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Arts & Culture

Summer 2019 Guide To Outdoor Movies In San Diego

A film plays at San Diego Museum of Art's Screen on the Green movie night in this undated photo.
Courtesy of San Diego Museum of Art
A film plays at San Diego Museum of Art's Screen on the Green movie night in this undated photo.

Summer is when San Diego's outdoor movie season really kicks in. From screenings in a pool to free movies in the park, here's a guide to where you can watch movies under the stars:

Bayside Summer Nights 2019

Embarcadero Marina Park South, $24 to $115

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

Schedule: "Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince," July 13 and 14; "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back," Aug. 1 and 2; "Singin' in the Rain," Aug. 23.

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: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," July 19 at Waterfront Park; "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)," Aug. 1 at Pantoja Park; "The Little Mermaid," Aug. 17 at USS Midway Museum, and "Hocus Pocus," Sept. 28 at Kimball 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.

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

Screen on the Green

Balboa Park, free

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

Schedule: "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad," Aug. 1; "An American in Paris" Aug. 8; "Spellbound," Aug. 15; "Black Orpheus," Aug. 22; and the Spanish-language "Drácula," Aug. 29.

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 on the Bricks at The Athenaeum

La Jolla, $15

Classic films are screened at the Athenaeum's patio, presented by KPBS film critic Beth Accomando and writer D. A. Kolodenko. This year's theme is La Jollans of Noir: Vintage Crime Thrillers Starring Actors with a La Jolla Connection.

Schedule: "Underworld USA," starring La Jolla-born and raised Cliff Robertson on Aug. 15; "Mirage," starring La Jollan Gregory Peck on Aug. 22; and "Sudden Fear," starring Joan Crawford, who had a vacation home in La Jolla, on Aug. 29.

Details: Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the series is open to audiences ages 21 and older. Tickets are $17 each, or $45 for the entire series. Find tickets and details.

Detailed Film Guide

Find more outdoor movies on our events calendar

Rooftop Cinema Club

Gaslamp Quarter, $17 to $24

The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego opens the roof to its fourth-floor sports terrace for outdoor screenings of beloved movie classics.

Highlights: "Pulp Fiction," July 12; "Top Gun," July 16 and Aug. 19; "Labyrinth," July 17; "Selena," July 28 and Aug. 16; "Love Jones," July 30 and Aug. 14; and "An Officer and a Gentleman," Aug. 31.

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: "Spaceballs," July 16; "Three Amigos," July 23; "Coming To America," July 30.

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: "The Fifth Element," July 17; "Point Break," Aug. 7; "Jaws," Sept. 11; "Mean Girls," Sept. 18.

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.

People watching a movie at Cinema Under the Stars in this undated photo.
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: "All That Jazz," July 18 and 19; "West Side Story," Aug. 3 and 4; "Notting Hill," Aug. 8 and 9; "Roman Holiday," Sept. 6 through 8.

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 to $300

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

Highlights: "The Goonies," July 27; "Back to the Future," Aug. 10; "The Wizard of Oz," Aug. 31.

Details: Admission is $20 and comes with a beach chair (available on a first-come, first-serve basis). Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the movie begins at 8 p.m. More information.

Little Italy Summer Film Festival 2019

Little Italy, $8

Every Saturday night through August 24, you can catch an Italian film with English subtitles in Little Italy's Amici Park Amphitheater.

Highlights: "L'uomo Che Comprò La Luna," Italian secret agents receive a call from the United States: it seems that someone in Sardinia has become the owner of the moon, on July 20; "A Casa Tutti Bene," a comedy about a family that reunites to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of grandma Alba and grandpa Pietro in a big Villa, on Aug. 3.

Details: Movies begin at 8 p.m, doors open at 7:30 p.m. There's an $8 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: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," July 12.

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.