Don't spend a summer night in a dark movie theater. Instead head to one of the many outdoor film series around Brooklyn. From waterfronts to rooftops there are many places to catch a flick this summer. And the best part: most of these screenings are free.
Amazingly, there are so many movie nights in Brooklyn you can catch one every day of the week. Outdoor films are shown on Mondays (Coney Island), Tuesdays (Red Hook), Wednesdays (McCarren Park in Williamsburg), Thursdays (Brooklyn Bridge Park), Fridays and Saturdays in various venues around the borough, and on Sundays (Fort Greene). There are also random screenings in other parts of the boroughs throughout the week.
A word of warning, Brooklyn is teeming with mosquitos in the summer months, so don’t forget to bring bug spray. If you really want to fit in with the locals, be sure to use an organic brand. Also don't forget your picnic blanket, picnic, and warm clothes in case it gets cool at night.
Coney Island Flicks on the Beach
There is nothing more fun than watching a movie on the beach in Coney Island. As part of the historic area's makeover you can enjoy free films on select Monday nights at sundown. The movies are shown on a forty-foot screen at West 12th Street. Grab a hot dog at Nathans and sit down to watch a family-friendly favorite.
SummerScreen in McCarren Park, Outdoor Movies
SummerScreen is a hugely popular free outdoor film series in Williamsburg's McCarren Park. A giant screen is set up on the baseball fields, and young professionals pack in for an evening of entertainment. The films are shown on Wednesday evenings. Bring your blanket, food and drink, and settle in for a great evening. The schedule will be posted on the website when it is ready, so check back often.
This summer Movies with a View!, an outdoor film series in Brooklyn Bridge Park, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Over 500,000 New Yorkers and visitors have packed onto the lawn with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Films are screened every Thursday in July and August. You can check the schedule here. Watch the sun set over New York Harbor before the film, and enjoy free DJ music as well. Arrive early; there's limited room on the lawn and seating is first-come, first-serve.
Narrows Botanical Garden
Narrows Botanical Garden is a picturesque botanic garden in Bay Ridge. Every Friday night they show movies at sundown, which is usually around 8:30 pm in the summer. You might have to pack some allergy meds, but it’s worth the hassle to view movies in this serene setting. Check the schedule at Movies at Narrows Botanic Garden.
Rooftop Film Summer Series
Although it isn’t free Rooftop Film Summer Series is worth a mention. The beloved film series screens films at various edgy places around Brooklyn. This year the opening night is May 17 at the historic Green-wood cemetery. Other venues include park playgrounds and off-the-beaten path cinemas. Check the schedule and buy tickets on the website.
Movie Night at Rooftop Reds
To watch a movie under the stars look no further than the Movie Night at Rooftop Reds held at this scenic rooftop vineyard in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Admission includes a glass of wine and two slices of pizza. The movie night runs from June through October. Check the schedule on the website.