Best Outdoor Rooftop Film Series New York City

Grandlife guide

Films Under the Stars

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For your viewing pleasure, a roundup of the best outdoor film series at locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the flicks to catch at each spot.

Of all the summer rituals in New York City, one of the most beloved by locals is film screenings under the stars. At parks and piers across the city, the evening begins with a picnic and continues with a big screen showing of films both old and new. Here are 5 of our favorite film series at locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Movie Nights at Bryant Park

One of Manhattan’s best picnics can be found in Bryant Park on Monday nights, where classic films are screened weekly through August 12. Stretch out a picnic blanket and watch movies like Coming to America or Goodfellas. Two of the slots are to-be-determined “fan choices” and will be voted on via Twitter. The lawn opens at 5pm and screenings start at sunset. Food, beer, and wine are all available for purchase.

Sunday Screenings at Café Habana Outpost

In the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, Sunday evenings are for tacos and film screenings. Each week, films from the ’90s and early 2000s such as Never Been Kissed, The Fifth Element, and Fight Club kick off at 8pm (the series finishes in late October with a screening of Hocus Pocus). The hearty menu includes Cuban sandwiches, fish tacos, grilled corn, and frozen drinks.

Movies with a View – Brooklyn Bridge Park

The skyline of lower Manhattan frames the weekly screenings held in Brooklyn Bridge Park on the banks of the East River. Every Thursday during July and August, moviegoers gather at the Harbor View Lawn at Pier 1 for an outdoor movie series that includes The Big Lebowski and Selma. Music starts at 6pm, the film kicks off at sunset, and food including dumplings, pizza, and ice cream are available from Smorgasburg.

 Summer on the Hudson: Pier 1 Picture Show

Watch the sun set behind the Hudson River during the weekly film series held at Pier 1 on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. Every Wednesday evening from July 10 to August 21, the breezy pier opens for picnics at 6:30pm and movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Little Miss Sunshine start around 8:30pm.

Intrepid Museum’s Summer Movie Series

Grab a seat on the flight deck of the Intrepid, an aircraft carrier floating in the Hudson River, for their movie series on select Friday evenings. Doors open at 5pm for screenings of films such as First Man, a 2018 drama starring Ryan Gosling as astronaut Neil Armstrong. Movies begin at sunset. 

WORDS Jessica Colley Clarke

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