A Guide to Free Outdoor Movies in New York City

Conde Nast Traveler

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Brooklyn. Photograph courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Close

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Brooklyn. Photograph courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Brooklyn. Photograph courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Who needs a drive-in when you have New York City's parks? All you need to see a movie alfresco this summer is a blanket—picnics optional.

SYFY MOVIES WITH A VIEW

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Brooklyn

Films: There's a loose globe-hopping theme, with each movie in the lineup showcasing a different city.

Lineup: Ferris Bueller's Day Off (July 11), Enter the Dragon (July 18), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (July 25), 8 Mile (August 1), Roman Holiday(August 8), Rocky (August 15), Vertigo (August 22), and an audience pick (August 29).

Added Value: Brooklyn Radio spins pre-movie music from the featured city; BAMcinématek screens short films before the main feature; and snacks are sold by Blue Marble Ice Cream, Luke’s Lobster, No. 7 Subs, Lizzmonade Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Bridge Wine Bar. FYI: Since this movie spot is set right on the water by the Brooklyn Bridge, the gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline might distract you from the movie.

Bryant Park. Photograph courtesy of Bryant Park Corporation

Bryant Park. Photograph courtesy of Bryant Park Corporation

HBO BRYANT PARK SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL

Bryant Park (enter at Sixth Ave and 40th St)

Film: The outdoor movie series at Bryant Park tends to stick with the classics.

Lineup: Tootsie (June 17), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (June 24), Frenzy (July 1), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (July 8), Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte (July 15), The African Queen (July 22), A Foreign Affair (July 29), Norma Rae (August 5),The Women (August 12), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial(August 19).

Added Value: You can place an advanced picnic order at 'wichcraft (212-780-0577) that will be ready on your arrival. FYI: Prime spots tend to fill up here quickly. Arrive early—gates open at 5 p.m.

Piers 46 and 63 on the Hudson River. Photograph courtesy of Hudson River park Trust

Piers 46 and 63 on the Hudson River. Photograph courtesy of Hudson River park Trust

RIVERFLICKS

Piers 46 and 63 on the Hudson River

Films: The films in this series are super-recent, featuring lots of the big movies of 2012, plus a second series just for kids.

Lineup: For grown-ups, Pier 63 (W 22nd St at the Hudson River) hosts Silver Linings Playbook (July 10), Looper (July 17), Argo (July 24), Moonrise Kingdom (July 31), The Avengers (August 7), Pitch Perfect (August 14), The Hunger Games (August 21). For kids, at Pier 46 (Charles St at the Hudson River), there's The Pirates! Band of Misfits (July 12),ParaNorman (July 19), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (July 26), Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (August 2), Rise of the Guardians (August 9), Beetlejuice(August 16), Adventures of Tintin (August 23).

Added Value: Drinks and snacks are available for purchase, but you might not need them because… FYI: …popcorn is free!

Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum; Twelfth Ave at 46th St, Pier 86. Photograph courtesy of Intrepid Museum

Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum; Twelfth Ave at 46th St, Pier 86. Photograph courtesy of Intrepid Museum

INTREPID SUMMER MOVIE SERIES

Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum; Twelfth Ave at 46th St, Pier 86

Films: The Intrepid salutes the heroes of the big summer movies of the past.

Lineup: National Treasure (June 21), Jaws (June 28),Star Trek: The Motion Picture (July 26), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (August 2), The Karate Kid(August 23).

Added Value: Movies are screened on the flight deck, where there are two dozen aircraft on display. FYI: Be prompt, since there is no admission after 8:30 pm.

McCarren Park, Bedford Ave and N 12th St, Brooklyn. Photograph courtesy of McCarren Park

McCarren Park, Bedford Ave and N 12th St, Brooklyn. Photograph courtesy of McCarren Park

SUMMERSCREEN

McCarren Park, Bedford Ave and N 12th St, Brooklyn

Films: Movies that appeal to the nostalgia of Williamsburg's twentysomethings.

Lineup: Can't Hardly Wait (July 10), Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (July 17), The Craft (July 24), The Goonies(July 31), Speed (August 7), and an audience pick (August 14).

Added Value: Need a snack? Local food trucks line up for you to indulge your cravings. FYI: Movies here take place on asphalt basketball/baseball courts, not grass, so you might want to bring something cushy to sit on.

More film and travel:

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