Movie theaters are closed. You spend more time deciding what to stream than actually watching. You hate the eggshell color of the walls of your apartment, and they hate you too. It may be time to check out a movie outside. Here are 11 restaurants and bars in NYC with regularly scheduled outdoor film screenings.
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 nights in their backyard a few times a week. This fall they’re showing Black Panther, Get Out, Edward Scissorhands, and a few scary movies for Halloween like Shaun Of The Dead and the presidential debates. There’s no ticket charge for any of the events, 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 Thursday? Are you near the Navy Yard in Brooklyn? Have you only seen Hocus Pocus 39 times and need another hit? You should know about Rooftop Reds’ late night film series. This vineyard shows movies for $15 per person on Thursdays (and sometimes weekends) starting at 10pm. They only sell tickets for groups of 2, 4, and 6, and they recommend you get there a little closer to 9:30pm to get settled. While you wait, there’s a whole menu of wine and snacks to eat before you Hocus Pocus for the 40th time in your life. It’s still so good.
Citizens Of Soho
The Soho location of this Australian cafe is showing classics like Ghostbusters and Space Jam, as well as Friends and The Office TV marathons. It’s all part of a new screening series called The Sunset Movie Club. Here’s how it works: each $40 ticket includes dinner and a drink, and there are table options for groups as large as six people. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to book or go directly through their website here.
Syndicated in Bushwick is showing free screenings on their sidewalk almost every day. (Follow their Instagram account to see the day’s movie.) Tables are first come, first served and you should get there before 7pm if you want to secure a spot.
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 cucumber salads, as well as a pork katsu sandwich and fries.
Juicy Lucy BBQ
If you have a car, consider heading to this central Texas-style BBQ spot on Staten Island. They host outdoor movies every weekend night at 5pm and 8:15pm, including family-friendly films like Shrek and Beetlejuice (note: Beetlejuice is terrifying). Each ticket costs $40 and covers your entire car. Once you’re there, you can order all the ribs, corn bread, and drinks your heart desires. All you need to do is reserve a spot online with the make and model of your car or call 718-979-1888.
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 each. 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).
Williamsburg Cinemas is partnering with The William Vale (and their hotel restaurant, Leuca) to host movies every Thursday night at Vale Park in Williamsburg. Expect films like Get Out (October 1st), Shape Of Water (October 15th), and a costume-encouraged viewing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for Halloween. They have table seating, blanket seating, and lounge seating available, depending on how many people you’re bringing. Each $49 ticket includes a pre-ordered meal and rosemary herb popcorn. Once you’re there, you can order drinks separately. Check out the menu and schedule of films.
Bel Aire Diner
This American diner in Astoria has been around since 1965, and they’re hosting drive-in movies for $32 per group. While you’re there, you can order 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. Also, just because this is a “drive-in” spot doesn’t mean you can’t show up with some blankets and a bike.
The combination of curry crab rangoons, pork buns, rum cocktails, and outdoor movie Mondays at this Bed-Stuy Caribbean spot is exciting enough to revive your Covid diary from March. They show different films every Monday night from 8pm to 10pm.