A D.C.-area summer tradition is back. Grab a picnic blanket and swing by a food truck, because you can once again enjoy summer nights at free outdoor movie screenings. Here’s everything you need to know to watch your favorite films under the stars. (Are we missing your favorite outdoor movie series? Let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Outdoor Summer Movies in Washington, D.C.:
Adams Morgan's Movie Nights returns after being voted as one of the best outdoor movie series in D.C. by readers of Washington City Paper. This year's lineup in their "Road Less Traveled" series features favorites such as “The Princess Bride,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and Disney’s “Encanto.”
The series will kick off on Tuesday, May 24, and continue with free weekly screenings on Tuesday nights through June 21 on the soccer field at Marie Reed School.
French Embassy and Other Locations:
Films on the Green DC 2022 features French films, shown in their original versions with subtitles in English. Several will be shown at the La Maison Française at the French Embassy, followed by additional screenings at Anacostia Park, the National Mall, the National Gallery of Art, the National Building Museum, the Hillwood Estate, the Wharf and the National Arboretum.
Films are free and open to the public, although registration is mandatory for those being shown at the embassy. Bring your own chair or blanket. Movies start at sunset and are offered once a week through July 13.
Georgetown Sunset Cinema returns this summer. Head to Georgetown Waterfront Park for free outdoor movies on Tuesday nights from Aug. 2 through Sept. 6. Movies include "The Goonies," "Bridesmaids" and "Black Panther."
Library of Congress:
The Library of Congress is hosting its fifth annual Summer Movies on the Lawn, featuring films from their National Film Registry. See free screenings of movies such as "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971) and "Wall-E" on Thursday evenings from July 7 through Aug. 4 on the southeast lawn of the Thomas Jefferson Building. The movies will begin between sunset and sundown, about 8:15 p.m.
You can also catch live musical performances before the films on July 7, July 21 and Aug. 4.
The series is part of the Library of Congress' new after-hours experience, Live at the Library. On Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., visitors may purchase happy hour drinks and snacks in the Great Hall while enjoying the library's exhibits, collections and programs. Free timed-entry passes for entrance to the Thomas Jefferson Building are required; you can reserve yours online here.
NoMa’s weekly outdoor series, CiNoMatic, is now showing movies every Wednesday at Althea Tanner Park through June 8.
This season’s theme is “Throwbacks!” with nostalgic films such as “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Sandlot,” and “Space Jam.” You can see the full movie schedule and register here.
Movies begin at sunset, but plan to arrive early with a blanket or chair to grab a spot, and a bite to eat from a local food truck.
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Outdoor Summer Movies in Maryland:
The Wine Bin in Ellicott City, Maryland is hosting free Movie Nights from May 27 to Oct. 29. Viewers can buy wine and snacks including popcorn, cheeses and charcuterie to enjoy while watching a variety of films from classics like "Dr. No" to new favorites like Disney's "Jungle Cruise."
Movies on the Potomac is back this year, screening family movies every Sunday at 6 p.m. and date night movies every Thursday at 7 p.m.
Each month brings a new theme of movies. Viewers can unleash their inner beasts in May with animal movies, travel to faraway places in June, catch foodie films in July, and sing their hearts out with musical favorites in August.
All you need to bring is a chair or a blanket to watch these free screenings. Food is available to purchase at nearby establishments.
Movies in the Parks in Rockville has returned to showcase free outdoor movies at four different neighborhood parks throughout the city, including Courthouse Park, Montrose Park, Potomac Woods Park and Calvin Park.
Viewers are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and non-alcoholic beverages. Movies begin at dusk (about 8 p.m.).
Outdoor Summer Movies in Northern Virginia:
Starlight Drive-In Cinema is bringing back another season of movie magic every Saturday at 5 p.m. for the community to enjoy at Trinity Centre (5860 Trinity Parkway, Centreville). Go here and click/tap "Starlight Cinema" for the complete schedule.
Viewers don't need a car to enjoy this drive-in. Picnics, blankets and chairs are all accepted.
The Mosaic District in Fairfax County is hosting Films in the Park every Thursday night from June 9 through Aug. 25. You'll find them at Strawberry Park starting at 7 p.m. Movies will include "The Birdcage," "In the Heights" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home."
Rosslyn Cinema is back with free movies on Friday nights in June at Gateway Park. The lineup includes "Encanto" and "National Treasure."
Beer and wine will be available for purchase starting at 5 p.m., with food trucks also available. Movies will begin around sundown.