Catch Outdoor Films This Summer at These Parks and Lawns

The lineup includes 'Top Gun: Maverick,' 'E.T.' and a symphony-accompanied screening of 'Jurassic Park.' 🎬

Watch some of your favorite films this summer at outdoor screenings throughout the Arlington area, most of which have free admission. (Photo courtesy of Rosslyn BID)

Post last updated June 16, 2023 at 11:34 a.m.

Summer is the season for drinks on the patio, music festivals and outdoor films under the stars. If you need some solid options, there are scores of al fresco movies in and around Arlington, from animated favorites to action flicks that pack in the thrills. Here’s a rundown on what’s on the big screen.

Rosslyn Cinema

Fridays, June 9-23 | 8:45 p.m. (Pub in the Park opens at 5 p.m.) 

Head to Gateway Park to catch a best-loved ogre in Shrek, the animated musical Moana, and 1998 twin conspiracy The Parent Trap (all of which were selected by the public in a March Madness cinema lineup). Bring dinner in tow or or grab takeout from an assortment of on-site food trucks. Thirsty? One Family Brewing at their Pub in the Park is offering beer, sangria and High Noon seltzers for purchase. // Gateway Park, 1300 Langston Boulevard, Arlington. Free.


Fridays, Starting June 16 | 7 p.m.

This new outdoor film series takes place at Met Park, the just-opened office and retail complex built as part of Amazon’s second headquarters. Tote along a blanket or lawn chair, and pick up snacks at on-site food trucks. If you’re feeling the need for speed, you’re in luck; the season starts with Top Gun: Maverick. Future movie dates and titles will be rolled out on the event webpage. // Metropolitan Park, 1321 S. Elm St., Arlington. Free.

Cinema Del Ray

Saturday, June 17 | 8:15 p.m.

Bring the family out to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center for 2022 animated heist The Bad Guys on June 17. Snacks are available for purchase and blankets and picnic dinners are welcome. Leave pets, tobacco/vape products and alcoholic beverages at home, as they are not allowed on site. Follow Cinema Del Ray’s Facebook page for fall film screenings. // Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria. Free.

Starr Hill Movie Nights

Sundays, June 18-Aug. 27 | 6 p.m.

Make a date each Sunday with this projection screen in the sky at the Starr Hill Biergarten. The venue—which features a hearty array of beers and hard seltzers on tap—hosts family-friendly films weekly, including Back to the Future and Shrek. Follow @starrhilltysons on social for updates on what flicks are screening each week. // Starr Hill Biergarten, The Perch, 1805 Capital One Drive, Tysons. Free.

Summer Movie Series at Westpost

Wednesdays, June 21-July 5 | 7:45 p.m.

Catch Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Toy Story 3 and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this June and July at Westpost. Blankets and chairs are welcome on the plaza, and movie viewers can tote along food and drink from the many nearby restaurants. // Westpost at National Landing, 1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington. Free.

Films in the Park at Mosaic

Thursdays, June 22-Aug. 17 | 7 p.m.

Kick back with a slew of films at Strawberry Park this summer, including In & Out, Top Gun: Maverick and everyone’s favorite ’80s extraterrestrial story, E.T. Set up your picnic spread on the lawn outside Mosaic’s mammoth outdoor screen, and consider grabbing a few bites and sips from the many restaurants within walking distance. // Strawberry Park, Mosaic District, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax. Free.

Columbia Pike Movie Nights

Fridays and Saturdays, July 7-Aug. 26 | 8 p.m.

Have your pick of 16 outdoor film screenings along the Pike this summer, all of which will be aired with Spanish subtitles. On Friday nights, catch Spirit Untamed, The Goonies and other family-friendly films at the Arlington Mill Community Center. And on Saturdays, head to Penrose Square at dusk for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Till, Jurassic World: Dominion and more. Blankets, chairs and leashed pets are welcome. Alcohol is not permitted. // Arlington Mill Community Center, 909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington. Penrose Square, 2501 9th Road, Arlington. Free.

Outdoor Screenings at Wolf Trap

July 7, 8 and 22 | 8 p.m.

What could be better than watching a favorite film on a gargantuan screen, accompanied by live music from the National Symphony Orchestra? On July 7, the NSO will perform Gustav Holst’s The Planets, alongside spellbinding NASA footage. The next evening, the sprawling outdoor venue hosts Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, with an NSO performance of the original John Williams score. And on July 22, the orchestra returns to add a soundtrack to Jurassic Park. // Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Check website for ticket pricing.

Sunset Cinema in Falls Church

Fridays, Sept. 29, Oct. 6 and Oct. 13; Times vary

Just because summer may be wrapping up doesn’t mean outdoor movie nights have to. Keep the picnic blanket handy for a while longer and add some fall film screenings in the Little City to your calendar. Check back here for the lineup as the dates get closer. // Cherry Hill Park, 312 Park Ave., Falls Church. Free.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment