The Most Epic Places to Catch an Outdoor Movie This Summer

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The Most Epic Places to Catch an Outdoor Movie This Summer
Romantic movies grow dreamier when viewed in a European plaza. Horror films up their fear factor when watched atop a murky lake. Want to catch a flick but still enjoy the beautiful summer weather? Prepare to kick back, relax, and spend your nights beneath the stars with these 11 outdoor movie experiences.
Courtesy of Il Cinema Ritrovato
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    Bologna, Italy
    In Bologna, Italy, film buffs flock to Piazza Maggiore each summer for Il Cinema Ritrovato, a festival screening everything from documentaries to black-and-white classics. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Italiano—the schedule includes films from around the world, including the States, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and naturally, Europe. While the event spans five different viewing venues, the most appealing is easily its sole outdoor option. Take a peek at the program to plan your visit accordingly, and be speedy—the festival only runs through the 4th of July.
    Courtesy of Il Cinema Ritrovato
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    New York City, NY
    Manhattan’s spectacular skyline is an attraction all its own—but one company makes it the backdrop for great movies. Rooftop Films travels the city in celebration of its scenery, spanning the best of New York’s open-air locations, both under the radar and famous. If heights make you woozy, we have good news—the company offers indoor viewings as well, in addition to street-level options. Its calendar runs all summer, so be sure to schedule an outdoor film into your Big Apple getaway (which, by the way, is bound to be toasty. A cool evening on your itinerary will come as a welcome relief).
    Photo by Lindsay Coven
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    Ibiza, Spain
    If you’re a person who believes that life is best lived at the beach, then we recommend booking a trip to Ibiza. The city may be infamous for its wild nights (and days), but yours don’t have to be. Instead, why not relax atop a full-length beanbag in front of the world’s finest films, with blankets to boot? Get cozy beneath the palms at Amante: popcorn in hand and sand between your toes. Six screenings are scheduled from now through September. Grab tickets while they last!
    Courtesy of Amante
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    Austin, TX
    Floating on the gentles waves of a lake may sound relaxing, but it may be hard to fully relax at this outdoor cinema experience, considering the only movies on display are part of the Jaws series. Grab a JAWS on the Water ticket and pack your swimsuit for Lake Travis, Texas (about an hour outside of Austin), with 12 screenings from June 30th to July 7th. The price of your ticket includes a personal floatie, but parent company Birth. Movies. Death. recommends packing your own shark repellent spray. Attend at your own risk.
    Photo by Heather Leah Kennedy
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    London, England
    The water theme continues atop the River Thames. Rather than floating in fear of sharks below your bum, however, the Brits keep it classy with a nautical cinema experience. Sail into the sunset on a boat with food and drink in hand, watching the likes of Love Actually, Casablanca, When Harry Met Sally, and more (Jaws is on the schedule as well, if you’re looking for a less-eerie scenario than the aforementioned). This is the first year that London’s outdoor theater scene includes Movies on the River, so take part if you can. Available five nights a week through July 15th.
    Photo by Time Out / David Tett
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    Denver, CO
    Head back to the United States if interested in a movie night with natural beauty. Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater is world-renowned for its scenic concerts, but come summertime, its schedule includes Film on the Rocks as well. You’ll have several opportunities to catch an open-air movie here this summer, as five are scheduled from now through September.
    Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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    Barcelona, Spain
    You’ll feel like royalty at Barcelona’s best outdoor cinema, where films are screened in a crevice of Montjuïc Castle. Live music and special performances precede each film, making your evening on the castle lawn a lengthy and leisurely affair. Pack a blanket and picnic of tapas (plus wine), or enjoy the tasty restaurant service available on-site. Lounge chairs are available to rent as well. Sala Montjuïc’s program runs until August 4th—salud!
    Courtesy of Sala Montjuïc
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    Santorini, Greece
    Yet another dazzling cinema location on our list? This fairytale-like enclave in Santorini, Greece. Cine Kamari embodies the magic of this idyllic island—so much so that it’s often ranked among the best outdoor theaters in the world. Enjoy a full bar in addition to light refreshments while watching films in English with Greek subtitles. The cozy space also hosts other cultural events throughout the summer, including theatrical performances and concerts. Movies will be screened through August.
    Courtesy of Cine Kamari
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    Los Angeles, CA
    Would this list be complete without a movie night in La La Land? Pack your bags for Los Angeles and prepare for the creeps. The city is famous for Cinespia, which runs through the end of July, entailing a summer film series hosted at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The freakiness factor is tamed (somewhat) with a light-hearted movie schedule and setup on the lawn—away from the graves of hundreds of Hollywood’s late stars.
    Courtesy of Cinespia
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    Gold Coast, Australia
    The world’s hottest outdoor cinema tours between destinations, and next, it’s taking over the Gold Coast. Hot Tub Cinema entails watching movies from inside inflatable Jacuzzis. Yes, Jacuzzis. But this objectively awesome experience (with eight upcoming Australian events) isn’t just about films. The company encourages guests to “dress up, sing, dance, drink, and play,” with the help of “delightful tub waiters” ready to enhance the fun. See you later, folks—we’re heading Down Under, pronto.
    Courtesy of Hot Tub Cinema
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    Locarno, Switzerland
    For the grand finale: Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival. The largest outdoor cinema event in Europe is an elegant affair, hosting thousands of guests in Locarno’s Piazza Grande each year. The climate-neutral event displays a smattering of films, and ensuing awards, from August 2nd to 12th. It’s famed as one of the world’s most esteemed cinematic events; don’t miss out!
    Photo by Jan/Flickr
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