NYC Summer Screenings

NYC Summer Screenings

the-stingIts expensive to see movies here in New York City, or pretty much anywhere these days. I did an about face a couple weeks ago when the price of admission to see Up in 3D was sixteen dollars.  I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand the reason behind 3D, and I don’t see why I need to be charged another 4 dollars to see a movie in 3D.

I come from a small town in upstate New York where going to the movies has been, for years, six dollars.  Since living in Manhattan, I’ve had to initiate something called “The 12 Dollar Rule,” as in is the movie actually worth 12 dollars? Sure, for movies like Star Trek, The Dark Knight and others, its worth that kind of money.  However, there is a solution! During the summer there are all kinds of outdoor screenings of classic movies for free around New York City.  Below is a brief overview of some of those screenings, courtesy of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting.

2009 HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Date: Every Monday until August 17
Time: Lawn opens at 5pm. Films begin at dusk (8pm-9pm)
Movies Shown: The Sting, Breaking Away, Gold Diggers of 1933, Dog Day Afternoon, How Green Was My Valley, Harold and Maude, The Defiant Ones, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Magnificent Seven, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Location: Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues
Every Monday night from June 15 until August 17, the 2009 HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presents classic films like The Magnificent Seven and Kramer vs. Kramer. The lawn opens at 5pm for blankets and picnicking; films begin at dusk. For a complete schedule, click here.

: Every Friday from July 10 to August 21
Time: Movies begin at dusk (around 8:30pm)
Movies Shown: Wizard of Oz, Kung Fu Panda, Ghostbusters, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Muppet Movie, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and Curious George
Location: Piers 54 and 46 at Charles Street
Overlooking the Hudson River, RiverFlicks for Kids takes place every Friday night at Pier 46 with offerings of The Wizard of Oz, Kung Fu Panda, and The Muppet Movie. For adults, there’s RiverFlicks for Grown-Ups at Pier 54 on Wednesdays. Beginning on July 8 with Iron Man and concluding with Pineapple Express on August 19, the series will also feature Tropic Thunder on August 5. For more information, visit

Summer on the Hudson
Date: Every Wednesday from July 8 to August 12
Time: 8:30pm- 11pm
Movies Shown: The Age of Innocence, Wall Street, Dinner at Eight, The Out-of-Towners, Drums Along the Mohawk, and Sweet Smell of Success
Location: Pier 1, Manhattan
Pier 1 at 70th Street in Manhattan plays host to Movies Under the Stars on Wednesday evenings beginning July 9. This year’s films were chosen to showcase the theme of finance, with selections that include The Age of Innocence, Wall Street, and Sweet Smell of Success. Visit for a full schedule.

Movies with a View
Date: Every Thursday from July 9 to August 27
Time: 6pm to 11pm. Movies start at sunset.
Movies Shown: Raising Arizona, The Maltese Falcon, Paper Moon, To Catch A Thief, The Return Of The Pink Panther, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, Catch Me If You Can, and Edward Scissorhands.
Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
The 10th Annual Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Movies with a View kicks off on July 9 at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Maltese Falcon and Edward Scissorhands are among the films shown every Thursday. For more information, visit

However, there is one that is not featured on that overview and I feel like it should be.  That screening is Summerscreen, presented by The L Magazine.  Starting tomorrow at the McCarren Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with Reality Bites. Movies are shown every Wednesday, with next week’s being Evil Dead 2, something I’m looking forward to as I’ve never seen any of the Evil Dead movies except for Army of Darkness. Followed by 24 Hour Party People, Wild at Heart, Fame and what may be the most original Romantic Comedy in the history of cinema, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Now allow me a moment to squee about the venue. The McCarren Pool is probably the coolest place you could have something like this (just check out the video at the Summerscreen link above to get an idea). Its an abandoned former public pool with the water emptied out, during the summer it was one of my favorite destinations as usually they had all kinds of festivals there. I’ve seen Wilco perform there and even played Dodge Ball. Local vendors like the Brooklyn Brewery pouring delicious beer for Happy Hour there too.

Movies begin at dusk, and if you get the chance to make it to Brooklyn, I can’t recommend the McCarren Pool screenings enough.


That’s New York. Any great free movie venues in your town you want to tell us about?