: July 5th – August 23rd
Vancouverites are in for a treat, as there are free outdoor films available all summer long. Every Tuesday evening, movie buffs can flock to Stanley Park’s Second Beach to watch some of the biggest names in Hollywood. This summer you can catch The Outsiders, Napoleon Dynamite, The Little Mermaid, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Labyrinth: David Bowie Night, Purple Rain: Prince Night, and Dirty Dancing.
Movies in the Park
Where: Assiniboine Park
When: August 5th – 26th
If your summer schedule hasn’t yet filled up, Assiniboine Park is offering a slew of free events all summer long. The annual Summer Entertainment Series will be featuring a roundup of top Hollywood films in August, with two screenings a night. The lineup includes: Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Inside Out, Spectre, The Good Dinosaur and Kung Fu Panda 3.
Open Roof Festival
Where: 99 Sudbury
When: June 21st – August 24th
This 10-week outdoor film and music festival is a summer experience like no other. Open Roof Festival brings together some of the best films from independent filmmakers and artists from Canada and around the world. Here you won’t just find films, but plenty of live music by emerging acts in a variety of genres, an ever-changing food menu, and drinks provided by Amsterdam Brewery as well. Movies, music, food, and beer – what more could one want?
Free Flicks at Harbourfront
When: June 22nd – August 31st
If you’re looking for the ideal activity for balmy Wednesday nights, make your way to the Westjet stage along the lake. Every Wednesday evening this summer, the Harbourfront Centre will be presenting a series of outdoor films with Free Flicks. This year’s lineup includes: Mean Girls, Strange Brew, The Visitor, A Little Princess, The Grand Seduction, The Mighty Quinn, The Last Dragon, The Good Lie, Chef, and Sense and Sensibility.
Toronto Outdoor Picture Show
Where: Christie Pits Park
When: June 26th – August 28th
This summer, Christie Pits Park will be hosting a nine-evening movie series called Stranded in Christie Pits that runs each Sunday. This film series will feature nine short and feature films that showcase a diverse range of visionary filmmakers who use the expressive capacities of cinema to explore themes of isolation, confinement, escape, and perseverance. All screenings start at sunset – remember to BYOBlanket.
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
When: June 28th – August 30th
All summer long, Yonge-Dundas Square will transform into an outdoor movie theatre as it hosts its weekly City Cinema series. Each week you can enjoy a free outdoor film screening that includes a short film from the National Film Board of Canada followed by a classic comedy feature film. The lineup includes: Bridesmaids, Coming to America, For Your Consideration and Best in Show, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Jerk, Spaceballs and Blazing Saddles, Stripes, Wayne’s World and The Ladies Man, There’s Something About Mary, Tommy Boy, and Airplane! and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
Where: Sugar Beach
When: August 18th – 20th
Torontonians are being invited to drop anchor and watch a free movie under the stars this summer as PortsToronto is back to host Sail-In Cinema, the world’s first two-sided floating movie experience in the harbour of Lake Ontario. Toronto’s Sugar Beach will transform into a large outdoor theatre where boaters will be able to dock along a floating barge to catch an evening flick on a huge inflatable screen. This summer’s screening theme will be “Books to Big Screen” and will feature three films derived from iconic books.
Rideau Hall Movie Nights
Where: Rideau Hall
When: June 29th — 30th
This summer, Ottawa residents are invited to attend the third annual Rideau Hall Movie Nights. Grab your blankets and lawn chairs and come and enjoy free outdoor screenings, which will include both English and French versions. This is a summer event that you won’t want to miss.
Where: Dundonald Park
The official schedule has yet to be released, but we can promise that you won’t want to miss this summer’s screenings. Make sure to bundle up and get prepared for an evening under the stars. Check the official event page for the full movie line-up.
Montreal Movies in the Park
Where: Place de la Paix at Quartier des Spectacles
When: June 14th – September 6th
Sit back, relax, enjoy a night under the stars – and remember to bring chairs and blankets. This marks the 11th Downtown Screenings Under the Stars organized by the Society for Arts and Technology, and it will include 13 exciting screenings. Refreshments and activities start at 7pm and the movie starts as soon as the sun sets.
Movies in the Park
Where: Caseley Park
When: July 8th – August 19th
New Brunswick, get ready to welcome some of Hollywood’s brightest stars to Caseley Park this summer for the annual screening of Movies in the Park. Every Friday night, rally up your troops and get ready for an evening filled with free movies and plenty of popcorn. The lineup has yet to be released, but you can check for updates on the event website.
The Atlantic Film Festival
Where: Halifax and Dartmouth locations
When: July 2nd – August 13th
The AFF is heading back outdoors for the summer with another round of movies screened in unique settings. For the past 15 years, the AFF has shown free movies revolving around a different theme, with this year’s theme being animation. The summer lineup includes: Shrek, How To Train Your Dragon, The Lord Of The Rings, The Lego Movie, Princess Mononoke, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Frozen, and Labyrinth.
REEL Downtown St. John’s
Where: Water Street
When: July 4th – July 25th
Make your way downtown each Monday night in July for a theatre under the stars. All showings begin at dusk, but make sure to come early to save a spot. Many shops in services will be open until show time, so you can grab a bite to eat or a coffee and then kick back and enjoy the show. This year’s lineup has yet to be released, but you can check the event website for updates.