Yonge Dundas outdoor Screenings

Upcoming Outdoor Film Screenings in Toronto

I've been feeling kind of guilty staying indoors to watch movies during the peak of summer. But as luck would have it, there are dozens of outdoor screenings lined up in Toronto this summer, under the stars and almost every night of the week.

From Jim Henson's Labyrinth to Verdi's Rigoletto, most interests are covered for thrill seekers, opera lovers, 80's kids, Johnny Depp fans, and even the art house set. Best of all, most of the screenings are free.

Here's a rundown of what's on screen in a public space near you:

Drake Drive In

The Drake has enlisted the help of high profile curators, critics, and filmmakers to handpick films for its open air screening series. The lineup is meant to evoke nostalgic memories of summer camping in our youths, and ties in nicely with the hotel's Camp Drake Escape program. Free entry and free popcorn are on offer, at 1150 Queen Street West. Can it get any better than this? Check out the taco + tequila shack menu.

Tuesday, July 28, David Moos presents The Party with Peter Sellers
Tuesday, August 4, Pablo de Ocampo presents Robocop
Tuesday, August 11, Kelsey Matheson presents PeeWee's Big Adventure
Tuesday, August 18, Bruce McDonald presents American Graffiti

Yonge-Dundas Square's City Cinema

"Adrenaline Rush!" is the theme of this year's City Cinema Outdoor Film Screenings at Yonge-Dundas Square. Yep, the set consists of a bunch of action movies, but I also feel like it describes the experience of the venue quite well. Watching films in this expanding hub of billboards and ad screens is intrusive and distracting, but impressive at the same time. Competing with the Drake for the Tuesday night slot, at sunset.

Tuesday, July 28, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (9pm)
Tuesday, August 4, Cast Away (8:30pm)
Tuesday, August 11, Gladiator (8:30pm)
Tuesday, August 18, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (8:30pm)
Tuesday, August 25, The Great Escape (8:05pm)
Tuesday, September 1, Lawrence of Arabia (7:00pm)

Harbourfront Centre's Free Outdoor Flicks

Kudos to the Harbourfront Centre for its Free Flicks 2009 series Retro Reels, a nice little homage to 80's music, hair and romance. Hosted by none other than former Much Music VJ Erica Ehm, the films are on at 9pm, rain or shine, with a lakeside view at 235 Queens Quay West.

Wednesday, July 29, Stop Making Sense
Wednesday, August 5, Say Anything
Wednesday, August 12, Labyrinth

Opera In The Garden '09

Have a highbrow picnic while watching some Verdi in the open air - the Italian Cultural Institute and the Consulate General of Italy are inviting one and all to bring blankets and consumables for Opera In The Garden. Three operatic films will be projected on a large cinema screen this summer in the gardens of the Italian Consulate, 136 Beverley Street. The "gates" open at 7pm, and movies start at sundown (9ish).

Friday, July 31, Rigoletto
Friday, August 14, Aida (with a pre-show cash bar & barbecue)
Friday, August 28, Otello

Pleasure Dome

The film and video exhibition group is taking its programme outside this season at the 401 Richmond Street West Courtyard. Saturdays at 9pm.

Saturday, July 25, RenÊ Laloux's La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet)
Saturday, August 8, Open Screening Under the Stars (bring your latest experimental film or video)

Polson Pier Drive-in

A summer tradition (though not technically outdoors) Polson Pier Drive-in is the only one of its kind located in the center of a major city in North America, according to The Docs website. On this weekend, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Hangover at $13 for adults. Alcohol and outside food are discouraged.

City Cinema photo courtesy of Yonge-Dundas Square.

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