Top 5 free outdoor movie nights to attend this summer

A narrowed-down list of the best movie nights in the Greater Vancouver area based on screening location and film curation

Image via Vancouver Sun courtesy of PNG Merlin Archive.

By: Marco Ovies, Peak Associate

Every summer there are tons of free outdoor movie screenings, so it can be difficult, even overwhelming, to decide which one is worth your time. I’ve broken down my top five favourite outdoor movie events happening this year so you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your favourite movie under the stars.

  1. Burnaby Outdoor Movies at the Civic Square – Thursdays, 8:30 p.m.

If you’re looking for a fun family night out, look no further than Burnaby Outdoor Movies. They are offering plenty of kid-friendly movies, both new and old, to delight audiences of all ages. But make sure to bring a blanket to sit on and a long-sleeved sweater to fight off the onslaught of mosquitoes that come out here at night. If you’re going to attend a movie night with kids, this is definitely the event to go to, as it also starts a bit earlier, but if you’re looking for a more grown-up date idea, this may not be it.

August 8 – Mary Poppins Returns

August 15 – Hotel Transylvania 3

August 22 – Madagascar 3

August 29 – The Wizard of Oz (1939)

  1. Waterfront Cinema at Canada Place – Thursday evenings, dusk

You 100% need to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on for this movie night as the screening is set up on a concrete floor. Aside from that, this is a great place to host a movie night. Watch the sunset on the water as you wait for you movie to start and make sure to snuggle up in a nice cozy sweater as it gets quite cold along the water. Additionally, this line-up of movies will please everyone, as the roster includes a wide range of both classics and new releases. 

July 11, 2019 – Captain Marvel

July 18, 2019 – Crazy Rich Asians

July 25, 2019 – Elf

August 1, 2019 – Shazam!

August 8, 2019 – Beauty and the Beast

August 15, 2019 – How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World

August 22, 2019 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

August 29, 2019 – Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade

  1. New Westminster Outdoor Movie Night – Friday evenings, dusk

Now this outdoor movie night is one that you should mark down on your calendars. Each screening takes place at a different park in New Westminster, giving viewers a glimpse of the great local parks. But that’s not even the most exciting part: the screening of Bohemian Rhapsody is a 19+ event where there will be food and liquor for purchase. You heard right: alcohol, good movies, and no annoying kids hitting you in the head with a soccer ball in the middle of the film (I’m looking at you Jimmy, you ruined Jumanji for me). 

July 12, 2019 – The Lego Movie (at Sapperton Park)

July 19, 2019 – The Avengers (at Moody Park)

July 26, 2019 – Bohemian Rhapsody (at Westminster Pier Park) (19+)

  1. Stanley Park Summer Cinema at Second Beach – Tuesday evenings, dusk

Stanley Park Summer Cinema is the event that started it all. For the 11th year, you can watch your favourite movies on “one of the largest outdoor screens in the Lower Mainland” (according to Vancouver’s Best Places) for free. 

This event can get very crowded though so make sure to get their early to reserve your seat. Or if you don’t feel like waiting for hours for the movie to start, you can reserve a VIP spot for $20. It automatically bumps you up to right in front of the screen and gives you a super comfy lawn chair to sit on. So you can show up five minutes before the film and have the best seat in the house (though parking will probably be a nightmare). 

Also, make sure to check out their Dinner & Movie package where, for $35, you not only get reserved seating but also a three-course meal from select restaurants. This is the perfect date night if you’re looking to impress your significant other or if you don’t want to wait around all day for the movie.

July 9, 2019 – Beetlejuice

July 16, 2019 – Shrek

July 23, 2019 – Sleepless in Seattle

July 30, 2019 – Moulin Rouge! 

August 6, 2019 – Finding Nemo 

August 13, 2019 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

August 20, 2019 – Jurassic Park

  1. Richmond Outdoor Drive-In Movies at Lansdowne Centre – Wednesday evenings, dusk

For a truly unique outdoor experience, I whole-heartedly recommend hitting up the Richmond Outdoor Drive-In Movie night. There’s free drive-in parking for up to 200 vehicles so make sure to get there right at 6 p.m. when parking opens. If you don’t have a car that’s no problem either, there is also plenty of space for people to set up their lawn chairs/blankets to enjoy the movie. If you want to experience a classic Drive-in movie experience, for FREE don’t forget, then Richmond Outdoor Drive-In Movies are a must go. Plus the movie lineup is probably the best out of all the other outdoor movie nights so how could I not give it the number one spot?

July 10, 2019 – Ocean’s 8

July 17, 2019 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

July 24, 2019 – The Notebook

July 31, 2019 – Batman: The Dark Knight

August 7, 2019 – Aquaman

August 14, 2019 – Shazam!

August 21, 2019 – Detective Pikachu

August 28, 2019 – Inception