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Summer 2017 Guide To Outdoor Movies In San Diego

A 2017 photo from Arts District Liberty Station's Second Saturday Cinema.

Photo by Stacy Keck

Above: A 2017 photo from Arts District Liberty Station's Second Saturday Cinema.

Summer is almost here, and that means it's outdoor movie season in San Diego. Here's a guide to some local favorites, along with tips for the best movie experience:

Second Saturday Cinema

Liberty Station, free

This new curated series is a partnership between Arts District Liberty Station and Pacific Arts Movement. Grab some dinner or picnic items at the Liberty Public Market and catch a free movie on the lawn right next door.

Schedule: "Strictly Ballroon," June 10; "Lego Batman Movie," July 8; "Sing," Aug. 12; "Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings," Sept. 9; "Ghostbusters (2016)," Oct. 14.

Details: Movies are screened at 8 p.m. June through August, and 7 p.m. September and October. Head over early to the North Promenade, next to Comickaze Comics Books and More to save a spot. Outside the Lens will curate a short firm series that will screen before the feature film.

Summer Movies in the Park

Various San Diego County locations, free

This family-friendly series presents movies at community parks and recreation centers throughout San Diego.

Highlights: "Captain America: Civil War," July 1, and "Finding Nemo," Aug. 5, both aboard the USS Midway; "The Jungle Book," July 8 at Las Palmas Pool in National City; "Up," July 28 at Horton Plaza Park; and "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," Sept. 3 at Waterfront Park.

Details: All movies are free and begin 15 minutes after sunset. Many people arrive early to picnic and find a good viewing spot. Check the web site for location and movie schedule.

PopUp Cinema at Fair@44

Fair@44, free

This pop-up spot, located between Fairmount Avenue and 44th Street in City Heights, will screen family-friendly films the fourth Wednesday in June, July and August.

Schedule: "Guardians of the Galazy," June 28; "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," July 26; and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Aug. 23.

Details: There will be international food vendors and live music from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a pre-film activity at 7 p.m. Films begin at sunset and feature a short presentation by Media Arts Center before the feature.

Photo credit: Courtesy of San Diego Museum of Art

A photo of San Diego Museum of Art's Films in the Garden outdoor movie series.

Film in the Garden

Balboa Park, free

Every Thursday in August, the San Diego Museum of Art screens films themed around its art exhibits.

Schedule: "Goya's Ghosts," Aug. 3; "Picture of Dorian Gray," Aug. 10; "How to Steal a Million," Aug. 17; "Seraphine," Aug. 24; and "Midnight in Paris," Aug. 31.

Details: Movies are free and screen at 8 p.m. near the Botanical Garden, east of the museum. Arrive early; spots fill up quickly. Pets are allowed on the lawn. More details.

Flicks at the Fountain

Carlsbad, free

Every Thursday in July and August, family-friendly movies are shown at the Carlsbad Village fountain on the corner of State Street and Grand Avenue.

Schedule: Not announced, check back here for updates.

Details: Seating begins at 6 p.m. and films begin at dusk. Low-backed chairs are allowed and various local businesses sell to-go meals for picnics (some even have pizza delivered to their outdoor spots). Additional details.

Special Feature 2018 Outdoor Movies Guide

Find outdoor movie screenings near you.

Flicks on the Bricks at The Athenaeum

La Jolla, $22

Every Thursday in August, classic and beloved films are paired with wines and appetizers. This year's theme is Mismatched Pairings and screenings will offer wine tasting on the patio.

Schedule: "Harold and Maude," Aug. 10; "Annie Hall," Aug. 17; "Groundhog Day," Aug. 24; and "Silver Linings Playbook," Aug. 31.

Details: Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the series is open to audiences ages 21 and older. Tickets are $22 each, or $80 for the entire series. Find tickets and details.

Stone Liberty Station Movie Nights

Liberty Station, free

Stone Brewing screens popular movies on its patio every Tuesday through August.

Highlights: "The Endless Summer," June 13; "Boondock Saints," June 27; "Dazed and Confused," Aug. 8; and "Reservoir Dogs," Aug. 22.

Details: The 8:30 p.m. screenings are free, but these fill up quickly. A tip is to arrive at 5 p.m. for dinner so you can set up your spot on the lawn. See the complete schedule.

Dive-In movies at the Pearl Hotel

Point Loma, free

Modern favorites are screened by the pool each Wednesday and cocktails and bar snacks are served.

Highlights: "Sixteen Candles," May 31; "Almost Famous," June 7; "Grease," June 21.

Details: The free movies begin at 8 p.m., and food is served until 10 p.m. This series is for audiences ages 21 and up only. See the complete schedule.

Photo by Eric Rife

A photo from Cinema Under the Stars.

Cinema Under the Stars

Mission Hills, $17 to $19

This favorite outdoor venue screens a mix of classic and cult films and has a patio that offers reserved seating.

Highlights: "Singin' in the Rain," June 3 and 4; "Pretty in Pink," June 24 and 25; "Funny Face," July 13 and 14; "The Graduate," July 20 and 21; "Blazing Saddles," Aug. 17 and 18; "Casablanca," Aug. 31 to Sept. 3; and "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Sept. 28 to 30.

Details: Films screen Thursdays through Sundays at 8 p.m., but you can reserve a seat starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $17 at the door or $19 to reserve online. (More detailed information here.) A small concession stand sells drinks, popcorn and candy. See the complete schedule.

Hotel Del's Movies on the Beach

Coronado, free ($15 reserved seating)

The Hotel del Coronado turns its ocean-front lawn into an outdoor movie theater, screening a selection of summer favorites.

Highlights: "Raiders of the Lost Ark," June 30; "Star Wars: Rogue One," July 21; "The Wizard of Oz," Aug. 25 and "Back to the Future," Sept. 16.

Details: Admission is free, but you can reserve Del beach chairs for $15. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the movie begins at 8 p.m. More information.

Little Italy Summer Film Festival 2017

Little Italy, $5

Every Saturday night, from June 17 through August 26, you can catch an Italian film with English subtitles in Little Italy's Amici Park Amphitheater.

Highlights: "Bread and Chocolate," July 1; "An Almost Perfect Town," July 8; "Bread and Tulips," July 22; "The Postman," Aug. 26.

Details: Movies begin at 8 p.m, doors open at 7:30 p.m.. There's a $5 suggested donation. Amici Park Amphitheater is located at State and West Date streets. See the complete schedule.

Movies and More By the Lake at Santee Lakes

Santee, $10

Family movies are screened at this picturesque location, plus there are food trucks, inflatables and performances before the show.

Schedule: "The Secret Life of Pets," June 23; "Finding Dory," July 14; and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," Aug. 18.

Details: The picnic area opens at 6 p.m., games and contests begin at 7 p.m., film at 8 p.m. $10 per carload; additional details.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Street Food Cinema

A 2016 photo of Street Food Cinema San Diego outdoor film series.

Street Food Cinema San Diego

Various locations, $6 to $18

This chic film series is like a neighborhood party that combines food, music and movies.

Schedule: "Clueless," June 3 at Kate O. Sessions park; "La La Land," June 17 at Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina; "Raiders of the Lost Ark," July 15 at Seaport Village's Ruocco Park; "The Breakfast Club," Aug. 12 at Ruocco Park; "Fight Club," Aug. 26 (location TBD); "Dirty Dancing," Sept. 9 at Nobel Athletic Fields; "500 Days of Summer," Sept. 23 at Balboa Park.

Details: Doors open at 5:30 p.m., band or DJ begins at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 8:30 p.m. (earlier in September). Tickets are $18 for reserved seating, $13 general admission. There are few tickets available on the day of the event, advance purchase recommended. Find tickets and details.

The Headquarters at Seaport's Cinema Under the Stars

The Headquarters, free

This summer, The Headquarters hosts an "I Love SD" film series, featuring movies that were filmed or are about San Diego.

Schedule: "Top Gun," June 28; "Almost Famous," July 26; and "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," Aug. 30.

Details: Movies begin at 8 p.m. at the Headquarters Courtyard. Arrive early to scope out a spot or bring your own blankets and chairs. Find details here.

City Heights Movie Nights

40th and University, free

This pop-up spot, located at 40th Street and University Avenue in City Heights, will screen family-friendly films, plus host interactive family activities.

Schedule: "Moana," June 16; "Sing," July 7; and "The Secret Life of Pets," Aug. 4.

Details: Activities begin at 6:30 p.m. and movies begin at dusk. Make sure to bring chairs and blankets. For additional details call (619) 906-4443.

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