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June 05, 2023

Your 2023 guide to all the free outdoor movies in Philly this summer

Schuylkill Banks, Clark Park, Sunset Social and other venues will screen blockbusters and indie flicks in the coming months

Entertainment Movies
clark park movies.jpeg @UniversityCity/Facebook

cinéSPEAK Under the Stars at Clark Park is one of several free outdoor movie programs returning to Philly for the 2023 summer season.

Don't feel like paying $40 for a movie theater ticket and stale concessions? You're in luck: free outdoor movie season is upon us.

Parks and rooftops across Philadelphia are launching their summer screenings this month with action classics, animated family films, music documentaries and a few recent hits. The opening credits typically roll once the sky's gone dark, but some series kick off earlier in the evening with games, DJs and/or food vendors.

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This list will be updated as more venues announce their 2023 slates. For now, here's where to go for a free show — and a few unique, ticketed screenings you won't wanna miss:

Movie Nights at Schuylkill Banks

Head to the Schuylkill around sunset for free movies on Thursday nights. The screenings will begin at roughly 8:30 p.m., at either the Grays Ferry Crescent Esplanade or the grassy expanse north of the Walnut Street Bridge. Some movies may be postponed due to rain, so double check the Schuylkill Banks social pages before you pack your picnic blanket.

Thursday, June 15 - "Ghostbusters"
Thursday, June 22 - "Back to the Future"
Thursday, June 29 - "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Thursday, July 13 - "Father Goose"
Thursday, July 20 - "Zootopia"
Thursday, July 27 - "Toy Story"
Thursday, Aug. 3 - "Almost Famous"
Thursday, Aug. 10 - "Blast From the Past"
Thursday, Aug. 17 - "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves"
Thursday, Aug. 24 - "Bringing Up Baby"

Sunset Social Movie Nights

Cira Green is rolling out its 60-ft screen for Wednesday night movies. The shows start at 7 p.m., but viewers are encouraged to show up early to snag a good seat or play games on the University City rooftop. Dogs are welcome, too.

Wednesday, June 7 - "Thor: Love and Thunder"
Wednesday, June 14 - "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
Wednesday, June 21 - "Top Gun Maverick"
Wednesday, June 28 - "Minions: The Rise of Gru"
Wednesday, July 5 - "Jurassic World: Dominion"

cinéSPEAK Under the Stars at Clark Park

Outdoor indie movies return to West Philly with the latest screening series in Clark Park. Every showing features food trucks and a DJ, who will spin records at the park's "Bowl" starting at 7 p.m. The movie starts at 9 p.m. and registration is encouraged. If it rains, the event moves to the following Saturday.

Friday, June 9 - "Black Orpheus"
Friday, June 16 - "Little Richard: I Am Everything"

Movies on the Block

The Philadelphia Film Society will mount three free screenings across the city, and one in Chester, this summer. While the movies won't start until 8:30 p.m., activities and giveaways begin at 6 p.m. Reservations are not necessary, but you do need to bring your own seating and snacks.

Saturday, June 24 - "12 O'Clock Boys" at Pause Park
Friday, July 14 - "Black Panther" at Duo Taco and Bowls
Saturday, July 22 - "Luca" at Lighthouse Sports and Entertainment
Tuesday, Aug. 4 - "The Lorax" at Chop Karabots

Mt. Airy Moonlight Movies

This year, Mt. Airy's summer movie program will focus on a single screening — "Summer of Soul, or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised," the Oscar-winning documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival directed by hometown hero Questlove. The show starts, as always, at sunset, though there will be food and beverage vendors, as well as some TBD musical performances at Lovett Park starting at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 28 - "Summer of Soul, or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised"

FringeArts Outdoor Movies

This year, FringeArts programmed its free outdoor films with a "Game of Love" theme, resulting in a slate of movies about sports and romance. The screenings will be held on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in the Haas Biergarten at 140 N Columbus Blvd.; if it rains, the movie will simply play indoors. Make sure to show up on time for a movie-themed quizzo — and don't forget to register.

Wednesday, July 5 - "Creed"
Wednesday, July 12 - "Bend It Like Beckham"
Wednesday, July 19 - "Jerry Maguire"
Wednesday, July 26 - "Love & Basketball"
Wednesday, Aug. 2 - "Bring It On"

Park Friends Movie Nights

Fairmount Park Conservancy will host over 30 free showings this summer, starting in mid-June and running all the way through October. Screenings will occur at different Philly parks throughout the week, but all will begin at dusk and all are subject to rescheduling, depending on the weather. 

Friday, June 16 - "Sonic" at McPherson Square
Monday, June 19 - "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" at Harrowgate Park
Thursday, June 22 - "The Wiz" at Loudoun Park
Friday, June 23 - "Encanto" at Carpenter Green Park
Saturday, June 24 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at Woodside Park
Wednesday, June 28 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at Connell Park
Friday, June 30 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at 3rd & Norris Playground
Saturday, July 1 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at Elmwood Park
Friday, July 7 - "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" at Triangle Park
Saturday, July 15 - "Mummies" at Cliveden Park
Thursday, July 20 - "Cruella" at Inn Yard Park
Friday, July 21 - "Goonies" at Historic Rittenhouse Town
Saturday, July 22 - "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" at Lanier Park
Wednesday, July 26 - "Encanto" at Hagert Playground
Friday, July 28 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at Dickinson Square
Friday, July 28 - "Encanto" at Fisher Park
Wednesday, Aug. 9 - "Back to the Future" at Matthias Baldwin Park
Wednesday, Aug. 16 - "Puss in Boots" at Rainbow de Colores Park
Thursday, Aug. 17 - "Encanto" at Williams Moore Reed Memorial Park
Friday, Aug. 18 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at Mifflin Square Park
Saturday, Aug. 19 - "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" at Hart Park
Saturday, Aug. 19 - "Clifford the Big Red Dog" at Hissey Playground
Wednesday, Aug. 23 - "Dungeons & Dragons" at Palmer Park
Thursday, Aug. 24 - "The Lorax" at Pop's Park
Friday, Aug. 25 - "Luca" at Fernhill Park
Saturday, Aug. 26 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at McMichael Park
Friday, Sept. 8 - "The Croods: A New Age" at Shot Tower Park
Saturday, Sept. 9 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at Powers Park
Friday, Sept. 15 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at Columbus Park
Saturday, Sept. 16 - "Back to the Future" at Penn Treaty Park
Thursday, Sept. 21 - "Dungeons & Dragons" at Coxe Park
Friday, Sept. 22 - "The Woman King" at Benson Park
Saturday, Sept. 23 - "Shazam!" at Northwood Park
Friday, Sept. 29 - TBD showing at Fairview Park
Saturday, Sept. 30 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at Campbell Square Park
Friday, Oct. 20 - "The Super Mario Bros Movie" at The Spring Gardens

Outdoor Movie Nights

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will alternate its screenings between Wednesday and Friday nights. The movies will start earlier as the sun sets sooner in the late summer, with more precise times posted on the official schedule. Certain movie nights may be canceled or rescheduled due to rain or intense wind.
Friday, July 7 - "Toy Story" at Thomas Mitchell Playground
Friday, July 14 - "Free Willy" at FDR Park
Wednesday, July 26 - "Ralph Breaks the Internet" at Michael Palmer Playground
Wednesday, Aug. 2 - "The Incredibles" at Lonnie Cohen Recreation Center
Wednesday, Aug. 16 - "Encanto" at FDR Park
Friday, Aug. 18 - "Sing" at Pelbano Playground
Friday, Aug. 25 - "Ralph Breaks the Internet" at Thomas Mitchell Playground
Wednesday, Aug. 30 - "The Land Before Time" at FDR Park
Friday, Sept. 1 - "Super Mario Bros." at Happy Hollow Playground
Wednesday, Sept. 6 - "Sing" at Southwark School
Friday, Sept. 8 - "The Labyrinth" at Shot Tower Recreation Center

Movies Under the Stars

The Logan Hotel is bringing millennial nostalgia to the big screen with three Thursday night showings in its courtyard. While each screening is free, moviegoers can pay extra for wine, beer or boxes of cheese and charcuterie from Urban Farmer. No outside food or drinks will be permitted, but the Logan has a BYO blanket and chair policy. Show up before sunset to claim your space.
Thursday, Aug. 17 - "Mean Girls"
Thursday,  Sept. 7 - "Back to the Future"
Thursday, Sept. 28 - "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you don't mind paying $25, you can also catch "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Jurassic Park" with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center on Saturday, June 24 and Saturday, July 22, respectively.

Meanwhile, summer goths can visit the Laurel Hill East cemetery for monthly $25 screenings. Those include:

Friday, June 9 - "Creature From the Black Lagoon"
Friday, July 21 - "Jaws"
Friday, August 18 - "Witches of Eastwick"

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