Free summer movie season starts tonight in Central Park with a screening of And God Created Woman, presented by the Francophile Films on the Green series. New Yorkers have a cornucopia of gratis outdoor cinema to choose from during the next three months, and to help sort it out we're putting together this compendium of all the free outdoor movie screenings in NYC this summer, from Bayside to Bryant Park.
This year's lineup is incredibly varied with something for everyone, whether you're stoked for Spongebob or fascinated by 1980s "ball culture." These screenings aren't ticketed, but many of them fill up fast, so be sure to show up early to get the best spot.
Indulge your inner francophile with French film And God Created Woman (Cedar Hill at 8:30 pm) or catch '80s blockbusters and a pre-movie DJ set (between Sheep Meadow and 72nd Street Cross Drive) at Central Park's popular summer movie series. The music begins at 6:30 p.m. and goes until opening credits at 8 p.m.
May 29: And God Created Woman
August 25: Fame
August 26: The Blues Brothers
August 27: Airplane!
August 28: Raging Bull
August 29: Superman II
Washington Square Park (5th Ave & Waverly Place)
Keep up with Films on the Green at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. Show up a little before 8:30 p.m. to snag a good spot.
June 5: Caramel
June 12: Pepe Le Moko
Crochern Park (35th Avenue & Cross Island Parkway)
Hang out by the water at Crochern Park in Bayside, Queens for this new children's classic that adults can thoroughly enjoy. The screening starts at 8:30 p.m.
June 5: The Lego Movie
Riverside Park will start off by hosting Goha and Queen to Play as part of Films on the Green. Both movies begin at 8:30 p.m at Pier 1. The rest of the lineup will take place at 8 p.m. on the 72nd Street Track and Lawn.
June 11: Hyde Park on Hudson
July 9: Pride and Prejudice
July 10: Goha
July 17: Queen to Play
August 13: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Betsy Head Park
Head over to Betsy Head Park at Strauss and Durmont in Brownsville for a music performance by DJ Fulano at 7 pm followed by the newest version of Annie at 9 pm.
June 14: Annie
Randall's Island Park (Touchdown of the 103rd Street Footbridge)
Randall's Island Park is showing three outdoor movies this season including the pinnacle of summertime terror, Jaws. The screenings begin at 7:30 pm. Picnics are encouraged.
June 15: Jaws
July 13: Back to the Future Part II
August 17: Frozen
Tompkins Square Park (500 East 9th Street)
Like all movies featured in this year's Films on the Green, both draw from the Mediterranean as inspiration. All movies are in French with English subtitles and begin at 8:30 pm.
June 19: Priceless
June 26: Zarafa
Herbert Von King Park (670 Lafayette Avenue)
Along with the movie, there will also be music performances by the Bullitts and DJ Spinna. Jeymes Samuel of the Bullitts is also the director of They Die By Dawn and presents his music set as a prelude to the film so make sure to arrive at 7 p.m. to catch both.
June 21: They Die By Dawn
Bryant Park (42nd Street and 5th Avenue)
In keeping with tradition, Bryant Park is hosting an outdoor movie every Monday evening from late June to the end of August. The lawn opens at 5 p.m. for
blanket turf wars picnics, and the films begin at sunset. If you don't have someone on site to grab lawn space at the stroke of 5, you can pretty much forget it.
June 22: Ghostbusters
June 29: The Killers
July 6: The Poseidon Adventure
July 13: I'm No Angel
July 20: Badlands
July 27: Footloose
August 3: Marathon Man
August 10: Desk Set
August 17: Chinatown
August 24: Back to the Future
Prospect Park (Bandshell)
Stop by the Bandshell at 7:30 p.m. to experience a night of film in one of the best parks of the city. Documentary Paris is Burning explores the '80s Harlem drag balls and The Son of Sheik will be accompanied by a live orchestra playing the score. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase.
June 26: Paris is Burning
July 17: The Son of Sheik
Rockaway Beach Park (Beach 17th Street and Seagirt Boulevard)
Check out these kid-friendly screenings at Rockaway Beach, hosted by their Movie Nights in the Rockaways series. Shows begin at dusk (or around 8 p.m.), but be sure to give yourself ample transportation time.
July 7: The Iron Giant
August 4: Back to the Future Part II
Coney Island (1001 Boardwalk West)
Coney Island will be hosting Flicks on the Beach on Mondays all through July and August. A giant inflatable screen will be set up at 1001 Boardwalk West turning the beach into a walk up theater. Bring your swimsuit and made a day of it. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.
July 6 The Terminator
July 13 The Grand Budapest Hotel
July 20 The Goonies
July 27 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
August 3 Big Hero 6
August 10 Mrs. Doubtfire
August 17 Guardians of the Galaxy
August 24 Audience Choice
McCarren Park (Bedford & North 12th Street)
This year's SummerScreen roster at McCarren Park hits all the classic summer high points, but if your favorite movie isn't on the list, cast your ballot for the audience pick. There will also be food and live music starting at 6 p.m. Film begins at dusk.
July 8: Clueless
July 15: Wet Hot American Summer
July 22: Dirty Dancing
July 29: Dazed and Confused
August 5: Jurassic Park
August 12: Audience Pick (TBA)
Hudson River Flicks
This summer Hudson River Park is alternating between "big hit" Wednesdays and family friendly Fridays (note: they are two different venues). Movies start around 8.30 pm. Be sure to grab a bag of the free popcorn before it runs out.
At Hudson River Park’s Pier 63 Lawn (West 23rd Street and the Hudson River in Chelsea)
July 8: The Imitation Game
July 15: Neighbors
July 22: Selma
July 29: St. Vincent
August 5: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
August 12: Boyhood
August 19: Interstellar
At Hudson River Park’s Pier 46 (Charles Street and the Hudson River in Greenwich Village)
July 10: Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water
July 17: The BoxTrolls
July 24: Pee Wee's Big Adventure
July 31: Annie
August 7: Jumanji
August 14: Paddington
August 21: Hook
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (Pier 86 West 46th Street and 12th Avenue)
Watch a movie on the flight deck at the Intrepid Musuem. Each screening will be introduced by a special guest, including Jeffrey Kluger, co-author of the book Apollo 13. The event begins at sunset, but free tickets will be distributed on a first come first serve basis, so arrive early.
July 9: October Sky
July 16: Moon
July 23: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
July 30: Apollo 13
August 6: Wall-E
Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 1 334 Furman Street)
Brooklyn Bridge Park is the host of this year's Movies With A View. Music kicks off the evening at 6 p.m. followed by the movie at sunset. There will also be various concessions for sale and photo contests with prizes so you can win yourself a souvenir.
July 9: High Noon
July 16: Sharknado 2: The Second One
July 23: Attack the Block
July 30: Clue
August 6: Friday
August 13: Dr. Strangelove
August 20: Dazed and Confused
August 27: Die Hard
St. Mary's Park (St Mary's St bet. St Ann's Av and Jackson Av)
Anyone in the mood for Cuban culture should be in the Bronx on July 12th, where live music will accompany a documentary on the life of Celia Cruz. The show kicks off at 7 p.m. as a part of the City Parks Foundation's SummerStage series.
July 12: Celia: The Queen; music by Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros
Queensbridge Park (Queensboro Bridge, 41 Rd., 40 Ave)
SummerStage continues with Pete Rock and a look into the life of hip-hop legend Nas. Get there by 7 p.m.
July 19: Time is Illmatic; music by Pete Rock
Transmitter Park (2 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn)
Films on the Green wraps up the last two weeks of July at 8:30 pm in Transmitter Park.
July 24: La Derive
July 31: La Colectionneuse
Carl Schurz Park (1483 York Avenue)
Carl Schurz Park will be screening two movies this summer in the basketball court at 8:30 p.m. There will aptly be free snow cones at Frozen and popcorn at both movies while supplies last.
July 28: Frozen
August 11: Adam's Rib
Rumsey Playfield (Central Park SummerStage)
There's no doubt many of your favorite artists can credit their early success to Stretch and Bobbito, whose radio show helped introduce Jay-Z, Biggie, Nas, Fat Joe, the Fugees and so many more to the world. Their 25th anniversary celebration will kick off at 5 p.m., with DJ sets and a screening of their documentary.
August 16: Stretch and Bobbito; Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito 25th Anniversary Concert
This list will be updated until every last free outdoor movie on earth is obsessively compiled and sorted. And if you'd prefer to watch your free movies drink-in-hand, Canal Bar and Café Habana have you covered. It's also worth noting that Rooftop Films has an amazing list this year, but only a select few screenings are free. Tickets are 15 dollars, and can be bought on their website.
With Joanna Purpich