Moonlight Cinema: The Best Outdoor Film Series
Drive-in Theaters have made a comeback and we couldn’t be happier. Now the beloved summer ritual of film screenings under the stars extends from parks and piers to the comfort of your car. From classic spots to summer pop-ups, we round up our favorite outdoor cinemas at locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and upstate.
Located at 1 Oak Street across the river from downtown Manhattan, Skyline Drive-In gives its own spin on the classic drive-in theater experience. In place of your regular concession stand, for example, food trucks offer snacks and meals, and if you’re sans car, that’s ok as foot traffic and bicycles are also welcome with an outdoor seating option. Films start at 9pm and screen every night of the week.
On view: Jurassic World; Elvis; Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Check out the full schedule—here.
The drive-in theater has remained alive and well in Upstate New York in big part thanks to Hyde Park Drive-In, which has continuously screened films since 1949. With a 700-car capacity lot accommodated with an 82-foot-wide projection area, the theater is a favorite among locals and visitors. Tickets range from $0 (ages 4 and under) to $10.
On view: Lightyear; The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Check out the full schedule—here.
One of Manhattan’s best picnics can be found in Bryant Park on Monday nights, where classic films are screened weekly through August 15. Stretch out a picnic blanket and watch classic and new movies. The lawn opens at 5pm and screenings start at sunset. Beer and wine are available for purchase and Hester Street Fair brings the city’s best vendors to the Fountain Terrace each week, 4pm-8:30pm, to make your Movie Nights picnic the most delicious it can be.
On view: Hairspray; Grease; Scream; The Godfather: Part II. Check out the full schedule—here.
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. Music starts at 5pm, the film kicks off at sundown, and food including dumplings, pizza, and ice cream are available from Smorgasburg.
On view: Before Sunrise; Thelma and Louise. Check out the full schedule—here.
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 start around 8:30pm.
On view: The Artist; Hail, Caesar!. Check out the full schedule—here.
Overlook Drive-In has been operating since 1955 and is owned and operated by the team behind Hyde Park Drive-In. Situated on 12 acres, with the largest screen in the tri-state area (“As tall as a 6-story building”) and a capacity for 750 cars, Overlook Drive-In is the true al fresco cinema experience. The menu includes classic American fare such as burgers, nachos, popcorn, and other confectionaries.
On view: Top Gun: Maverick; Jurassic World Dominion. Check out the full schedule—here.
PHOTOGRAPHY via @kristenleeeeeeee; Skyline Drive-In