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LA Guide To Outdoor Summer Movie Nights

(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

One of Southern California's most cherished summer rituals used to be packing the family into the car for the evening and catching a film at the drive-in. Alas, the once ubiquitous drive-in theater has become a rarity -- but Southland families can still savor the joys of catching a flick under the stars at outdoor family film nights held at parks and shopping centers throughout the region. Here's a sample of what's available in metropolitan Los Angeles and its environs.

Note that "acceptable family fare" is in the eye of the beholder, and that these movie schedules are subject to change.


Outdoor Cinema Food Fest

Various locations throughout the city
Admission $10, Children ages 6-12 $5, Under 5 Free
More Info

This is a kind of movable movie feast held each summer Saturday at venues throughout the city (check the website for dates and locations), and includes live music and food trucks. The good news is that kids under 5 get in free. The bad news is that parents might decide that most of the movies on the schedule are inappropriate for kids (ranging from "Something About Mary" to "Reservoir Dogs" to "The Terminator").

But a few of the programs ARE family friendly, including:

July 9: "Edward Scissorhands" (Los Angeles Port)
August 20: "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (at La Cienega Park)
August 27: "Mamma Mia" (Poinsettia Park)
September 3: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (Northridge Park)


Devil's Night Drive In

240 W. 4th St. (at Broadway)
Second Floor Roof Parking Lot
More Info

$10 Presale, $12 at the gate
Gate and show times vary, check the specific listing

Weekly adult-oriented cinema fare that tries to recreate the drive-in theaters of yore. Fortunately, a few of the films scheduled for the summer are suitable for the kids. Visit their website for the full schedule.

June 25: "E.T."
August 27: "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"


Movies on the Terrace

Westfield Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067
More Info

Wednesdays at Dusk

One of the area's nicer open air shopping centers features an expansive outdoor dining area, which is the site of these weekly Wednesday movie nights.

June 15: "Mamma Mia!" Sing Along
June 22: "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"
June 29: "Big Daddy"
July 6: "Star Trek"
July 13: "Zoolander"
July 20: ""Happy Gilmore"
July 27: "Ferris Beuller's Day Off"
August 3: "Pee Wee's Big Adventure"
August 10: "The Goonies"
August 17: "Footloose"


Sunday Summer Cinema

W Hotel Westwood
930 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 208-8765
More Info

Doors open at 7. Movies start at sunset.

Pretend you're a movie star at one of the city's trendiest posh hotels. Stake out a spot in a poolside cabana while you enjoy the film and food service in the hotel's "Backyard."

June 20th: "Where the Wild Things Are"
June 27th: "Bring It On"
July 11th: "Julie and Julia"
July 18th: "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"
July 25th: "The Proposal"
August 1st: "The Blind Side"
August 8th: "Best in Show"
August 15: "9"
August 22: "I Love You, Man"
August 29: "Up"
September 5: "September Issue"



"Movies Under the Stars"

Holleigh Bernson Park
Corner of Sesnon Avenue and Porter Ranch Drive
Porter Ranch, CA 91326
More Info

The annual festival kicked off on June 11 with "Shrek Forever After" and will continue on the second Sunday of the month. Movies to be announced.


Father's Day Outdoor Movie Night: "Mega Mind"

Granada Hills Recreation Center
16730 Chatsworth St.
Granada Hills, CA 91344
More Info

Saturday, June 18
6:30 PM

This is a one time event and a great low cost way to celebrate Father's Day!


Movies On the Green

Warner Center Park
5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
More Info

Pre-show entertainment starts at 6:30. Movies start at dusk.

July 23: "Back to the Future"
July 30: "How to Train Your Dragon"
August 6: "Toy Story III"
August 13: "The Goonies"
August 20: "Tangled"
August 27: "Pirates of the Caribbean"


Family Movie Nights

Valencia Town Center
24201 West Valencia Blvd.
Valencia, CA 91355
More Info

7:00 PM on the patio

June 14th: Yogi Bear
June 21st: Mega Mind
June 28th: Shrek Ever After



Family Flicks on the Promenade

Santa Anita Westfield
400 S. Baldwin Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007
More Info

Preshow entertainment at 6:30 - Movies begin at dusk

July 13: "Shrek"
July 20: "Yogi Bear"
July 27: "Shark Tale"
August 3: "Tangled"
August 10: "Toy Story"
August 17: "High School Musical"


You can see a free film with your family just about every night of the summer in Long Beach, thanks to its city park film series and beachfront film festivals:

(credit: )

Movies In the Park

More Info

Grab your beach chairs and blankets and head out to one of the local parks:

June 27: "Megamind"- Signal Hill Park
June 29: "Megamind" - Drake Park
July 1: "Megamind " - Bixby Park
July 6: "Cats and Dogs " - DeForest Park
July 8: "Cats and Dogs" - Chavez Park
July 11: "Despicable Me " - Somerset Park
July 13: "Despicable Me - Coolidge Park
July 15: "Despicable Me" - Whaley Park
July 18: "The Karate Kid" - Atlantic Plaza
July 20: "The Karate Kid" - Veterans Park
July 22: "The Karate Kid" - Admiral Kidd Park
July 25: "How to Train Your Dragon" - Wardlow Park
July 27: "How to Train Your Dragon" - Scherer Park
July 29: "How to Train Your Dragon" - Stearns Champions Park
August 1: "Tron Legacy" - Seaside Park
August 3: "Tron Legacy" - MacArthur
August 5: "Tron Legacy" - Heartwell Park
August 8: "Toy Story 3" - Pan American
August 10: "Toy Story 3" - College Estates
August 12: "Toy Story 3" - Houghton Park
August 15: "Yogi Bear" - King Park
August 17: "Yogi Bear" - Ramona Park
August 19: "Yogi Bear" - Signal Hill Park
August 22: "Shrek For Ever After" - Recreation Park
August 24: "Shrek For Ever After" - Cherry Park
August 26: "Shrek For Ever After" - Silverado Park
August 29: "Tangled" - Grace Park
August 31: "Tangled" - El Dorado Park
September 1: "Justin Bieber Never Say Never" - Blair Field


Moonlight Movies at the Beach

Various Locations
More Info

Movies start at dusk (approximately 8:00 PM)

As part of the Long Beach Sea Festival, Midnight Movies at the Beach will be shown at three locations:

Granada Beach (Tuesdays)
July 5: "Despicable Me"
July 12: "Rango"
July 19: "MegaMind"
July 26: "Footloose"
August 2: "How to Train Your Dragon"
August 9: "Toy Story"
August 16: "Little Fockers"
August 23: "Jaws"

Cherry Beach (Wednesdays)
July 6: "Incredible Hulk"
July 13: "E.T."
July 20: "Yogi Bear"
July 27: "Alice in Wonderland"
August 3: "Legends of the Guardian"
August 10: "Toy Story 2"
August 17: "Tremors"
August 24: "Jaws"

Marina Green (Thursdays)
July 7: "Iron Man 2"
July 14: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
July 21: "Tale of Despereaux"
July 28: "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"
August 4: "Back to the Future"
August 11: "Toy Story 3"
August 25: "Jaws"
August 18: "Grease"

Donna Schwartz Mills is a mother of a teen and an avid movie fan. She runs the blog SoCal Mom.

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