Summertime in Atlanta is often spent hanging out at the pool or taking advantage of the cool A/C while visiting the city’s lineup of one-of-a-kind attractions, but as nightfall arrives, everyone comes outside to enjoy the warmth of summer with friends and family. With the city’s many parks and green spaces, it’s no wonder that movie nights on these sprawling lawns are a hit amongst Atlantans. Whether you want to feel the nostalgia of Atlanta’s only drive-in theatre or feast on a picnic dinner with your family while watching a recent Hollywood hit, there will be something everyone in the family can agree on.
An Atlanta institution since 1949, the Starlight Drive-In Theatre is Atlanta’s only remaining classic drive-in theater. Beloved for their signature double features, there are four screens on-site, each of which shows two movies back-to-back for the price of one. With eight movies to choose from ranging from classics like Disney's Dumbo to current blockbusters like Captain Marvel, be sure to check the lineup for each screen before you go, as you cannot switch screens between movies. Although concessions are available, you’re allowed to bring your own food and drink. Just leave the alcohol at home. Check their website for seasonal events which the theatre regularly hosts, such as the Drive-In Invasion and Rock and Roll Monster Bash, where local artists, food trucks, live music, on-site camping and classic movies are only part of the fun. The theatre is open year-round from Thursday through Monday.
Admission: $10 for adults and $1 for children 5-9 years old.
As part of the city's Food Truck Fridays, Flicks on the Bricks starts the fun at 6 p.m. with family activities and your favorite local food trucks, like Yumbii, Crepe Suzette Food Truck and Tasting Maine. Movies start around sundown (9 p.m.), and the 2020 lineup features Onward (August 7) and Mulan (September 4).
Finish your night with sweet treats from dessert food trucks, like Chay J's New Orleans Candies, Great Atlanta Custard Company and King of Pops.
The Georgia Movies in the Park™ series features over a dozen free family outdoor movie events throughout north Georgia, including Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, Dawsonville, Lake Lanier and Woodstock. Films begin sundown rather than dark (about 30-40 minutes before 9 p.m.). All locations, like Historic Downtown Canton and the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre at Encore Park, will offer concessions for moviegoers to buy. If you choose to see one of the movies at Lake Lanier, consider bringing a tent and camping overnight at the park.
Movies in Central Park at Atlantic Station
Editor's note: Movies in Central Park have been suspended until further notice.
After walking around one of Atlanta’s best outdoor shopping communities, cozy up in Atlantic Station’s Central Park, which boasts a big screen showing new and old movies alike. From classics like Casablanca to family favorites like Mary Poppins Returns, the annual lineup has something for everyone in the family. Be sure to bring along a picnic while you lounge on the lawn, or forget the hassle and grab takeout from one of the many of Atlantic Station restaurants, like Meehan’s Public House and The Pig & The Pearl, which have special takeout offers for moviegoers each Thursday night.
Editor's note: Outdoor events at Town Brookhaven have been suspended until further notice.
Every summer, Town Brookhaven hosts a free movie night, complete with live music, raffles and shopping specials to boot. Past features have included the 50s-inspired favorite Grease and Disney hit Frozen, which are shown around 9 p.m. when dusk arrives each night. Take advantage of special offers from the local eateries—dinner on the green comes with 10 percent off all to-go orders from THERE Brookhaven, or get $1 off of each ice cream with unlimited mix-ins at Marble Slab Creamery. Check the website for updates on 2019 features, which will be announced in May.
Editor's note: Candler Park's Movie Night series will not take place in 2020.
Stop by about an hour before sundown to enjoy the local food and drink vendors, like Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q and SweetWater Brewery, at Candler Park’s popular Movie Night series in the park. The large screen set up at the front of the park showcases family-friendly Hollywood favorites.
Consider bringing a cooler with your own food and drinks to enjoy while the movie plays—or food for your leashed, four-legged friends!
Calling all Yellow Jackets! Bobby Dodd Stadium hosts Atlantans for a movie night in May—bring a blanket to relax on the field and sidelines or sit in the club section of the stands. Although you cannot bring your own food, you’ll be able to purchase classic movie concessions, such as popcorn, candy and Coca-Cola products. You are allowed to bring you own water bottles, as long as they’re unopened. Parking is free for moviegoers in designated parking decks. Gates to the field open at 7 p.m. and recent flicks—past viewings have featured Big Hero 6 and Furious 7—will begin playing at 8 p.m.
Editor's note: Mall of Georgia will not be hosting Movies Under the Stars in 2020.
Make the most of summer at Mall of Georgia, where shoppers can take a break from stocking up on summer sales and enjoy a free concert and movie in the mall’s Village Amphitheatre. The pre-movie festivities begin at 6:30 p.m., and live music, bounce houses and picnic-friendly dining options will keep you fully entertained before seasonal box office hits, such as Big Eyes and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, begin playing at dusk around 9 p.m.
Editor's note: The Grand Hyatt Atlanta will not be hosting dine-in movies in 2020.
Spend your summer nights at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead’s chic pool at 8:30 p.m. every Saturday night throughout the summer. Surrounded by a Japanese Zen Garden, you’ll get to watch recent, family-friendly motion pictures. From animated favorites like How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Paddington, to recent additions to Hollywood classics, you’ll get to relax in the heated pool or on the deck while watching movies under the stars. Popcorn, candy, drinks and a full-service poolside menu will be available for moviegoers throughout the night.
Admission: Free for both hotel guests and members of the public.