Entertainment

50 free outdoor movies in Boston to watch this summer

From 'Jaws' to 'Frozen,' here's where to get your free outdoor movie fix in the Boston area all summer long.

The Coolidge Corner Theatre hosts "Science on Screen," a free outdoor film series on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. A. Gallagher Dixon/Handout

While Boston-area film fans have started heading back to regular movie theaters after two-plus years of COVID-19, city officials will once again offer a robust number of outdoor movies in Boston now that summer has officially arrived.

You’ll still have to buy a ticket from traditional drive-in theaters like the Mendon Twin Drive-In, the Wellfleet Drive-In, or the Northfield Drive-In to see the newest blockbusters in an outdoor setting, of course. But all around the Boston area, you’ll be able to catch a mix of fairly recent films and certified classics at pop-up outdoor movie screenings — free of charge.

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Here are all of the outdoor movies in Boston (and bordering towns/cities) scheduled for this summer. If you know of any other outdoor movies in Boston that we’re missing on this list, email [email protected].

Movies by Moonlight at Boston Harbor Hotel

The Boston Harbor Hotel’s “Summer in the City” event series brings live music to Rowe’s Wharf three nights a week, from Tuesday through Thursday. On Fridays through August 26, the hotel switches the evening entertainment to film, with a mixture of family films and adult fare projected on a screen overlooking the water.

June 24: “Jaws” (Dusk)

July 8: “Sing” (Dusk)

July 15: “Grease” (Dusk)

July 22: “The Wizard of Oz” (Dusk)

July 29: “Luca” (Dusk)

August 5: “Crazy Rich Asians” (Dusk)

August 12: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (Dusk)

August 19: “Encanto” (Dusk)

August 26: “Dune” (Dusk)

Summer Movies on the Ship

Starting on June 24, the USS Constitution Museum will host a series of free screenings aboard Old Ironsides, with crew members projecting nautical-themed movies for guests on the ship’s top deck. Due to size constraints, the screenings are first-come, first serve. From 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., guests will hear from public historian Carl Herzog as he discusses the USS Constitution’s history and how it relates to that night’s movie.

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June 24: “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (8:30 p.m.)

July 15: “Master and Commander: Far Side of the World” (8:30 p.m.)

August 20: “Captain Phillips” (8:30 p.m.)

Sunset Cinema at the MFA

In conjunction with the Roxbury International Film Festival, which runs from June 23 to July 2, the Museum of Fine Arts will offer a free screening of the 1997 film “Love Jones” on its Huntington Avenue Lawn. Beer, wine, and snacks will be available for purchase, and guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets, food, and non-alcoholic drinks.

June 28: “Love Jones” (8 p.m.)

CX Movie Nights

Cambridge’s burgeoning business district, Cambridge Crossing (CX), is partnering with Harvard Square’s Brattle Theatre to bring outdoor movies to the Maria Baldwin Open Space this summer. Each evening will feature a doubleheader, with a PG movie starting at 5:30 p.m. and a PG-13 movie at 7:30 p.m. Each guest can also enjoy a free popcorn and water while supplies last.

June 30: “Moana” (5:30 p.m.) and “School of Rock” (7:30 p.m.)

July 28: “Encanto” (5:30 p.m.) and “Mrs. Doubtfire” (7:30 p.m.)

Science on Screen at the Greenway

The Coolidge Corner Theatre is hosting a series of outdoor screenings that also serve as educational opportunities on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. You may not think that a “Fast and the Furious” movie would count as a learning experience, but introductions to the films from scientific experts promise to be both enlightening and entertaining. The three-part series started earlier in June, and there will be two remaining films in total, one in July and one in August.

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July 13: “Tremors” (8 p.m.)

August 10: “Fast Five” (8 p.m.)

Sunday movies at Christopher Columbus Park

From July 17 to August 21, you’ll be able to catch a movie every Sunday night at dusk sitting along the water at Christopher Columbus Park. The movies will start at approximately 7:30 p.m. each evening.

July 17: “The Sandlot” (7:30 p.m.)

July 24: “Dirty Dancing” (7:30 p.m.)

July 31: “The Philadelphia Story” (7:30 p.m.)

Aug. 7: “Meet the Parents” (7:30 p.m.)

 Aug. 14: “Selma” (7:30 p.m.)

Aug. 21: “Batman Begins” (7:30 p.m.)

Theatre Thursdays on Revere Beach

Sand castles aren’t the only entertainment to be found on Revere Beach during the summer months. For six Thursdays in July and August, the town’s Parks and Recreation department will host a special screening, with music, food, and entertainment starting at 6 p.m. and the movie starting at 8 p.m.

June 30: “Jaws” (8 p.m.)

July 7: “Sing 2” (8 p.m.)

July 14: “Dog” (8 p.m.)

July 28: “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (8 p.m.)

August 4: “Encanto” (8 p.m.)

August 11: “Jungle Cruise” (8 p.m.)

August 18: “Luca” (8 p.m.)

Family Flicks at the Prudential Center

Every Saturday starting July 9, you can enjoy free, family-friendly movies at the Prudential Center’s South Garden. Movies start at dusk, and if you spend $10 at any Prudential Center eatery, you’ll receive a discount on the Pru’s parking garage.

July 9th: “Encanto” (Dusk)

July 16th: “Shrek” (Dusk)

July 23rd: “The Parent Trap” (Dusk)

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July 30th: “Luca” (Dusk)

August 6th: “Space Jam” (Dusk)

August 13th: “Tangled” (Dusk)

August 20th: “Sing 2” (Dusk)

August 27th: “Trolls: World Tour” (Dusk)

Mayor’s Movie Nights

From August 2 to September 1, you’ll be able to catch free outdoor movies all across Boston’s neighborhoods, thanks to the Mayor’s Office and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Each night will be held in a different Boston neighborhood, and all shows begin at dusk, or approximately 7:45 p.m.

August 2: “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” Jamaica Pond – Pinebank (Jamaica Way at Moraine Street, Jamaica Plain)

August 9: “Sing 2,” Healy Playground (160 Florence Street, Roslindale)

August 15: “Luca,” East Boston Memorial Park (143 Porter St.)

August 16: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Ronan Park (92 Mt. Ida Road, Dorchester)

August 17: “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” Marcella Playground (260 Highland St., Roxbury)

August 22: “Encanto,” Iacono Playground (150 Readville St., Hyde Park)

August 23: “Soul,” Ramsay Park (1917 Washington St., South End)

August 25: “Enacnto,” 55 Winthrop St., Charlestown

August 29: “Raya and the Last Dragon,” Hardiman Playground (360 Faneuil St., Brighton)

August 30: “Soul,” Moakley Park (1005 Columbia Road, South Boston)

September 1: “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” Boston Common Frog Pond (38 Beacon St., Boston)

Films at the Gate Festival

Each year, the Asian Community Development Corporation puts on its Films at the Gate Festival in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood, offering three nights of kung-fu and classic Chinese films for free starting at 8 p.m. Prior to sunset screenings, attendees can enjoy family-friendly games and activities, as well as martial arts demonstrations. While the festival is free, the organization will be asking for donations to support its cultural programming. This year’s festival will take place from August 26-28, with the film lineup to be announced at a later date. 

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