Outdoor Movie DC

When it comes to finding an outdoor movie DC has tons of options. Whether its free outdoor movies, and drive in, or a sponsored outdoor movie night, let’s explore where you can watch your favorite films outdoors in the DC area. 

Outdoor Movie DC: Downtown DC

Before we get to Maryland and Virginia, first, let’s take a look at where you can watch outdoor movies in the Downtown DC area.

Cinomatic! Near Union Market

The movie series CiNoMatic! is on Wednesdays starting at sunset. It is held at Alethia Tanner Park where there are a variety of free community events. The event is produced by NOMA BID.

The Drive-In At Union Market

The Union Market area has tons of dining and entertainment options. There is also a parking lot here for convenient parking options as well as restroom facilities.

In the summer season, The Drive-In at Union Market features films that make it perfect for family night. The 2024 year marks the 12th year this has been running. Grab some quick food from your favorite Union Market restaurant and bring your own blanket to watch picnic-style. 

Sunset Cinema At The Wharf 

The DC Wharf has been expanding rapidly over the last 5 years. There are new restaurants and entertainment options almost every few months.

Enjoy a free screening on Thursday evenings from Memorial Day to Labor Day at Sunset Cinema at The Wharf. Grab food from a Wharf restaurant or a local food truck for this perfect family-friendly activity for summer nights. 

The Reach At Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center is a well-known venue that hosts performances like theater, dance, and music. It has a newer expansion called The Reach. This space has added rehearsal studios, classrooms, and performance areas which has allowed for even more artistic collaboration and community events. Some past and present featured films include Peanut Butter Falcon, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, and School Of Rock. 

  • Where: Kennedy Center, Washington DC
  • When: Usually Fridays at Dusk, check website for more detailed information regarding films
  • Website: https://www.kennedy-center.org/reach/events/
  • Cost: Free, but registration is required on the website 

Adams Morgan Movie Nights

Adams Morgan is a busy neighborhood near Georgetown and the Maryland border. The six-week movie series at Adams Morgan Movie Nights features free movies every Tuesday at the Marie Reed Elementary School soccer field at sunset. Movie-goers have access to Movie Night Specials from stores around the area and are encouraged to bring dinner from neighbourhood restaurants. 

  • Where: Marie Reed Elementary School Soccer Field
  • When: Just after sunset at around 9pm, check website for the full schedule
  • Website: https://admodc.org/movies/
  • Cost: Free


Films At The Stone

Attend free movie screenings at the only summer film series at a Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall. Films are screened at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial once a month on Fridays featuring films children will love. 

DowntownDC Summer Flicks

The 7th annual DowntownDC Summer Flicks outdoor movie series is returning to Franklin Park for a variety of free films catering to both children and adults. Taking place every Thursday from June to July, the event will host an outdoor cinematic experience with modern favourites as well as old-school classics. 

Movies On The Pitch At Audi Field

Movies on the Pitch allows you to sit on the grass at Audi Field to watch family-friendly films on the jumbotron. Taking place on Thursday evenings throughout the summer, featured films include The Little Mermaid, Barbie and Mean Girls. Families can bring low-profile lawn chairs and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy films like “Kung Fu Panda” and “Toy Story” on the soccer field. 

Lawn Flicks

Hi-Lawn at the rooftop above Union Market offers both nostalgic movies and newer films every Thursday at 9pm starting June 6. You can reserve a lawn chair on Resy for $5 or bring your own seats and blankets. Kids are also welcome at movie nights and no registration is required. 

  • Where: Hi-Lawn at Union Market
  • When: Thursdays at 9pm from June 6 to August 27
  • Website: https://www.hilawndc.com/
  • Cost: Free

Cinematery: Summer Of Spirits 

Congressional Cemetery is hosting its one-of-a-kind annual outdoor summer film screenings held on the cemetery grounds. The films shown here are mainly spooky films for people who enjoy an immersive good scare. The movies begin at sunset and take place on Friday evenings through September

  • Where: Congressional Cemetery
  • When: Friday evenings starting May 31, check website for detailed schedule 
  • Website: https://congressionalcemetery.org/cinematery/
  • Cost: Reservations are required, recommended donation is $10 per person

Outdoor Movie DC: Options In Maryland

Maryland also has areas where you can watch family-friendly films. Here’s a look at some of the places to catch outdoor movies in Maryland.

Bengies Drive-In Theatre

Bengies is one of the largest drive-in movie theater screens in the USA. This outdoor movie experience has triple features on weekend nights during the summer months. 

The movie selection includes both kids movies as well as those better suited for adults. The first film starts at 845 PM and the second one at 10:30 PM when there is a double feature.

  • Where: The Bengies Drive-In Theatre, 3417 Eastern Boulevard,
    Middle River, Maryland 21220
  • When: Open most days, check website for the full schedule, first movie starts at 8:45 PM. 
  • Website: https://www.bengies.com/
  • Cost: $12.50 for General Admission per person, $7.00 for children 4-10. At least two tickets must be purchased per vehicle.

Movies On The Potomac

For some free fun at the Plaza’s big screen, the Movies on the Potomac series runs from May 2nd to September 29th and features date night movies on Thursdays as well as family-friendly films on Sundays.  

Olney Theatre Center

While Olney Theatre Center doesn’t specifically offer feature films, the center offers a variety of outdoor entertainment events. Activities include sing-a-longs, drag and drinks events and tributes to musical groups and songwriters. 

  • Where: Location varies, check website for detailed schedule 
  • When: Check website for detailed schedule 
  • Website: https://www.olneytheatre.org/
  • Cost: $12- $86, check website for more detailed schedule 

Outdoor Movie DC: Options In Virginia

For those looking for options in Virginia, here is a list of various drive-in and outdoor theaters to enjoy.

Columbia Pike Movie Nights

Enjoy free movies this July and August in Arlington with Columbia Pike Movie Nights. Bring your own chair and blankets and enjoy feature films every weekend for their 13th edition of free outdoor movies. 

The Family Drive-In Theatre in Stephens City

The Family Drive-In Theatre has been operating since 1956 and is a  two-screen drive-in theatre. Hosting screenings from Friday through Sunday, films are screened rain or shine and a great option for children and even pets. 

  • Where: 5890 Valley Pike, Stephens City, A 22655
  • When: Times vary, check website for detailed schedule
  • Website: https://www.thefamilydi.com/
  • Cost: $7-$12, 2 and under free

Films In The Park At Mosaic District

The Mosaic District is located in Fairfax, Virginia which is about a 30 minute drive outside Washington, DC. This part of Fairfax County has over 120 stores, 40 restaurants, and other entertainment options like the Angelika Film Center. 

The Mosaid District has two parks – Strawberry Park and Mosaic Park. The outdoor movies can be seen in Strawberry Park. These free outdoor screenings happen typically on Thursday at 7 PM. Enjoy your favorite films picnic-style with your friends and family.


Summerbration focuses on a celebration of sports at Reston Station Metro Plaza.  Taking place from 6:30pm to 9pm, the movies offer special events such as a Jamaican food truck during the showing of Cool Runnings as well as an inflatable batting cage during the showing of The Sandlot. 

Outdoor Movie Washington DC: Summary

Starting in the early spring, Washington, DC has plenty of outdoor movie screening opportunities. You can watch famous movies like “Mamma Mia,” “Top Gun,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Secret Life of Pets,” and “Mean Girls” under the stars at various locations. Some places also have classic films like “Indiana Jones” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Franklin Park and Adams Morgan Movie Nights bring the community together with themed events, while the Congressional Cemetery’s screenings, including “Rear Window” and “Parent Trap,” provide a unique cinematic experience. 

Local DC food trucks are around certain venues and serve delicious bites at places like Gateway Park and Yards Park. NOMA’s Free Outdoor Movie Series and Transit Pier’s Big Screen are also part of the city’s extraordinary cinema offerings, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Check social media for the latest updates on movie schedules and reserve tickets to join in on this delightful Washington summer tradition.

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