Cinema al Fresco
Watching movies on a big screen outdoors has become a summertime tradition in numerous communities across Maryland. The experience allows viewers to enjoy food, drink and good company in a variety of casual settings while seeing the stars under the stars.
Here are locations in Maryland that have free outdoor movies. In some instances, viewers can purchase food and drink on-site.
Bethesda, Montgomery County - The Bethesda Urban Partnership presents Bethesda Outdoor Movies, a free series that takes place on July 22-26 at Woodmont Triangle, on the corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues. These five family-friendly movies will begin at 9 p.m. While a limited number of chairs will be provided, it is suggested that you bring your own.
July 22 - Ferris Bueller's Day Off
July 23 - Moonrise Kingdom
July 24 - Citizen Kane
July 25 - Pitch Perfect
July 26 - Top Gun
National Harbor, Prince George’s County – Located along the edge of the Potomac River, National Harbor presents free movies on the Plaza during the summer. Family-fun movies are on Sundays through August 31. (Coolers and outside food are not permitted.) National Harbor has more than 30 eateries, 40 retailers and six hotels.
Rockville, Montgomery County - Come to the MCPS Board of Education parking lot on August 15-17 for the 18th Annual Comcast Drive-In Film Festival. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. (drive-in spots are limited; please bring your own chairs), followed by amusements, games, and music at 5:30 p.m. and movies at 8:30 p.m. Although no outside food or beverages are permitted, they are available for purchase on-site, with proceeds going to NIH Charities.
Bel Air, Harford County - The Town of Bel Air Cultural Arts Commission invites you to Outdoor Movies at Shamrock Park. Pre-show entertainment (including a magician, vocalists, and Irish dancers) begins at 6:30 p.m., with movies starting at sunset. Bring your own blankets, and enjoy free popcorn!
June 13 - Monsters University
June 27 - Frozen
July 18 - Despicable Me 2
July 25 - Muppets Most Wanted
August 15 - The Lego Movie
August 22 - Brave
Ellicott City, Howard County – The Wine Bin, 8390 Main St. in the historic area, shows movies in its parking lot on Saturday nights through September. A wine tasting is available prior to each movie. Coolers of ice are available to chill wine and beer. Historic Ellicott City has an assortment of antiques and specialty shops, galleries, and eateries.
Federal Hill, Baltimore - Named on of the "World's Best Free Things" by Travel + Leisure Magazine, the American Visionary Art Museum's Flicks From The Hill series is held on Thursday nights from July 10 to August 28 at the Hughes Family Outdoor Theater, where movies are projected onto an impressive 30-foot wide screen suspended by a giant golden hand! Showtime is at 9 p.m., but the fun begins at 5 p.m. with free admission to the museum.
July 10 - Back to the Future
July 17 - Hugo
July 24 - King of Hearts
July 31 - WarGames
August 7 - Time Bandits
August 14 - The Time Machine
August 21 - Star Trek: The Motion Picture
August 28 - Jurassic Park
Little Italy, Baltimore – Cinema al Fresco is a series of Italian-related films on Friday nights in July and August. The movies are projected on the outside wall of Ciao Bella (a restaurant at High and Stiles streets) from the third-floor window of a private home. Folding chairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Live music starts at 7 p.m., movies start at 9 p.m.. Little Italy has nearly 30 eateries – some offer carry-out and movie-night specials.
July 11 - Hairspray
July 18 - Gladiator
July 25 - Big Night
August 1 - King Kong
August 8 - Moonstruck
August 15 - Rocky
August 22 - Silver Linings Playbook
August 29 - Used People
September 5 - Cinema Paradiso
Towson, Baltimore County - The Summer Moonlight Movie Series is held in the lower level parking lot at The Shops at Kenilworth on select Fridays during the summer. The movies will begin at dark (around 8:45 p.m.), but come early for prizes, games, and fun! Be sure to bring your own chair and picnic dinner.
June 13 - Lee Daniel's The Butler
June 27 - Frozen: Special Sing-Along Edition
July 11 - Mamma Mia
July 25 - Captain Phillips
August 1 - Despicable Me 2
August 15 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Ocean City, Worcester County – Movies on the Beach - Free movies on the beach for the entire family! Bring your beach chair or a blanket and enjoy the night beside the ocean.
Mondays and Fridays, June 23-August 8 at 8:30 p.m., 27th Street Beach
Wednesdays, June 4-August 27 at 8:30 p.m., Carousel Hotel, 118th Street
Thursdays, July 3-August 28 at 8:30 p.m., Princess Royale, 91st Street
Find out about movies filmed in Maryland and Maryland Film Festivals that offer the opportunity to explore the very best of world cinema.