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Staycation: Movies Under the Stars

July 29, 2011

Nothing says ‘summer’ like making a picnic dinner, grabbing a blanket and watching a movie outdoors under the stars.

There are plenty of places in Washington to see free movies at this time of year, from the ultra-popular Screen on the Green to smaller gatherings like last night’s screening of An American Tail at Stead Park.

Here are some favorites:

Screen on the Green: the classic.

Screen on the Green is the biggest of DC’s outdoor movie festivals, attracting thousands of people to the National Mall on Monday nights. This summer is all about the classics and it’s a pretty magical experience to watch a movie with the U.S. Capitol illuminated in the background. What I want to see: Cool Hand Luke.

NoMa Summer Screen: Planes, trains and automobiles

Trains, trains, trains — can you guess what’s the focus of NoMa Summer Screen, which overlooks DC’s rail yards? This up-and-coming neighborhood has a summer film festival that really runs all summer long, from May to August, not just a few films a season. What I want to see: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Stead Park: a neighborhood vibe

I expected last night’s movie screening at Stead Park to be a much bigger event — it’s at the corner of busy 16th and P Streets NW — but really, it was just neighborhood affair. Lots of families and 20-somethings, with a raffle for Sweetgreen gift certificates before the show. I felt like I was a local, not a passerby. What I saw: An American Tail.

U Street: Harrison Field Under the Stars: Celebrating Washington

As the Twitter trend #fuckyouWashington went around last weekend, I heard lots of Washingtonians complain about how often the rest of America confuses the Capital and the Capitol. The U Street movie series screens films that show a side of DC beyond wonks and pols, with short documentaries about the heart and soul of the city and blockbuster movies that don’t involve lobbyists, corporations or Congress. What I want to see: Bag It.

Does your city/town have outdoor movie screenings this summer?


4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2011 7:50 am

    Sounds lovely!! i didnt even realize DC had outdoor movies.. guess its another thing i want to add to my summer bucket list before its over!! xx

  2. Errign permalink
    July 30, 2011 8:58 am

    Asheville doesn’t, as far as I know. At my school back home, they do outside movies on the green in the spring time 🙂

  3. July 31, 2011 1:11 am

    i love the DC area! I was just there and it just seems like there is so much to do!

  4. August 2, 2011 6:12 pm

    Awe someone else just told me about this! This is so cute and I’m definitely going sometime soooon.

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