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Summer 2018 Guide To Outdoor Movies In San Diego

People have a picnic at San Diego Symphony's Bayside Summer Nights in 2017.

Credit: Courtesy of San Diego Symphony

Above: People have a picnic at San Diego Symphony's Bayside Summer Nights in 2017.

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:

Bayside Summer Nights 2018

Embarcadero Marina Park South, $40 to $115

The San Diego Symphony's outdoor concert series features movie screenings paired with a full symphony.

Schedule: "Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire," Aug. 4 and 5; "West Side Story," Aug. 10; "Star Wars: A New Hope," Aug. 22.

Details: Program begins at 7:30 p.m. Picnics are encouraged, there are also food sales on site. Find additional details for Bayside Summer Nights.

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: "Independence Day," July 3 at Waterfront Park; "The Lion King," July 7 at Las Palmas Pool; "Hidden Figures," July 13 and "Moana," Aug. 18 aboard the USS Midway; "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Aug. 25 at Oceanside Amphitheatre.

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.

Screen on the Green

Balboa Park, free

Every Thursday in August, the San Diego Museum of Art screens films themed around its art exhibits. This year movies will be inspired by Epic Tales from Ancient India.

Schedule: "The Lunchbox," Aug. 2; "Original Copy" Aug. 9; "The Music Room," Aug. 16; "Nil Battey Sannata," Aug. 23; and "Paheli," Aug. 30.

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.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Arts District Liberty Station

A 2017 photo from Liberty Station Outdoor Movies.

Liberty Station Outdoor Movies

Liberty Station, free

Arts District Liberty Station screens six films that reflect the area's diverse arts and culture offerings. Each night features surprise pop-up performances or activities, along with curated short films. Grab some dinner or picnic items at the Liberty Public Market and catch a free movie on the lawn right next door.

Schedule: "Jumanji," June 9; "Wonder Woman," July 14; "Loving Vincent," Aug. 11; "A Wrinkle in Time," Sept. 8; "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Oct. 13.

Details: Movies begin at sunset. Head over early to the North Promenade, next to Comickaze Comics Books and More to save a spot.

Flicks on the Bricks at The Athenaeum

La Jolla, $15

Every Thursday in August, classic and beloved films are screened at the Athenaeum's patio. This year's theme is Film Noir, hosted by KPBS' Beth Accomando and D.A. Kolodenko.

Schedule: "Devil Thumbs a Ride" and "The Clay Pigeon," Aug. 2; "Tension," Aug. 9; "The Brothers Rico," Aug. 16; and "The Grifters," Aug. 23.

Details: Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the series is open to audiences ages 21 and older. Tickets are $15 each, or $52 for the entire series. Find tickets and details.

Special Feature 2019 Outdoor Movies Guide

Find outdoor movie screenings near you.

Rooftop Cinema Club

Gaslamp Quarter, $17 to $24

The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego opens its roof for outdoor screenings of beloved movie classics.

Highlights: "Pretty in Pink," June 15; "Get Out," June 16; "Stand and Deliver," July 10.

Details: Screenings are for ages 18 and up. The roof and box office open at 6:30 p.m. for sunset selfies, movies begin at 8 p.m. See the complete schedule.

Stone Brewing Liberty Station Movie Nights

Liberty Station, free

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

Highlights: "The Three Amigos," June 26; "Clerks," July 17; "Coming to America," Aug. 7; "The Dark Knight," Aug. 21.

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: "Space Balls," June 27; "Jaws," July 25; "The Parent Trap," Aug. 1; "Wet Hot American Summer," Aug. 22; "Mean Girls," Sept. 5.

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

People watching a movie at Cinema Under the Stars in this undated photo.

Cinema Under the Stars

Mission Hills, $17 to $20

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

Highlights: "The Big Sleep," June 21 and 22; "Shakespeare in Love," June 23 and 24; "Sabrina," July 14 and 15; "Steel Magnolias," July 21 and 22; "Some Like it Hot," Aug. 4 and 5; "A Hard Day's Night," Aug. 23 and 24; "Casablanca," Sept. 6 to 8; "Psycho," Oct. 18 to 20.

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 $20 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, $20

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

Highlights: "Coco," July 14; "Lilo & Stitch," Aug. 11; "The Wizard of Oz," Sept. 1

Details: Admission is $20 and comes with a beach chair (available on a first-come, first-serve basis). Doors open at 7 p.m., and the movie begins at 8 p.m. More information.

Little Italy Summer Film Festival 2018

Little Italy, $5

Every Saturday night, from June 23 through August 25, you can catch an Italian film with English subtitles in Little Italy's Amici Park Amphitheater.

Highlights: "Sea Dreaming Girls," about 80-year-olds who see the sea for the first time, June 30; "Umberto D," a man struggles from falling from poverty into shame, July 21; "It's the Law," a comedy about a Sicilian election.

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: "Lego Batman," June 22; "Moana," July 13; and "Coco," Aug. 10.

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 $19

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

Highlights: "The Greatest Showman," June 2 at Boulevard Center in North Park; "Selena," Aug. 25 at Ruocco Park, downtown.

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 $19 for reserved seating, $14 general admission. There are few tickets available on the day of the event, advance purchase recommended. Find tickets and details.


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