On The Town

The Best Places to Watch Outdoor Movies This Summer

With blankets and popcorn in tow, spend an evening at any one of these al fresco film fests.

By Lauren Cohen | June 12, 2017, 4:48 pm

On The Town

The Best Places to Watch Outdoor Movies This Summer

With blankets and popcorn in tow, spend an evening at any one of these al fresco film fests.

By Lauren Cohen | June 12, 2017, 4:48 pm

We’re always down to cozy up at The Charles or The Senator during the winter months. But when temperatures heat up, there’s nothing like catching a flick under the stars. From public parks to picturesque wineries, tons of community spots are transforming their outdoor venues into makeshift movie theatres for the summer. So pack a picnic, spread out a blanket, and head to any one of these open-air screenings to enjoy an entertaining evening after dark.

Luigi’s Summer Movie Series 6/16-9/15: Though this deli on the Avenue in Hampden recently changed hands, new owner Allison Perrelli is maintaining the tradition of projecting films on its outdoor patio throughout the summer. Every third Friday through September, hit up The Wine Source for BYOB needs, order a cold cut, and snag a seat to unwind from the week with a lighthearted film. Luigi’s is featuring a summer vacation theme this year, screening classics like Dirty Dancing, The Great Outdoors, Heavyweights, and What About Bob? 846 W. 36th St., 8:30 p.m., Free, 443-438-4195

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Summer Movie Night Series at Metro Centre in Owings Mills
6/16-8/18: From live music to food truck festivals, the public plaza at Metro Centre in Owings Mills hosts plenty of entertainment on weekends. This season, the mixed-use development is screening family-friendly flicks on the third Friday of every month. Grab dinner at one of neighboring eateries (including Eggspectation and UFood Grill) before claiming a spot to laugh aloud to comedies like The Sandlot and The Boss Baby. Grand Central Avenue, Owings Mills, Free, 8:30 p.m., 410-581-2520

Summer Movies at The Wine Bin
6/17-9/30: The Ellicott City community has made a summer tradition of posting up in The Wine Bin’s parking lot for this Saturday-night get-together. Uncork a bottle of vino, snack on requisite handfuls of popcorn, and experience an array of films spanning many different genres and decades. This year’s lineup includes something for everyone, with classics like Cool Hand Luke, rom-coms like Notting Hill, and modern thrillers including Fantastic Beasts and The Martian. 8390 Main St., Ellicott City, Free, 410-465-7804

Summer Movie Nights in Downtown Bel Air
On select Friday nights throughout the summer, squeeze in some family fun time on the lush lawn of Shamrock Park in Bel Air. Enjoy pre-show entertainment (think face-painting and magic shows) with your little ones before the movies begin at sundown. Fun films on-deck this year include Minions, The Lego Batman Movie, and Finding Dory. Lee Way and North Hickory Ave., Bel Air, Free, 443-823-1797

Pics in the Park
Downtown Partnership is bringing back this Saturday series, which features a giant pop-up screen set against the backdrop of glowing city skyscrapers. Grab a group of friends and kick back on the lawn of Center Plaza to watch the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot on June 24, a Christmas in July-themed screening of Elf on July 29, box office hit La La Land on August 26, and Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice on September 30. 222 N. Charles St., Free, 410-244-1030

Merriweather Movie Nights
6/28-8/30: Not only does Merriweather Post Pavilion have a jam-packed live music lineup planned for its 50th anniversary this summer, but the amphitheater will also be celebrating with monthly movie nights. Snuggle up on a blanket, crack open a Manor Hill beer, and take in the woodsy ambient sounds while tuning into The Last Waltz on June 28, Moana on July 26, and School of Rock on August 30. 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Free-$10, 410-715-5550

Free Movies at Mount Vernon Place
Gather around the Washington Monument for a midweek movie under the stars on select Wednesday nights throughout August. This season’s film fest, which will take place on the conservancy’s West Square, will feature titles including movie-musical Chicago, Frank Capra’s classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 2016 Oscar contender Arrival, and Dreamgirls featuring the powerful pipes of Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson. 699 Washington Pl., Free, 410-962-5070

Flicks From the Hill         
Dubbed one of the “World’s Best Free Things to Do” by Travel + Leisure magazine, this Thursday-evening event hosted by the American Visionary Art Museum is certainly something to cross off of your Charm City bucket list. This year, the museum’s selection of films—projected onto the side of the building on a 30-foot widescreen visible from Federal Hill—includes Napoleon Dynamite, Julie & Julia, The Nutty Professor, and Big. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, Free, 410-244-1900

Little Italy Open Air Film Fest
Nearly 20 years ago, late neighborhood icon “Mr. John” Pente graciously allowed the Little Italy community to set up a projector on the third floor of his home across the street from Ciao Bella Restaurant. The tradition has stuck ever since, and this annual series has become one of the tight-knit neighborhood’s most popular events. Fridays in July and August, fill up on pasta at one of the surrounding restaurants before heading over to the Da Mimmo parking lot to enjoy timeless titles including Grease, The Godfather, Rocky, and the fan-favorite Cinema Paradiso. 217 S. High St., Free, 410-727-6876

TGIF Movie Night
7/7-8/25: Family-run Basignani Winery is bringing this Friday-night film fest back to its vineyard in Sparks this summer, with flicks like Larry Crowne and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen scheduled to play on its inflatable pop-up screen. The price of admission includes a pre-show wine tasting, and the staff sells made-to-order wood-fired pizzas if you forget to pack a picnic. Basignani Winery, 15722 Falls Rd., Sparks, $12, 410-472-0703

Summer Moonlight Movie Series
Check out all of the updates from The Shops at Kenilworth’s multi-million-dollar renovation while attending this Friday-night series in July and August. Bring the whole family for this year’s films including Sing, Secret Life of Pets, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Shops at Kenilworth, 800 Kenilworth Drive, Towson, Free

Family Movie Nights at Power Plant Live
6/13-8/15: This downtown nightlife district is rolling out family-inclusive programs this summer, including monthly movie nights. Pack up your lawn chairs and settle in to watch a collection of this year's kid-friendly favorites including The Lego Movie, Moana, and Sing. A number of the area's restaurants including  Tin Roof, Leinenkugel's Beer Garden, and MEX will be offering food specials, as well as drink deals for moms and dads. 34 Market Place, Free, 410-727-5483

Meet The Author

Lauren Cohen is a digital associate editor for Baltimore, where she blogs about food, events, lifestyle, and community news.

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