Cinema under the stars: Your guide to summer movies outdoors

Have a heart: Catch “The Wizard of Oz” in Prospect Park on July 18, the first in a series of family-friendly films.
Brooklyn Daily
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Trade in your Netflix queue for popcorn in the park! Brooklyn’s parks and gardens will light up with outdoor movies all summer long — and there is something for everyone, with classic films, indie flicks, and big-name blockbusters in the line-up. So consult our list, get a blanket, and invite your family and friends to experience cinema under the stars!

Grave start

The Rooftop Films summer film series season has added a new location this year: Green-Wood Cemetery! The movies will be projected onto three different screens near the graveyard’s Sylvan Water pond, with chairs set up nearby. The group’s artistic director said that they carefully considered the appropriateness of the venue when choosing films for the cemetery screenings.

“We have programmed a diverse batch of movies, but have paid particular attention to showing films that respect death, dying and the departed,” said Dan Nuxoll. “None of the films that we are screening take death lightly.”

Among the films screenings at Green-Wood this summer will be the Western comedy “Damsel,” on June 2; “Exit Music,” a documentary about the final creative act of a dying young artist, on June 16; and the dramatic comedy “Wild Nights with Emily,” about the poet Emily Dickinson, on July 7.

Rooftop will also screen a mix of feature-length movies and short film collections at other locations all over Brooklyn, including the William Vale in Williamsburg, Industry City and the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, and MetroTech Commons Downtown, with some free and some ticketed screenings.

Rooftop Films at Green-Wood Cemetery [500 25th St. at Fifth Avenue in Greenwood Heights, (718) 210–3080,]. Various dates at 8 pm. $16. Visit for more films, dates and locations.

At Sunset

Sunset Park not only offers amazing views of the sunset, but it is also a great spot to see a movie! On June 2, catch the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest,” collecting the best short films from the 2017 festival. And on June 15, the sci-fi comedy “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” will screen in the park.

Sunset Park lawn (Fifth Avenue, between 41st and 44th streets in Sunset Park, June 2 and June 15 at 8:30 pm. Free.

Star power

The “Movies Under the Stars” series from New York City Parks will host single screenings at various spots in Brooklyn. See for more info. Some of its notable upcoming films, all free and all starting at 8:30 pm, include:

“The Lego Ninjago Movie” in Leif Erickson Park (67th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues in Dyker Heights). June 1.

“Zootopia” at Shore Road Park Lawn (enter at Shore Road and 79th Street in Bay Ridge). June 2.

“Rocky” at John Paul Jones Park (Fourth Avenue at 101st Street in Bay Ridge). June 10.

“Black Panther” at Red Hook Park’s Phoenix Field (at Bay and Clinton Street in Red Hook). June 16.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” at Sheepshead Playground (Avenue Z at Nostrand Avenue in Sheepshead Bay). June 24.

A gay old time

In Williamsburg, the pool deck in McCarren Park will screen three queer films for Pride in June: “Stonewall” on June 1, a drama about the 1969 bar uprising; and “Saturday Church” on June 8, about a boy who finds community at a weekly transgender dance party; and “Pariah,” about a gay Brooklyn teen, on June 15.

McCarren Park Pool Deck (776 Lorimer St. between Driggs Avenue and Bayard Street in Williamsburg, June 1 and June 8 at 8:30 pm. Free.

Free space

The Alamo Drafthouse will sponsor the outdoor film series “Outer Space Outdoors,” with a different outer space–theme flick screening in Albee Square every Thursday in June. The concrete spot Downtown will have chairs for people to settle in, and a Jumbotron on the back of a truck will make an electronic screen for the films. June 7: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” June 14: “Men In Black,” June 21: “Space Jam,” June 28: “Gravity.”

Albee Square (Fulton Street at Bond Street Downtown www. Thursdays, June 7–28 at 8 pm, with music starting at 7 pm. Free.

Narrows escape

Escape the urban life with a visit to Bay Ridge’s botanical oasis! On Friday evenings starting in June, the Narrows Botanical Gardens will screen a mix of musicals, comedies, and a sci-fi classic. June 22: “Grease;” July 13: “The Lion King;” July 27: “Vertigo;” Aug. 10: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding;” Aug. 24: “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

Narrows Botanical Garden (enter on Shore Road between Bay Ridge Avenue and 72nd Street in Bay Ridge). Movies start at sundown (about 8:30 pm). Free.

Summer break

The SummerScreen series of films will present a free, outdoor film in Williamsburg’s McCarren Park every Wednesday night in July and August. Food trucks will set up around the space, and live music will start every Wednesday at 7:30 pm, with the movie starting at sundown.

July 11: “Jawbreaker”; July 18: “When Harry Met Sally;” July 25: “Love & Basketball;” Aug. 1: “Hackers;” Aug. 8: “Fantastic Mr. Fox;” Aug. 15: “Die Hard;” Aug. 22: Musical movie (audience choice); Aug. 29: Audience Choice.

McCarren Park (N. 12th Street between Bedford and Berry avenues in Williamsburg, Wednesday nights, July 11–Aug. 29. Free.

Park it

The city skyline sits as the backdrop for the movies screened at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s “Movies with a View” series, starting on July 12. This year, the eight-week film series celebrates the theme “She Directs!” showcasing films directed by women.

“There are a lot of important conversations happening right now about women’s rights and gender equality — particularity in the film industry,” said Devin Mathis, the park’s director of programming. “We wanted ‘Movies With A View’ to celebrate women creators in a traditionally male-dominated industry, and to amplify the voices of female-identifying directors.”

The films include a deliberately broad set of genres, including goofy comedies, coming-of-age dramas, and action-packed superheroics, she said.

July 12: “Desperately Seeking Susan;” July 19: “Kung Fu Panda 2;” July 26: “Paris is Burning;” Aug. 2: “Bend It Like Beckham;” on Aug. 9: “Wayne’s World;” Aug. 16: “Love & Basketball” on Aug. 23: “Wonder Woman;” Aug. 30: Public vote between “Dance, Girl, Dance,” “Big,” “Point Break,” and “The Matrix.”

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 (enter at Furman Street at Old Fulton Street in Dumbo, Thursday nights, July 12–Aug. 30, at dusk. Free.

Prospect lights

Outdoor movies and live music make the perfect pair in Brooklyn’s Back Yard, for four Wednesday nights starting on July 18. Nitehawk Cinema has selected family-friendly films from the ’30s, ’50s, ’60s and ’90s for the “Summer Movies Under the Stars” series, each of which follows a live musical performances from a local band, including Morricone Youth on July 25. July 18: “The Wizard of Oz;” July 25: “Alice in Wonderland;” Aug. 1: “West Side Story;” Aug. 8: “Space Jam.”

Prospect Park’s Long Meadow North (enter at Grand Army Plaza at Eastern Parkway, Music starts at 7 pm; films at sundown (about 8:30 pm). Free.

Updated 3:33 pm, June 1, 2018
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