Even though movie theaters are technically open at a reduced capacity, you may not be buying tickets anytime soon. So it’s possible you’re looking for a date idea where you won’t have to spend the entire time talking about the past 12 months of your life inside. Or you’re just ready to leave your apartment and need some targeted motivation in the form of Raya & The Last Dragon or RuPaul’s Drag Race. Here are 8 spots with regularly scheduled outdoor screenings, and plenty of food to eat while you watch.
The Standard Plaza
The Standard High Line hosts their “Pix On The Plaza” series from Sunday to Thursday every week, starting at 8pm. There’s a different theme every day (Cult Fave Sundays, Oscar Mondays, Musical Tuesdays, Classic Wednesdays, and Ladies’ Night Thursdays), which means they’e showing everything from The Shape Of Water to Ghost and Moulin Rouge. In addition to free popcorn, you can order any of the food on the Standard Grill’s dinner menu. Plus, it’s totally free. Check out the schedule and reserve your spot here.
The name of this Gowanus spot alone should indicate to you that enjoyable things happen outdoors here. Along with serving a menu of cocktails and tacos, they host movie, trivia, and RuPaul’s Drag Race nights in their backyard a few times a week. In the past they’ve screened things like Black Panther, Oscar-nominated animated shorts, Edward Scissorhands, and a few horror flicks for Halloween like Shaun Of The Dead and the presidential debates. There’s no ticket charge for any of the events (although food and drink purchases are required), and you can fill out their contact request form here to make a reservation up to ten days before the event. They don’t accept any day-of reservations, but if you’re looking for something last minute, know that they hold some tables for walk-ins.
Is it a boring weekday? Are you near the L train? Have you only seen Parasite four times and need another hit? Syndicated in Bushwick is showing free screenings on their sidewalk every single day at 8pm. (You can see the monthly schedule here) Seats are first come, first served and you should get there before 7pm if you want to secure a spot. Plus, their outdoor set-up is covered in case it rains.
Another option near the Bushwick and Ridgewood area is Nowadays. This massive outdoor spot has scheduled screenings of music-related films like The Black Mixtape 1967-1975 and a documentary about the UK’s acid house music movement in the 1980s. Tickets are $10 per person, and you can reserve your spot on Resy here. In addition to the outdoor movies, Nowadays has a truck serving Japanese izakaya food like edamame and gyoza, as well as a pork katsu sandwich and fries.
Runaway Roof will be back open starting April 15th
Much like Citi Field or the Metropolitan Opera House, this outdoor bar in Bushwick has multiple levels of seating. You can reserve a $30 square on the upper deck or lower deck that comes with four chairs. If you want a slightly more deluxe set-up while you watching things like Seven, and The Princess Bride, Runaway Roof offers a VIP corner option with three tables and your choice of eight jello shots or a bottle of champagne. Also, in case you forget your own blanket, you can rent a clean one for $6. You can check out their schedule and reserve a spot here.
Public Records launched a streaming series called Public Records TV where they show DJ sets, art films, contemporary dance, and more. You can watch PRTV from anywhere in the world, but they often host watch parties in their garden in Gowanus where cocktails and full dinner are available. Make sure to reserve ahead of time on Resy here (the nights with screenings are labeled with a little yellow ticket icon).
If you have a car, consider heading to this Greenpoint spot right on the East River. They host a couple of different outdoor movies every day (with screenings at 8:45pm and 11:45pm) including family-friendly films like Ratatouille and Magic Mike (OK not family-friendly). Each ticket costs $55 and covers your entire car up to seven people, but you can also show up without a car and pay $22 for an individual seat. Reserve yours ahead of time here.
Bel Aire Diner
In the summertime, this American diner in Astoria that’s been around since 1965 hosts outdoor movies fairly regularly. But until then, you can check out their live drag shows and stand-up comedy nights, all while eating something from the very long menu of comfort food and diner classics throughout the show. Stay on top of what’s showing and ticket sale times on their Instagram and events page.