Outdoor movies in Los Angeles are incredibly popular. It seems like every summer there is a new outdoor movie experience. In the very first episode of the LA Dreaming Podcast, I talk about Outdoor Movie Screenings in LA with my friend Casey Hempel. In this post, I’ll be recapping the ones we discussed on the show and sharing about other ones that we did not cover in our episode.
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Outdoor Movie Screenings In LA
The first several outdoor movies screening listed here are the ones that Casey and I talk about on the podcast.
Street Food Cinema
Street Food Cinema offers some of the best outdoor movies in LA. They have the largest variety of venues that are spread out throughout the Los Angeles area. This screening series typically takes place from April through September. They also try to do screenings for Halloween, Christmas & Valentine’s Day though some of the holiday screenings take place indoors. I have a full blog post on Street Food Cinema that you can check out. Ticket prices can start at $22 for general admission. You can buy your tickets and see upcoming screenings here.
Cinespia is an outdoor movie screening series that takes place at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This experience has been shown in movies like Valentine’s Day & Under the Silver Lake. It sounds weird that you are watching a movie in a cemetery but you are not sitting on top of the graves. One of the best reasons to come to this particular series is for the fabulous photo booths. Shown above is the photo booth from when I saw ET on the 4th of July. They put on a pretty good fireworks show for the holiday!
You can get tickets for Cinespia here.
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I have not experienced Boat Cinema myself so far. This is one of the newest outdoor movie series in the LA area and probably ties Cinespia for being the most unique. It is one of the most expensive experiences but, considering you are watching the movie from a boat, it makes sense. They did recently add beach seating which is $20 so that is definitely more affordable. You can find tickets and more information here.
Melrose Rooftop Theatre
The Melrose Rooftop Cinema is located in the same spot as the E.P & L.P restaurant off of Melrose in West Hollywood. Your ticket includes a bean bag-type chair that comes with a blanket and a headset so that you can hear the movie well. The general admission tickets are $32.40 with the service fee. They also offer a dinner & movie package for $56.05. Ticket prices are per person. You can visit their website here.
Rooftop Cinema Club
I have been to the Rooftop Cinema Club location in El Segundo. They also have venues at Row DTLA and LEVEL. This is a similar setup to the Melrose Rooftop Theatre. You do not have to bring a chair. That is provided for you as well as headphones.
You can get tickets and see the schedule for all of the Los Angeles Rooftop Cinema Club locations here.
I highly recommend putting a movie night at the Hollywood Bowl on your LA bucket list. Each summer the bowl will host a Sound of Music sing a long which is one of the most fun events I have been to. They will also host movie screenings where the LA Philharmonic will play alongside the film. The events are truly spectacular.
Other Outdoor Movie Screenings in LA
Hollywood Roosevelt Pool Screenings
The famous Hollywood Roosevelt hosts movie screenings by the pool. The events are open to anyone with a ticket regardless of whether you are a hotel guest or not. *Hotel guests do not need a ticket. For hotel guests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot. You are welcome to swim or lounge on a chair while you watch the movie. If you show up in a costume themed to the movie they will give you a free cocktail or candy. You can get tickets for their movie nights here.
Marina Del Rey Movie Nights
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In Marina Del Rey you can see movies at the Jamaica Bay Inn.
Movies at One Colorado in Pasadena
This is a series that I just found out about and am looking forward to experiencing myself soon. Movies are shown on the side of a building at One Colorado in Pasadena. There are a few different seating options. YOu can bring own your chairs, you can sit in chairs on the balcony for free, or if you spend $20 at one of the restaurants and show your receipt to the screening staff you can sit in a reserved seat. Complimentary popcorn is provided!! You can find out more information by visiting their Instagram.
Moonlight Movies on the Beach
Moonlight Movies on the Beach in Long Beach is one of my favorite outdoor movie screenings in LA. Yes, it will be cold but listening to the waves while watching a movie is so relaxing. This was one of my favorite memories from 2021. The screening series takes place at Granada Beach in Long Beach. You can find plenty of free street parking on Ocean or you can pay to park if you don’t want to walk as far. You can find out more information on their website here.
2nd & PCH Movies
2nd & PCH is an outdoor shopping center near the water. They have a great selection of places to eat. I have truly enjoyed each place that I have tried so far. One of my favorite things about living close by is getting to to go their movie nights. They host free movie screenings at different times throughout the year. You can visit their website here.
Movies by the Pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel
The Beverly Hills Hotel movie night starts on 4/26. This is the one expensive movie series on the list at $1,700 for four people. You have to purchase a cabana to enjoy the movie nights. Admission includes a selection of snacks, cocktails, unlimited champagne, movie-themed desserts, popcorn, and a candy cart. You can purchase tickets here.
Hammer Museum Movies
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There is a free screening at the Hammer Museum of the Sandlot on 4/16 at 11:00 am. Seating is first come first serve. The theatre opens 15 minutes before showtime. You can get more details here.
Outdoor Movies at the Skirball
Skirball will be showing movies on Fridays. The evening includes a kid-friendly lounge and activities. Adult tickets start at $20. Children 12 and under are free. You can see the schedule of upcoming movies and purchase your tickets here.
Movies on the Roof
My Valley Pass and Westfield Fashion Square have partnered for a new screening series that features bean bag seating. The event runs every Friday and Saturday through the end of August. Tickets are $5. I am waiting to see if this one returns for 2023.
Plaza West Covina Movie Night
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Visit plazawestcovina.com/events to register.
Movie Nights at Ovation at Hollywood & Highland
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Ovation Hollywood, the shopping center at Hollywood and Highland, hosts Friday night movies. The movies start at 7 in the outdoor courtyard with some activities beginning at 4 pm.
Movies on Location
I wish this movie series took place more often because I think it is such a cool concept and so unique. With this movie screening series, you get to watch movies in or near a location where they were filmed. For example, I saw a screening of Top Gun at the Van Nuys Airport where a scene from the movie was filmed. I love that in LA we have so many cool filming locations that allow us to have fun events like this. For 2023, in September you can see Back to the Future III and at Tombstone in an Old West setting at Chatsworth Park South. You can purchase your tickets here.
Century Park Movie Screenings
They are only hosting two screenings this summer but you can enjoy a free movie at Century Park. Tickets are not required to attend this free screening. Be sure to bring a chair and blanket. Movies start at 7:30 pm. The next screening is on August 10th. They will be showing Super Mario Bros.
The Culver Steps Movie Screenings
This is a new free and family-friendly screening series taking place on the steps in Culver City on Friday nights. Complimentary popcorn and water will be available while supplies last.
Movie Dates: (Approximate start time is 8:30 pm)
- Friday, July 7th: “The Parent Trap” – PG
• Friday, July 14th: “The Little Rascals” – PG
• Friday, July 21st: “The Goonies” – PG
• Friday, August 4: “The Karate Kid” – PG
• Friday, August 11: “Grease” – PG
• Friday, August 18: “Jaws” – PG
Address: 9300 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Ivy Station Movie Screenings
Ivy Station is hosting a free monthly outdoor movie screening. The screenings typically take place on a Friday night around 8:30 pm. They do prefer that you RSVP for the screenings. You are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs. The next screening is School of Rock on 7/28. You can see their upcoming events here.
Address: 8840 National Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232
Water Garden Santa Monica Movie Screenings
7/20 – Sister Act movie night at Water Garden in Santa Monica. The screenings will start around 8 pm depending on sunset. This free event is open to the public but RSVPs are required. You can arrive as early as 5 pm. RSVP here. For Super Mario Bros. on August 17, RSVP here.
Whittier Movie Screenings
The event begins at 6 pm with movies starting at 8:00 pm. Bring snacks, blankets, and chairs. They will have $1 treats and concessions available.
7/22 Finding Nemo at Palm Park 5703 Palm Ave.
8/19 Zootopia JG Whittier Park, 7227 Whittier Ave
9/16 Super Mario Bros. Michigan Park, 8228 Michigan Ave
10/21 Nightmare Before Christmas Parnell Park, 15390 Lambert Rd.
Torrance Movie Screenings
7/22 Sandlot Movie Night in Torrance. The free movie will start around 8:15 pm at Victor Park – 4727 Emerald Street. Picnics, blankets, and lawn chairs are encouraged. I am waiting to see if they will announce more screenings for 2023.
Dockweiler Beach Movie Screenings
The Department of Beaches and Harbors presents Beach Movie Nights.
Enjoy these free family-friendly movie screenings on the sand, by the waves, and under the stars at the Dockweiler Youth Center, Friday nights this summer! It is really fun to watch movies at the beach but also very cold so please bundle up and bring blankets. All movies start at 8:00 p.m. Use Address 12505 Vista Del Mar Playa del Rey, CA 90293
2023 MOVIE LINEUP:
July 21 | Finding Nemo
July 28 | Vivo
August 4 | The Little Rascals
August 11 | Toy Story 4
August 18 | Jumanji (1995)
August 25 | Luca
CSUN Summer Movie Fest
The CSUN Movie Nights are open to the community. The movies are shown on the Library Lawn. They are showing movies with occasional giveaways and food trucks. Activities start at 6 pm and the movies start at dusk. You can pay for parking in lots B3 and G3 or try to find street parking.
7/27 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
8/3 Super Mario Bros
8/10 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
Adaptations: Monday Movie Nights
I love rooftops in Los Angeles. The rooftop at Ace Hotel in DTLA is beautiful. They are currently hosting Adaptations: Monda Movie nights in partnership with Skylight Books. They are featuring movies that are based on books. They are offering complimentary popcorn with these free screenings. This event is exclusive to guests 21 & up. You do not need to be a hotel guest to attend. The doors open at 7:30 pm and the movie starts at 8 pm. It is taking place poolside.
8/7: The Iron Giant
8/14: Mean Girls
8/21: The Prestige
8/28: Pride and Prejudice
9/18: If Beale Street Could Talk
Movies Under the Stars at Runway
On Wednesday nights you can enjoy an outdoor movie a Runway in Playa Vista. The movies start at 8 pm. They will be offering free popcorn. They are providing headphones for the movie to create a good experience. You can RSVP here.
8/2 Minions: The Rise of Gru
8/9 Top Gun
8/16 The Secret Life of Pets
Enjoy a Family Movie Night at The Shops at Santa Anita
This event is free to attend. Seating will open at 6:30 pm. They will have trivia, games & giveaways starting at 7 pm. The movies will take place at dusk on The Promenade near Haidilao Hot Pot. They will have complimentary popcorn and water while supplies last. They will have limited chairs and blankets available so please bring your own and if you bring a chair bring a low one. Tall camping chairs will not be allowed.
August 2: The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Register here for this event)
August 9: Despicable Me (Register here for this event)
August 16: Moana (Register here for this event)
Outdoor Movie Screenings in Orange County
Movies in Orange County Parks
The OC Parks hosts the OC Sunset Cinema. You can see movies at Orange County parks in cities like Fullerton, Brea, Orange, Anaheim, Dana Point, and Laguna Niguel. The screenings are free and include fun pre-show entertainment. You can see the full 2022 schedule here.
Anaheim Town Square
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They are hosting a monthly free drive-in movie. You can RSVP here.
Outdoor Movies In LA Screening Essentials
Since I go to several of these screenings I am constantly adding more items to my personal collection that make these events more comfortable & enjoyable for me. For the screenings where I need to bring my own chair, I use the Tommy Bahama beach chairs that I got from Costco but you can find them on Amazon as well. You can wear them on your back which makes them incredibly easy to transport.
The grass will get wet with the dew during the movies so I love having a blanket down on the ground so that my feet don’t get as cold. I use a pineapple blanket that zips up into a pouch. You can find something similar on Amazon. Other items I love using are a foldable pop-up table & a picnic basket with wheels.
Make sure to bring plenty of blankets & jackets so that you are not tempted to leave early because of how cold you are. Bring quarters in case you need them for parking meters.