Five Places to Watch Outdoor Movies

Where to see a free flick under the stars this summer


August means there are only a few weeks left to enjoy late sunsets and warm summer nights. So to make the most of it, grab a blanket and settle in for an outdoor movie under the stars at one of these spots across the country. (For free!)

Stanley Park, Vancouver

Every Tuesday night until Aug. 30, you can enjoy a sunset movie at one of Canada’s most iconic parks. Join hundreds of others on the lawn at Second Beach in Stanley Park for Summer Cinema. Titles include Purple Rain (Aug. 16) and Dirty Dancing (Aug. 23). Purchase popcorn, drinks or even a blanket at the snack bar and reserved front-row seating on Muskoka chairs is also available ($20 per person).

St. Patrick’s Island, Calgary

At this urban park located, on an island in the city’s East Village neighbourhood, enjoy the second-annual Movies on The Rise series. Once a week throughout August, an inflatable screen at the base of a nine-metre-high natural amphitheatre will show cult classics like Mrs. Doubtfire (Aug. 18). Bring a blanket and relax on the sloped hill as you watch in front of the illuminated downtown skyline. Local food trucks The Sugar Cube and The Tea Wagon will also be onsite with refreshments each night.

Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg

Winnipeg’s popular Movies in the Park will return to the Lyric Lawn at beautiful Assiniboine Park as part of the Red River Co-op Summer Entertainment Series every Friday night in August. Come for either an early feature (at 7 p.m.), with kid-friendly screenings like Zooptopia or Kung Fu Panda, or a late feature (at 9:15 p.m.), with titles like Footloose or Spectre for all ages. Popcorn and other concessions are also available onsite.

Sugar Beach, Toronto

Sail-In Cinema, the world’s first two-sided, floating big-screen allows you to watch a movie from land or sea. From August 18 to 20, set up on a blanket, cushion or chair at Sugar Beach or watch from the comfort of an anchored boat on Lake Ontario (boaters can tune in to one of three radio stations to hear the film). This year’s titles are Hook, Jumanji and The Princess Bride.

Barracks Square, Fredericton

Saturday and Sundays throughout the summer, Fredericton’s Barracks Square transforms into an outdoor movie theatre for the Under the Stars Film Series. Saturday’s films are “modern classics” like Castaway (August 27) and Avatar (September 3), while Sundays are all about the golden oldies like North by Northwest (August 28). Plus, before each feature film, a short film by New Brunswick filmmakers is previewed. Bonus: complimentary chairs are provided for visitors.

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