FILMS UNDER THE STARS: A GUIDE TO THE BEST OUTDOOR FILM SERIES
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 five of our favorite film series at locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Once the sun sets on summer Monday nights, a variety of classic films light up the lawn at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. From June 18th to August 10th, the lawn opens for picnics at 5pm and movies like When Harry Met Sally or Thelma and Louise begin at dusk. Food vendors from the Hester Street Fair provide a range of picnic options.
For a film screening with a Hudson River view, check out the weekly film series held at Pier 1 on the Upper West Side. Every Wednesday from July 11th to August 22nd the breezy pier opens for picnics at 6:30pm with films starting at 8:30pm. This year’s line-up includes Who Framed Roger Rabbit and kid-friendly films such as Wall-E.
Francophiles can catch 12 contemporary and classic French films at various parks across NYC from June 1st to September 6th. This film festival includes screenings in Washington Square Park, Tompkins Square Park, Riverside Park Pier 1, and in Brooklyn. All films—including Garçon and Le Boucher—are presented in French with English subtitles.
Williamsburg’s Nitehawk Cinema takes their screenings outdoors this summer thanks to a partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance. This film series held on Long Meadow North on Wednesday nights from July 18th to August 8th includes live music entertainment. Catch a performance of the Highline Chamber Ensemble’s Jazz Trio at 7pm on July 18th before a screening of The Wizard of Oz begins at sundown.
The skyline of lower Manhattan provides the backdrop for these screenings, held in Brooklyn Bridge Park on the banks of the East River. On Thursdays from July 12th to August 30th, this series includes a mix of films from Desperately Seeking Susan to recent picks such as the 2017 Wonder Woman. Music starts at 6pm, the film begins at sunset, and food is available from Smorgasburg.
Words Jessica Colley Clarke