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home | San Diego Arts and Culture | San Diego Free Outdoor Summer Movies . . .

San Diego Free Summer Movies
San Diego Free Summer Movies

San Diego Free Outdoor Summer Movies 2013

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Looking for information about Comic-Con 2013? Stay tuned!

Summer movies are known to be big box office blockbusters for Hollywood producers and studios. In San Diego, the mild summer nights provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor movie watching. Best of all, most of the outdoor summer movie screenings are FREE and are usually located in public spaces.

NOTE: Some of the venues have not posted their 2013 schedule. We're keeping an eye out for any updates. Please check back.

We have selected some of our favorite outdoor summer movie venues for your viewing pleasure.

Please note that the very popular Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills is not part of this list because they charge admission and this article is about free movie screenings. But, you can still click on the link above to get to that outdoor movie series.

Another NEW paid summer film series of note is the Little Italy Summer Film Festival. The Little Italy Association and Cinema Little Italy are screening a total of 8 films this summer. The films will be shown outdoors in the Amici Park Amphitheater, on Date and State streets, in Little Italy.

The film series starts on July 6, 2013 and ends on August 31, 2013. The films screen at 8:00 p.m. A donation of $5 per person is requested. Sadly, no alcoholic beverages or animals are permitted. TIP: With so many restaurants around that area, be sure to have supper at one of them before the movies screen.

San Diego Free Outdoor Summer Movies 2013

County of San Diego Summer Movies in the Park Series - Once again, the County of San Diego is hosting the region's largest free outdoor summer movies series. The movie series goes from May 17 - September 21, 2013. Over 40 family-friendly films will be screened outdoors at public venues all over San Diego County. The San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation has teamed up with the cities of San Diego, National City, La Mesa, San Marcos, Oceanside, Poway and Lemon Grove and others to put on a big show.

Various locations. Please check this link for the full schedule.

Stone Escondido Late Night Movie Series - Beer and a movie sure sounds good doesn't it? How about having a great craft beer in your hand as you swill and watch movies under the stars of Escondido? On Wednesday nights from June 5 - August 28, 2013, the good folks at Stone Brewing are hosting a free, summer-long outdoor cinema screening series.

The screenings start at either 8:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) and are geared for folks ages 21 and up (unless noted). Why the 21 and up rule? Because Stone would like you to enjoy the film with a pint of beer in your hand. Buying beer and food is the least you can do, right? The movies at Stone Brewing cross many genres and styles ranging from "Anchorman" to "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" to the crowd favorite, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

Important Tips: Bring lawn chairs and blankets since it can get a bit chilly and there aren't enough chairs to go around at Stone. Plan to arrive fairly early to the venue since spaces get filled up quickly. Stone distributes wristbands at the host stand in the afternoon, and then beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the top of the stairs. Stone encourages you to carpool!

Stone Brewing is located at 1999 Citracado Parkway in Escondido.

Need Directions?

San Diego Museum of Art Screen on the Green/Film in the Garden - The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) has changed the name of this popular free outdoor movie series to Film in the Garden. The reason for the change? Due to new construction and permitting processes in Balboa Park, the Museum can no longer secure the traditional space of the East Lawn for Screen on the Green. SDMA will present three films this year in the newly redesigned May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden. The Sculpture Court Café will be open for all Film in the Garden film screenings and will offer a variety of snacks and beverage options, including a full bar. Please note that no outside alcohol will be allowed into the venue.

Monday, July 22nd - Sunset Boulevard (1950)NR, 110 minutes
Monday, July 29th - Rear Window (1954) PG, 115 minutes
Monday, August 5th - Beat Street (1984)PG, 106 minutes

Even with the venue change, this communal outdoor film event is free, and it should still be very popular with the locals. Be sure to arrive early so you can relax while others scurry and scootch for a good spot later. Be sure to either pack a blanket or your low-level beach chairs so that you are not sitting on the lawn all evening. Remember that bugs live in the grass and itching may occur.

Santee Lakes Movies by the Lake - This year 'round recreation area located in and around a man-made lake sponsors a very popular summer movie series on Friday nights. Since the climate is hotter as you head east, summer nights by the lake sound very nice to folks who don't want to chill out too much. The cost? A nominal charge for parking ($8) will get you through the gates. Please note that annual parking passes are not valid for this event.

The organizers suggest that you and your fellow film-goers arrive around 6pm to arrange your picnic area. At 7pm or so, there will be games & contests for the kids & 8pm, the movies begin!

Movies by the Lakes - 2013

June 21 - Despicable Me - PG
July 5 - Madagascar 3 - PG
July 19 - Wreck-it Ralph - PG
August 2 - The Avengers - PG13
August 16 - Rise of the Guardians PG

Need directions? Santee Lakes is located at 9310 Fanita Parkway in Santee.

For more information, please call (619) 596-3141.

Did we miss your favorite outdoor summer movie screening? If so, please send us a comment and we'll update this posting.