outdoor movies toronto

Free outdoor movies in Toronto for summer 2015

Free outdoor movies have become a summer tradition in Toronto. There are many screenings to choose from, including everything from art films to family-friendly comedies. Pack a few snacks, a blanket or lawn chairs, and chill out as the sun sets with movies old and new.

Here's my guide to free outdoor movies held in the Toronto this summer.

City Cinema at Yonge-Dundas Square
Location: Yonge-Dundas Square

City Cinema at Yonge-Dundas square is going with the theme "But Can They Act," a nod to musician turned actors (I'm looking at you Justin Timberlake). The great thing about this event is the combination of music and film. Before a music-related movie is screened, you'll get a chance to watch a filmed performance from Massey Hall celebrating Canadian talent.

City Cinema plays oldies but goodies every Tuesday starting Tuesday June 16 at sunset and goes until Sept. 1.

  • June 16: 8 Mile
  • June 23: The Hunger
  • June 30: A Star is Born
  • July 7: Be Kind Rewind
  • July 28: Dreamgirls
  • Aug 4: Viva Las Vegas
  • Aug 11: Dick Tracey
  • Aug 18: The Wiz
  • Aug 25: Inside Llewyn Davis

Sail-In Cinema
Location: Sugar Beach - 25 Dockside Drive

The most unique movie experience, and according to the organizers, Toronto's largest outdoor theatre will host a themed movie event the weekend of Aug. 20-22. For one weekend, Sugar Beach transforms into an outdoor theatre. This year the theme is "Flashback to the 80s" where you'll get to vote starting on June 18th which movie you'd like to take a trip down memory lane.

Christie Pits Film Festival
Location: Christie Pits Park

Every Sunday night from July 5 until 16, Christie Pits will transform into a movie theatre showing movies with the theme "great villains." Kicking off the outdoor movie season is the 1992 classic Nosferatu. Following the film, there will be a live score performance by musicians, Del Bel. On hand will be food vendors like Caplansky's and donuts by Sugar Mama's, and BeGood gelato.

  • July 5: Nosferatu
  • July 12: O Brother, Where Art Thou
  • July 19: The Birds
  • July 26: Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster
  • August 2: Mean Girls
  • August 9: What Happened to Baby Jane?
  • August 16: There Will Be Blood

Harbourfront Free Flicks
Location: Lower Simcoe St & Queens Quay, Harbourfront Centre

Watch movies by the water with this theme's celebration of "family ties." Running every Wednesday from July 8 until September 8 at the WestJet Stage, the festival kicks off with a Coen Brothers classic, Raising Arizona and ends with an audience choice.

  • July 8: Raising Arizona
  • July 15: Win Win
  • July 27: Young Frankenstein
  • July 29: Stories We Tell
  • August 5: Boy
  • August 12: The Descendants
  • August 19: The Darjeeling Limited
  • August 26: True Grit

Movies in the Park - Riverdale Park East
Location: 550 Broadview Ave.

Riverdale Park East Movies in the Park is hosting four free screenings, this year to raise awareness & money for two local charities through an indigogo campaign with the aim of raising $20,000 this summer.

The screenings start Sunday July 11 until Sunday Aug. 22 with movies yet to be announced.

TIFF in the Park
Location: David Pecault Square

A festival that attracts many moviegoers, TIFF in the Park is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and going big with movie offerings. This year they're showing 40 free movies throughout the year, starting with TIFF in the Park every Wednesday night at sundown on beginning July 8 until the Labour Day long weekend.

  • July 8: Strictly Ballroom
  • July 15: Whale Rider
  • July 22: Annie Hall
  • July 29: Watermark
  • August 5: The King's Speech
  • August 12: Dial M for Murder
  • August 19: The Artist
  • August 26: The Triplets of Belleville
  • September 2 : Pride and Prejudice

TIFF in Your Park

Along with the widely popular TIFF in the Park, TIFF is expanding its movie offerings this year. Starting July 3 to Sept. 4 TIFF is hosting a film series in different parks in the city like Flemingdon Park, Lotherton Pathway, Earl Bales Park and Moss Park and four special pop-up movie nights at Union Station, Celebration Square Mississauga, Garden Square Brampton and Fort York.

  • July 3: Hotel Transylvania - Flemingdon Park
  • July 11: Fly Away Home - Lotherton Pathway
  • July 18: Khumba - Scarborough Village Park
  • July 24: Breakup Buddies - Chester Le Park
  • July 30: Songs of the Sea - Earl Bales Park
  • July 31: The Good Lie - Moss park Apartments

Movie Pop-Ups

  • July 23: Hugo - Union Station
  • August 24: Manufactured Landscapes - Celebration Square Mississauga
  • September 1: Pleasantville - Garden Square, Brampton
  • September 25: The Sapphires - Fort York

Under the Stars Screening Series
Location: Regent Park 620 Dundas Street E.

Every Wednesday from July 15 until August 19, Regent's Park wants to create an atmosphere of community by bringing film, yoga and DJs from the community

  • July 15th : Dear White People
  • July 22nd: Bend It Like Beckham
  • July 29th: Boyz N The Hood
  • August 5th: Big Hero 6
  • August 12th: Bollywood Movie Night
  • August 19; Do The Right Thing

Cultura Festival
Location: Toronto Centre for the Arts

Cultura movie festival takes place only in July with four movie screenings every Friday. This year, the film festival will host an art exhibit on Canadian Athletes in perfect timing for the Pan Am Games. The films for this year are still to be announced but musical performances include Divine Brown and Alex Cuba.

Movies in St. James Park
Location: St. James Park

Every last Thursday of the month from June until August at 9 p.m., St James becomes a family-friendly outdoor movie theatre.

  • June 25: The Birdcage
  • July 30: Big Hero 6
  • August 20: The Grand Budapest Hotel


Open Roof Festival
Location: 99 Sudbury

Though not free, the Open Roof Festival is still a great deal. Tickets are $15 for a night of movies, food, drinks and indie bands that play prior to the movie. Held in the parking lot at 99 Sudbury, in the midst of Queen and King Streets, Open Roof is celebrating its sixth year of what its dubbed #MoviesMusicBeer. The season kicks off Wednesday June 17 and runs until August 19.

  • June 17: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
  • June 24th: The Overnight
  • July 1: Ex Machina
  • July 8: It Follows
  • July 15: The Sandwich Nazi
  • July 22: Pretend We're Kissing
  • July 29: Guidance
  • August 5: While We're Young
  • August 12: Unexpected
  • August 19: Diamond Tongues

CORRECTION: The Junction Movie Nights event has been removed because it has not been scheduled for this year. (17/06/2015)

Photo by Tony Wei-Han Chen in the blogTO FLickr pool

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