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Watching a movie under the stars is an NYC summer tradition. Sure, you have to arrive four hours early to stake out a spot, and you’ll have only slightly more personal space than on a rush-hour 6 train, but you’ve gotta admit: Once the sun goes down and the flick starts rolling, it’s pretty incredible. Here’s where we’ll be parking our blankets this summer.

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bryant park movies
Tasayu Tasnaphun/Flickr

HBO Bryant Park Film Fest

The Midtown mecca is a classic, and despite the fact that it’s always packed to the gills, we keep coming back. Distract yourself from the dearth of personal space with food curated by Hester Street Fair and see if you can spot the theme in this year’s lineup, which includes On the Town, The Muppets Take Manhattan, King Kong and Wall Street.

June 19 through August 21; Sixth Ave. (between 40th and 42nd sts.); 

brooklyn bridge park
20th Century Fox

Brooklyn Bridge Park Movies with a View

You’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier backdrop than the Manhattan skyline (and a guest appearance by Lady Liberty). But this series also brings it with the movie selection, like the girlboss classic 9 to 5, the thoughtful coming-of-age tale Pariah and the one and only Casablanca

July 6 through August 24; 334 Furman St. (at Old Fulton St.), Brooklyn; 

summerscreen LIST


Every self-respecting Brooklynite knows the movies at McCarren Park are some of the city’s best (you can’t argue with the people-watching). There are only six screenings, but they’re all of the beloved-throwback variety, like Office Space, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Selena. Bonus: Live bands keep you entertained before the movie starts.

July 5 through August 9; McCarren Park, Berry St. (at N. 12th St.), Brooklyn; 

hudson riverflicks
Warner Bros. Pictures

Hudson RiverFlicks

This waterfront spot hosts two movies a week, on “Big Hit Wednesdays” and “Family Fridays” (plus a few additional sing-along nights for good measure). If you missed seeing the past year’s Oscar flicks (Moonlight, Arrival) and blockbusters (Logan, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) in theaters, catching them while sprawled on the grass with free popcorn is a pretty good substitute. 

July 5 through August 18; Pier 63, West Side Highway at 23rd St.; 

rooftop films
Big Beach

Rooftop Films

Not only are these screenings in some of the coolest locations—like the Old American Can Factory and the Elevated Acre—they also show some of the coolest new movies, like The Incredible Jessica James (starring our girl crush Jessica Williams) and L.A. Times

Through August 19; Various locations; 

rooftop cinema club

Rooftop Cinema Club

What can we say? New Yorkers love their rooftop flicks. And this series gives us plenty of opportunity to indulge, with screenings pretty much every night in Manhattan and Brooklyn. So far the lineup’s been released only through June, but the next 28 days have plenty in store: Get Out, Dirty Dancing and Back to the Future, just to name a few. 

Various locations;

a summer movie under the stars
Focus Features

A Summer Movie Under the Stars

Ooh, a shiny new outdoor-movie series at Prospect Park, curated by the folks at Nitehawk Cinema (who are gearing up to open a second theater in the neighborhood later this year). The four movies—including Moonrise Kingdom and The Sandlot—are billed as family-friendly, which in this case is synonymous with feel-good and nostalgia-inducing.

July 19 through August 9; Long Meadow, Prospect Park West (at Second St.), Brooklyn; 

socrates sculpture park

Socrates Sculpture Park

Broaden your cinematic horizons with this long-running series focused on international films. This season’s calendar includes the haunting French-Mauritanian drama Timbuktu, Swedish thriller Easy Money and Venezuelan identity tale Bad Hair.

July 5 through August 23; 32-01 Vernon Blvd. (at 31st Dr.), Queens; 

films on the green
Embassy Pictures

Films on the Green

This series is co-produced by the French Embassy, with picks curated by the likes of Wanda Sykes, Wes Anderson and Isabella Rossellini. Spend the summer giving yourself a French film education with movies like Contempt and The Wild Child.

June 2 through September 7; Various locations; 

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