Where to watch outdoor movies in Toronto in summer 2019

Sail-In Cinema may have called it quits, but there are plenty of other spots to spend an evening with a blanket, some popcorn and a free movie


Toronto Outdoor Picture Show: Christie Pits

The theme for this year’s program is Dynamic Duos, spotlighting great on-screen pairings throughout the decades and supporting each feature presentation with a short film. The series kicks off with Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise (June 15) and Rob Reiner’s Misery (June 16) at Fort York, then moves to Sundays at Christie Pits for a mix of contemporary and classic films, including a Pride Month presentation of the recent TIFF hit Rafiki (June 30), Howard Hawks’s classic comedy His Girl Friday (July 7), Bruce McDonald’s Weirdos (July 14), Ang Lee’s Sense And Sensibility (August 4), Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca (August 24) and a screening of The Talented Mr. Ripley to wrap it all up August 25.

June 15 and 16 at Fort York, and Sundays from June 30 to August 25 at Christie Pits. Free/PWYC. christiepitsff.com

TOPS: Corktown Common Park

The fine folks at Toronto Outdoor Picture Show are once again supplementing their Sunday screenings at Christie Pits with Thursday night screenings elsewhere in town – all offering different movies, but all operating on the theme of Dynamic Duos. In July, Corktown Common Park gets Steven Spielberg’s classic E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (July 4), continuing with Taika Waititi’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople (July 11) and Peter Bogdanovich’s charming Paper Moon (July 18) and wrapping up with Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (July 25), each accompanied by a short film.

July 4-25 (rain date August 1). Free/PWYC. topictureshow.com

TOPS: Bell Manor Park

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s Dynamic Duos Thursday thing moves to Bell Manor Park in August, screening Brad Bird’s Ratatouille (August 8), Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail (August 15) and Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (August 22), each with a short film. All screenings are BYOBlanket, which is a neat term people should use more at these things.

August 8-22 (rain date August 29). Free/PWYC. topictureshow.com

Sorauren Park

Residents of Roncy and the Junction can enjoy monthly movie nights with beloved classics: Back To The Future (June 22), Casablanca (July 27) and a “Crazy For Swayze” double-bill of Dirty Dancing and Ghost (August 24). A fall screening of The Iron Giant (September 28) will also serve as a fundraiser for Charles G. Williams Park, so that’s nice.

June 22, July 27, August 24, September 28. Free. soraurenpark.wordpress.com

Yonge-Dundas City Cinema

This year, Yonge-Dundas Square’s summer screening series partners with The Second City to screen movies featuring legendary cast members from the Toronto and Chicago companies – and each film will be preceded by a live improv set from current Toronto players.

Enjoy Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and SCTV’s Rick Moranis in the original Ghostbusters (June 25) Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date Night (July 2) John Candy in Planes, Trains And Automobiles (July 9) Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch and Fred Willard in A Mighty Wind (July 16) the voice of Ed Asner in Up (July 23) Fey and Amy Poehler in Sisters (July 30) Candy again in Cool Runnings (August 6) Fey, Poehler and Tim Meadows in Mean Girls (August 13) Mike Myers in the original Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (August 20) and O’Hara, Levy and Lynch again in Best In Show (August 27). Live sets at 8 pm, movies at 8:30 pm. Come early, offer suggestions.

June 25-August 27. Free. ydsquare.ca

Movies In Old Town

The St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood BIA is offering summer screenings on two Thursdays, in two different locations. On June 27, St. James Cathedral hosts a yet-to-be-named Buster Keaton silent film, with live piano accompaniment by jazz pianist Fern Lindzon on July 25, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse will screen in Parliament Square Park. That one has its own music.

June 27, July 25. Free. oldtowntoronto.ca

Liberty Village Movies In The Park

The Liberty Village Residents’ Association is holding free monthly movie screenings all summer in Liberty Village Park, so bring a blanket, grab a drink at one of the dozen nearby coffee shops and settle down with Captain Marvel on June 21, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on July 19 and Mary Poppins Returns on August 23.

June 21, July 19, August 23. Free. lvra.ca

Under The Stars: Regent Park

Wednesday nights at Regent Park offer an impressively diverse slate, in terms of both representation and genre: the series opens with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (July 10) and closes with Black Panther (August 14), offering Mina Shum’s generational dramedy Meditation Park (July 17), Alanis Obomsawin’s moving documentary Our People Will Be Healed (July 24), Ang Lee’s lush Life Of Pi (July 31) and Makoto Shinkai’s animated drama Your Name (August 7) in between. And this year the Taste Of Regent Park community market will be just across the green like a great big snack bar.

July 10-August 14. Free. regentparkfilmfestival.com

Open Roof Film Festival

The 10th anniversary season of the outdoor movies-and-music festival – once again setting itself up at 181 Sterling in the Junction, across from MOCA – kicks off with Jordan Peele’s Us on June 19, preceded by a live performance from Yuka. Other pairings this summer include Joyia and Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum (June 26), Sam Polley & The Old Tomorrows and Jasmin Mozzafari’s Firecrackers (July 3), Father Christmas and Fredrik Gertten’s acclaimed housing documentary Push (July 24) and Ghost Cavern opening for the Seth Rogen/Charlize Theron political romcom Long Shot (July 31). Food trucks and beer vendors will be steps away.

June 19-August 21. $15. openrooffestival.com

@normwilner

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