After sweeping the city’s parks in recent summers, it seemed like outdoor movie screenings were the latest hipster fad in Toronto. Luckily, they have become a mainstay of our urban culture and one of summer’s transient pleasures worth relishing. There’s something about gathering in the open air with the night sky hanging overhead and the noises of the city buzzing in the background that makes the whole viewing experience more of a special occasion. Traditional movie theatres are a little bit sterile in comparison. Plus, you can get cozy under a blanket and enjoy your own homemade snacks without an exorbitant concession markup. Here’s where you can watch everything from classic flicks to new blockbusters in the open air this summer…
For the traditional outdoor movie experience, Toronto’s only drive-in movie theatre is located near the Toronto beaches at Polson Pier. Have a blast racing go-karts, playing beach volleyball, or hitting a few balls throughout the day and cuddle up for a double feature after the sun goes down.
On Wednesdays at 9pm from July 3rd to August 28th, enjoy Free Flicks at Harbourfront Centre at the WestJet Stage. This year’s theme is Invented Worlds and it promises a fantastical viewing experience.
City Films will feature a cult classic every Tuesday evening at 8pm in Yonge and Dundas Square.
The Christie Pitts Film Festival brings together Torontonians to watch great films in the natural amphitheater of Christie Pitts Park. Keep an eye on their website for this year’s schedule.
Experience A Summer of Romance with a series of classic love stories and a few contemporary favourites at TIFF in the Park at David Pecault Square. Screenings are on Wednesdays at 9:15pm from July 3rd through August 28th.
East Enders can enjoy Movies in the Park at Riverdale Park East, featuring four screenings throughout July and August. All donations benefit kids’ organizations.
The Junction Outdoor Movies debuts on June 22nd at the Junction Summer Solstice Festival. You can look forward to a featured flick every second Friday in July and August beginning around 9:30pm at the Junction Train Platform (Dundas Street West and Pacific Ave).
At the Sail-in Cinema, movies are shown on a two-sided screen set atop a barge. Boat owners can drop anchor in Toronto Harbour and enjoy the three outdoor screenings on their deck. If you find yourself landlocked, head down to Sugar Beach to watch from the sand.
The Dog Bowl Movie Nights take place at Trinity Bellwoods Park during the warmer months of the year. The next screening will be Jurassic Park and will take place this Thursday, May 30th at 8:30pm.
Last year, several city councillors including Peter Milczyn, Joe Mihevc and Mary Margaret McMahon organized community screenings in their wards. Subscribe to your councillor’s newsletter for details of such events.