Movies screened in New York City parks are a summer tradition and a favorite of film fans, lovers of the outdoors and people who like to sneak alcohol into public parks. Kick off New York’s 2013 summer outdoor movie season on June 17 with the HBO Bryant Park Film Festival’s showing of Tootsie, the classic Dustin Hoffman cross-dressing comedy, give French cinema a chance with the Films on the Green Festival, or go under the Brooklyn Bridge for a celluloid trip around the globe at Movies with a View. Showings run through August.
HBO Bryant Park Film Festival
Catch classic films screened on the lawn in Bryant Park every Monday night at sundown through Aug. 19. The lineup includes Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the creepier Gene Wilder version), E.T., The African Queen and a Foreign Affair. Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and 5th and 6th avenues, bryantpark.org/plan-your-visit/filmfestival.html
Pro-tips: Stop by the Southwest Porch for an après drink. Free bike parking is available at the Pétanque Courts (6th Avenue and 41st Street).
Films on the Green Festival
This annual summer series organized by the French Embassy and NYC Parks focuses, naturally, on French cinema. Francophiles can see a different flick at a different NYC park every Friday night from June 14 through Sept. 5 as part of the series. The films run from new to old and include Art of Love, French Cancan and more. NYC parks/Locations vary, frenchculture.org/film-tv-and-new-media/festivals/films-green-2013
Pro-tip: Check facebook.com/filmsonthegreen for rain cancellations and day-of updates.
Pier One Riverside Park South
Summer movies have Citibike fever! Every Wednesday at 8:30pm (July 11-Aug. 15), catch a bicycle-themed movie like Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, the Triplets of Bellville and Amelie on the pier. Pier One, Hudson River at 70th Street, nycgovparks.org/events/free_summer_movies
Pro-tip: Show up well before 8:30pm if you want to grab a seat; it gets crowded.
Movies with a View
The “With Love from…” series celebrates cities around the world from Brooklyn Bridge Park. Every Thursday night from July 11 to Aug. 29, film fans can watch Rocky, Enter the Dragon and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with the Manhattan skyline as the backdrop. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Harbor View Lawn, brooklynbridgepark.org/events/calendar/syfy-movies-with-view-2013
Pro-tip: Get there by 6pm for a free DJ set. Film start at sundown.
Hudson River Park’s RiverFlicks for Grown-ups at Pier 63
Every Wednesday from July 10 through Aug 21, this is the spot for recent releases geared towards adults, and the crowd reflects this — but don’t expect a total kid-free zone. Kicking off with Silver Linings Playbook, other films include Argo, Pitch Perfect and Moonrise Kingdom. Pier 63 Lawn in Chelsea, cross at W. 22nd Street or W.24th Street, riverflicks.com/RFgrownups.html
Pro-tip: Come hungry; there is free popcorn available and usually a food truck or two.
Tropfest New York
The one-day short film festival returns to New York with an event hosted by Liev Schreiber in Prospect Park on Saturday, June 22, starting at 3pm. Each film must be made specifically for the festival and includes the annual signature item (this year it’s “bridge”). Musical acts, including Chairlift, are also slated to perform. Prospect Park, The Nethermead, tropfest.com/ny
Pro-tip: You can just show up, but entrance is guaranteed with a printed ticket from the festival site.