BY ALEX PICKERING + BRIAN CHOQUET
It’s a given that Greater Bostonians don’t get to enjoy the warmth of summer for long enough. That means we have to make the most out of our slamming pair of short-shorts or the cityscape before it gets too frigid to relax outside. One way to breathe in these next three months of sweaty joy is to take a break from your Netflix queue and check out some of the free screenings in town. Here’s a quick guide that will help you navigate the options…
Free Pride flick
As part of its Pride Month festivities, the Somerville Media Center is hosting a screening of the recent LGBTQ+ teen blockbuster Love, Simon at dusk on the water at Assembly Row. Show up and support, and if we’re lucky there will be a whole lot more of these to follow in the future.
- June 15 at Sylvester Baxter Riverfront State Park, Somerville
Coolidge at the Greenway
The Coolidge Corner Theatre is teaming with the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy for the most serious summer movie series of all, one that will satisfy both buffs and people who are just looking to lay out a towel and ogle a screen outdoors for a change. Showings will take place at sunset and include American Graffiti (June 18), Bullitt (July 16), and Back to the Future Part II (Aug 13). All films will be screened on 35mm, giving the authentic feel that such outside screenings often lack.
- Various dates at Wharf District Park, Boston
Movies on the Pier
The Residence Inn at Tudor Wharf is also hosting free screenings for the family out in nature on, of course, its beautiful pier. Tucked between the USS Constitution and Paul Revere Park in Charlestown, both of which are tourist traps for sure but nonetheless underused by residents of Greater Boston, the area could not be more picture perfect for such an event. Screenings include the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (July 12), Boss Baby (Aug 2), and Grease (Sept 6). The films begin at dusk, free popcorn will be provided, and you should bring your own chairs and blankets.
- Various dates at Tudor Wharf, Boston
Revere Beach Movie Nights
The totally Blue Line-accessible Revere Beach will host screenings all season with Xfinity, which we assume will help get the sights and sounds just right. In fact it’ll be having a whole lot of ’em, either at the bandstand or by Kelly’s Roast Beef, ranging from Rocky (July 25) and E.T. (Aug 1) to summer staples such as Jaws (July 1).
- Various dates at Revere Beach, Revere
Movies By the Lake
For those looking for a trek beyond the city, Wakefield Community Access TV is presenting family films at Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield. Since it’s against the law to have this kind of kid-friendly series without including Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, it’ll have that on July 11, followed by Despicable Me (July 18), Ralph Breaks the Internet (July 25), and Raiders of the Lost Ark for bigger kiddies on Aug 1. Films begin at nightfall.
- Various dates at Lake Quannapowitt, Wakefield
Mayor Walsh’s Movie Nights
Whether you think Marty Walsh is a king among mayors or a political stooge, you might as well enjoy his movie nights. An unholy collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment; Bank of America; and HOT 96.9, there will be 11 films shown all around the city from the start of August through early September. They will be at different parks at dusk, with some highlights including Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Aug 14) at Ramsay Park in Roxbury and again a week later (Aug 21) at Ronan Park in Dorchester, and Black Panther (Aug 20) at Walker Playground in Mattapan.
- Various dates and locations in Boston, more info at boston.gov
MFA Sunset Cinema
Art lovers should really focus on the Museum of Fine Art’s Sunset Cinema series, which this year is spanning four different genres. For international film buffs, there’s the French comedy, The Trouble with You (July 11). Throwback fanatics will get a chance to see the cinematic masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey (Aug 15) under the cosmos (or at least whichever stars and passing planes are visible that evening). All screenings take place on the Huntington Avenue lawn and will be accompanied by 90 minutes of art-making and outdoor games before opening credits roll.
- Various dates at the MFA, Boston