Triangle Summer Movies Under the Stars

Watch these free or discounted films under the summer night sky
Carolina Outdoormovie
Photo courtesy of North Carolina Museum of Art

There is just something special about watching a movie outside. The warm breeze blowing, sounds of summer in the background, and stars shining overhead — come enjoy cinematic magic in an outdoor setting with your family and friends. From Cary to Carrboro, your family can enjoy free or discounted cinematic magic in an outdoor setting with your family and friends. For kid-friendly summer movies during the day, see Triangle Summer Movie Deals for Families.

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Apex Music & Movies in the Park Series
2600 Evans Road
Free outdoor concert and movie series at Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre. All movies begin at dusk. Bring your own chair or blanket and picnic dinner, but leave pets and alcohol at home. See website for dates and call for movie titles. 


Movie Night in the Grove
400 E. Main St. 
The Town of Benson offers a free movie night on the first and third Friday of every month. Beginning in May, movies are held outdoors at the Downtown Singing Grove, weather permitting, and begin at sunset. 


Movies by Moonlight
8003 Regency Pwky
Outdoor movies at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre are shown primarily on Fridays, June 14-Aug. 30. Free for children 12 and younger and $5 for general admission. A portion of the profits benefit WakeMed Children's Hospital. Bring picnics as well as blankets or chairs. Movies start at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.) and the gates open at 7 p.m. Enjoy lawn games before the movie and concession items. 2019 titles include: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (PG), Spider Man into the Spider-Verse (PG), Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (PG), Game Night (R), Incredibles 2 (PG), Jurassic World (PG-13), Black Panther (PG-13), A Star is Born (R).

Bond Park Lakeside Movies
801 High House Road, Bond Park Boathouse
Enjoy a movie by the lake with your family. The boathouse will be open for you to take a boat out on the lake while you wait for the sun to set. Bring a picnic, some lawn chairs, and a blanket and enjoy a fun family movie with beautiful Bond Lake in the background. April 18: Jumanji (1995), May 17: Wreck-It Ralph, Sept. 20: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Oct. 18: The Incredibles


Movies Under the Stars
150 E. Rosemary St.
Outdoor movies are shown on top of the Wallace Parking Deck on select Thursdays. Free admission and free popcorn. Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. Movies start at 8:30 p.m., or sundown. 2019 titles TBA.

Movies by Moonlight
​The Green, 15-501 South
​Movies start at dusk and are $5 per person (children under five are free). Screenings are on the Southern Village Green across from the Lumina Theater primarily on Saturdays, May 18–August 17. No glass bottles or pets allowed on the Green. 2019 titles include: Spider Man: Into the Spider-verse (PG), The LEGO Movie 2, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PG), The Wizard of Oz (PG), Captain Marvel (PG-13), Dumbo (PG), Shazam! (PG-13), Missing Link (PG), Bohemian Rhapsody (PG-13), Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (PG), Forrest Gump (PG-13). 


Family Movie Night
2000 S. Alston Ave.
Bring your entire family to movie night at Campus Hills. On the fourth Friday of each month, enjoy popcorn, drinks, and a movie that the entire family will enjoy. Doors open at 5:30, Showtime is at 6 p.m. Cost for adults and non-residents. 

Rock the Park Concert & Movie Series
501 Foster Street, Durham Central Park
Durham Parks and Recreation offers a summer concert and movie series on Saturdays during June 8-Aug. 17. Both series are free and open to the public. Food vendors will be on site and food will be available for purchase. 2019 movie titles include: June 22 Family Night (check back soon), July 20 Kid's Night – Ferdinand, Aug. 17 Throwback Night – Bull Durham (help celebrate Durham's 150th Birthday).


Friday Family Flick and Camping
921 Buffaloe Road, Lake Benson Park
Free movies screened on select Fridays May 24 through July 26 at 8:30 p.m. There is also an overnight camping option ($12/family for town residents; $16/family for nonresidents). Registration for camping is required; no registration necessary for the movie. 2019 titles include: Incredibles 2, Smallfoot, Mary Poppins Returns.

Movie Night on the Back Lawn
125 Avery St., back Lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center
Spend Thursday evenings at 8 p.m. under the stars from May 23 through June 27 with family, food, and fun. Bring lawn chairs and blankets, grab a beer from the local craft brewery on site, enjoy food, Kona Ice of Garner, or popcorn from our vendors or even bring your own picnic. No pets. Parents, use discretion when deciding to bring children under the age of 13. 2019 titles: The Wizard of Oz, First Man, Jaws, Fantastic Beasts 2, Jurassic Park, Captain Marvel (tentative).


Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre
​3336 Raleigh Road
Tickets cost $8 for ages 12 and older, $5 for ages 3-11. Children under age 3 are free. One of only six drive in theaters left in operation in North Carolina. Open Fridays through Sundays. Check website for movie showings. 


First Friday Films
810 North First Avenue, Knightdale Station Park Amphitheater
The evening features a family friendly film, and local sweet and savory food trucks the first Friday in May,  June and August. Activities start at 7:30 p.m.; movie starts at 8 p.m. Bring your blankets and chairs. 2019 titles include Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.


Morrisville Movies
1520 Morrisville Parkway 
Free movies will be shown at Field #1 at Morrisville Community Park. Go early to get a good spot and enjoy dinner from local food trucks. Movies are family-friendly and begin at dark. Enjoy bounce houses and music at 5:30 p.m. before the movie begins. Movies begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. Check website for dates. 


North Carolina Museum of Art Summer Films
2110 Blue Ridge Road
Enjoy an outdoor movie series on the lawn Fridays and Saturdays from June 1-Sept. 21. Picnics are welcome. Parents please note: many screenings are family-friendly, but there are a few R-rated titles each season. Prices vary for music parties, which include special activities and are not included in members’ free movie benefits. 2019 titles include: Isle of Dogs, Battle of the Rom-Coms Winner, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, First Man (50th anniversary of the moon landing), Alien (40th anniversary), Captain Marvel, Free Solo, The Big Lebowski, The Hate U Give, Roma.

Movies in the Garden
301 Pogue St., Stephenson Amphitheatre next to the Raleigh Rose Garden
Enjoy five free outdoor movies on Thursdays July 11– Aug. 8. Movies in the Garden is a family-friendly event, showing movies that are rated G, PG and PG-13. Concessions (including cold adult beverages provided by Raleigh Brewing) will be available for purchase. Food trucks will be at each show. Please, no outside alcohol, as this is a city park, but feel free to bring cushions/blankets/chairs. Gates open and pre-show activity begins at 7:00 p.m. and movies starts at 8:30 p.m. 2019 titles include: Mary Poppins Returns, Bohemian Rhapsody, Beetlejuice, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Mama Mia! Here We Go Again. 


This article was originally written in 2014 and updated May 16, 2019 by Lauren Bell Isaacs.


Categories: Food + Fun, Free Deals, Outdoors, Seasonal Fun, Stuff We Love, Things To Do