Wash, DC: Movies Al Fresco (& Food Trucks)

By Jon Penndorf | TheHillIsHoome.com

Temperatures are heating up, pools are open, and the school year will soon be over.  To many that means summer is just around the corner, but these days it also means you have more evening entertainment options thanks to a number of outdoor movie venues.  What better way to enjoy a summer night than taking in a movie on the big screen (for free)?

The Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District kicked off the “Front Row” movie series last Thursday evening and continues it each Thursday through July 28.  Themed “Best of the Oscars,” this year’s picks include “Raiders of the Lost Ark” this Thursday June 2 and a number of other classic and modern flicks.  Screenings begin at 8:45 p.m. at Tingey Plaza, just behind the U.S. Department of Transportation building.  Organizers promise the presence of food trucks as well as popcorn and sorbet for sale at each showtime, so bring your blankets and your appetites.

The NoMa Business Improvement District is also offering movies each Wednesday from May 18 through August 3.  This year’s selections pay tribute to trains – appropriate as the location of the screenings overlooks the rail yards for Union Station.  The big screen gets set up on L Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets NE.  Live music begins and food trucks arrive at 7:00 p.m. and movies start at 9:00.  Special theme nights and giveaways are planned throughout the summer, including the Yappie Night July 6 — take in “Ghostbusters 2″ and bring your dog for a chance to go home with a new leash and other swag from Metro Mutts.

Both series include films at PG through R ratings, so check the schedules for the more family-friendly offerings.  All screenings are free and open to the public, but weather issues may cancel or reschedule some so check the websites or follow the BIDs on Twitter for updates.

The grandfather of all the neighborhood outdoor movies, Screen on the Green, presents four movies this summer on the National Mall on Mondays from July 25 through August 15.  Focusing on classics, these screenings always draw crowds of thousands for a cherished DC tradition.  This year’s location moves the giant screen a few blocks west, but there will still be plenty of space for your blankets and picnic baskets.  Showtime is at dusk, usually between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m.  This series offers no rain dates.

Grab your blanket, bring (or buy) your popcorn, and enjoy time with your neighbors and friends at a movie under the stars this summer!