Seeing Stars: Where to Catch This Summer’s Outdoor Movies

One of the best things about the old drive-in movies is that you could pack up the kids in their PJs, they would fall asleep before the second feature and when you got home, they would be ready for bed. Now with outdoor summer movies being all the rage, its become the next best thing. Maybe even better since these flicks are either really cheap or totally free! Read on for a list of the summer’s best outdoor movies playing in a park near you.

photo: Seattle Outdoor Movies Facebook page

Amica Insurance Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park
Note: As of July 24, 2017 this series has been canceled.
Now in its seventh season, this popular Thursday evening series not only offers great big screen movies for the whole fam, but also fun attractions like cirque performers, movie trivia contests, musical performances, giveaways and some of Seattle’s best food trucks offering hot food, snacks, kettle corn, sweet treats, ice cream and more. Of course, you can pack your own snacks as well. All movies are Fido-friendly and take place rain or shine.

July 6: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
July 13: Moana
July 20: Hidden Figures
July 27: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Aug. 3: La La Land
Aug. 10: The Lego Batman Movie
Aug. 17: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
Aug. 24: The Princess Bride

7400 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98115
Online: epiceap.com/seattle-outdoor-movies or on Facebook


Cost: $5/person for entertainment, trivia and food truck area; 5 & under Free
Time: Event entry opens at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk.

Seattle Outdoor Cinema
Seattle’s oldest, longest, original outdoor movie experience is celebrating 25 years this summer. The season opener will feature Star Wars: Rogue One where free light sabers will be given to the first 100 people and season pass holders. Even if you don’t make the top 100, you’ll still be a winner as this movie is free (all other movies are $5 per person). Grab your low-back chairs, pillows and inflatable couches and settle in for a night of big (55-foot long) screen fun under the stars. Since this is a popular movie series, we suggest arriving early to get the best seats and to enjoy the beer garden, food trucks and plenty of pre-show entertainment like movie trivia. To guarantee your seats, you can purchase tickets online or purchase a season pass.

Note: These movies are not suitable for children, so save them for date nights!

June 24: Star Wars: Rogue One (All ages and Free)
July 1: Shaun of the Dead (21 & older)
July 8: The Princess Bride Quote-A-Long (21 & older)
July 15: The 5th Element (21 & older)
July 22: Dude Fest VI: The Big Lebowski (21 & older)
July 29: La La Land (21 & older)
Aug 5: The Dark Knight (21 & older)

101 Westlake Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Online: seattleoutdoormovies.com

Cost: $5/person (Dude Fest is $10/person)
Time: Gates open at 6 p.m.; movies start at dusk (typically at 9:30 p.m. on the first screening and then approximately 10 min. earlier each week thereafter).

photo: Seattle Center

Seattle Center Movies at the Mural 
The Space Needle serves as a backdrop for these moonlight movies on Saturdays. Bring a picnic and buy popcorn and candy on site. Or grab some chow at The Amory before settling in for the big show on a state-of-the-art 40-foot screen. Plus, each movie is preceded by a short original film created by students at Cornish College of the Arts. If the skies are unforgiving, be sure to call the rain hotline (206-684-7200) before you go. Info is updated after 2 p.m. Bring the kids (when appropriate) but leave the pooch at home please.

July 29: The Princess Bride (30th Anniversary Screening)
Aug. 5: La La Land
Aug. 12: Hidden Figures
Aug. 19: Clue
Aug. 26: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Seattle Center – Mural Amphitheatre
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Online: seattlecenter.com/moviesatthemural

Cost: Free
Time: Movies start at dusk; around 9 p.m.

West Seattle Outdoor Movies
West Seattle offers alfresco viewing at their annual Saturday outdoor movie series. From action flicks to family blockbusters, you and the fam can catch it all in the Fauntleroy Triangle next to the YMCA (note the new location this year!). Make sure to bring your low-back chairs and some dinero for concessions and raffle prizes. All money collected from this summertime series will benefit local charities.

July 22: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
July 29: The Lego Batman Movie 
Aug. 5: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Aug. 12: Finding Dory 
Aug. 19: Queen of Katwe
Aug. 26: Beauty and the Beast

Fauntleroy Triangle (next to the YMCA)
3622 S.W. Snoqualmie St.
Seattle, Wa 98126
Online: westseattlemovies.blogspot.com

Cost: Free
Time: Gates open at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk. Pre-show entertainment starts one hour before the show.

photo: Don Wilson for the Port of Seattle

Movies at the Marina 
Mark your calendars! Movies at the Marina are back this August. Grab your low-back chairs, comfy blankets and sweaters (the air can be chilly next to the Puget Sound) and catch these family flicks under the stars. Be sure to arrive early to get your spot on the lawn. Blankets and low chairs are allowed on the lawn; regular chairs will be allowed to the sides and in the back. Food trucks will be on the premises from 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Psst! This is a Fido-friendly movie series. Guest moorage is also available; make your reservation by calling 206-787-3006. Free popcorn will be available.

July 21: Captain Ron
Aug. 11: The Secret Life of Pets

Shilshole Bay Marina
7001 Seaview Ave. N.W., Suite 100
Seattle, Wa 98117
Online: portseattle.org/Marinas

Cost: Free
Time: Movies start at dusk (around 9:30 p.m.)

Eastside & Beyond

Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies in the Park 
The Eastside always has a great selection of kid-friendly, outdoor summer flicks. One of our fave places to throw a blanket down and enjoy a picnic dinner and a movie is at the Bellevue Summer Outdoor Movies which is returning this year to the new and improved Bellevue Downtown Park. Starting on July 11, you and the kids can catch shows every Tuesday through Aug. 29. Psst… be sure to arrive early, so you can participate in the free family activities starting at 7:30 p.m. Free admission, free pre-movie entertainment and free popcorn too, but movies will be cancelled in the event of rain. Call 425-452-4240 for cancellation updates.

July 11 – Sing
July 18 – Storks
July 25 – The Angry Birds Movie
Aug. 1  – Monster Trucks
Aug. 8 – The Lego Batman Movie
Aug. 15 – The Secret Life of Pets
Aug. 22 – Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Aug. 29 – The Sandlot

Bellevue Downtown Park
10201 N.E. 4th St.
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Online: bellevue.com/outdoor-movies.php

Cost: Free
Time: Pre-movie activities start at 7:30 p.m.; movies begin at dusk (approx. 9 p.m.)

Carillon Point’s Outdoor Movies
Each summer, Carillon Point hosts a number of family-friendly movie nights to benefit Hopelink, a local non-profit organization dedicated to promoting self-sufficiency to members of the community. Arrive early to eat at one of the fab restaurants or order takeout and enjoy the water views. It doesn’t get much better than catching a family flick on the shores of Lake Washington.

July 8 – Raiders of the Lost Ark
July 22 – Finding Dory
Aug. 5 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Aug. 22 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Carillon Point Plaza
1200 Carillon Point
Kirkland, Wa 98033
Online: carillon-point.com/event

Cost: $5/person recommended donation to Hopelink
Time: Plaza opens one hour prior to dusk for seating; movies start at dusk (around 9 p.m.).

photo: Movies at Marymoor Park

First Tech Movies @ Marymoor Park
The Movies @ Marymoor Park series boasts of being Seattle’s best outdoor movies series with big screen flicks, live entertainment, trivia and food trucks beginning July 5 and running through Aug. 23. All movies will be shown rain or shine (except for rather nasty weather) on Wednesdays (except for Tuesday, Aug. 8). Seating is on a first come, first served basis, so arrive early and be sure to bring Fido along for the show! Psst! The first 200 people will receive a free glow necklace at the Overlake Medical Clinics tent.

July 5 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
July 12 – La La Land
July 19 – Moana
July 26 – Hidden Figures
Aug. 2 – Sing
Aug. 8 – Ghostbusters (1984)
Aug. 16 – Finding Dory
Aug. 23 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

6046 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy. N.E.
Redmond, Wa 98052
Online: epiceap.com/movies-at-marymoor and on Facebook

Cost: $5/person; 5 and under Free
Time: Pre-movie seating starts at 6:30 p.m.; movies start at dusk.
Parking: King County charges $5 per car

Sundquist Family Movies in the Park – Snohomish
Starting on July 13, families in the North Sound can take in family flicks under the stars at Willis Tucker Community Park. Be sure to arrive early for the pre-movie entertainment provided by BridgeCity Church, North End Jazz and Community Transit. If you forget to pack snacks, the Mill Creek Lions Club will once again be selling movie snacks (think popcorn, candy, soda and water). Seating is on the grass, so low-back chairs and blankets are recommended.

July 13 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Showtime: 9:14 p.m.

July 20 – Trolls
Showtime: 9:08 p.m.

July 27 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Showtime: 9 p.m.

Aug. 3 – Sing
Showtime: 8:50 p.m.

Aug. 10 – The Lego Batman Movie
Showtime: 8:52 p.m.

Aug. 17 – Moana
Showtime: 8:38 p.m.

Willis Tuck Community Park
6705 Puget Park Dr.
Snohomish, Wa 98296
Online: snohomishcountywa.gov/1098/Movies-in-the-Park

Cost: Free (donations benefiting Snohomish County Parks encouraged)
Time: Open seating and pre-movie entertainment begins at 7 p.m.; movie starts at times listed above.

Mill Creek Foursquare Church Outdoor Movie
Pack up the family for the ultimate good vs. evil movie, the original Star Wars. Enjoy the movie while munching on popcorn and cotton candy. This movie event is free, but please register here to let them know how many will be attending.

Aug. 26 – Star Wars
Showtime: 8 p.m.

Mill Creek Foursquare Church
1415 164th St. SW
Lynnwood, Wa 98087
Online: mc4s.org/summerevents

Cost: Free

Good to Know
Redhook Brewery is bringing back it’s popular summertime outdoor movie series starting on July 13. Redhook’s Moonlight Cinema will be showing movies for adults, so book a sitter and enjoy a movie under the stars with your beer. Also, Tacoma is bringing back their Summer Bash & Movies in the Park. Pack your snacks, blankets and lawn chairs and be sure to check out the movie listings as each movie will be presented at a different park and a different day of the week.

If outdoor movies aren’t your family’s thing, but you still want to catch some cheap family flicks this summer, check the Summer Movie Express schedule. For just $1 you can see a host of kids’ movies at participating Regal Cinemas on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through August 23, 2017.

Know of another great outdoor movie series? Add it in the comments below!

— Jeffrey Totey & Kristina Moy


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