Summer Guide: Outdoor Movies
Keep it reel
The midcentury-style motel transforms into a “dive-in theatre” every Wednesday, with films projected on a screen overlooking the oyster-shaped pool. Hotel guests and walk-ins are allowed to swim, but reservations are recommended.
Ongoing, free, thepearlsd.com
Alexander’s on 30th
Pair a romantic al fresco meal with a movie on the charming patio at this North Park spot. Don’t forget your conversation starters; the movies play without sound.
Mondays, dine-in guests only, alexanderson30th.com
Movie Under the Stars
Hotel La Jolla’s Hiatus Lounge brings flicks like The Great Gatsby and Top Gun to its poolside venue every Wednesday this summer. Expect drink specials, gratis blankets, and toasty fire pits.
May 21–August 27, free, cusprestaurant.com
Cinema Under the Stars
This weatherproof outdoor theater, which plays new and classic flicks Thursdays through Sundays in the summer, feels more like a cozy backyard movie night with heat lamps. Reserve zero-gravity seats in advance and embrace the evening chill with provided blankets and pillows.
Ongoing, $14 (members), $15 (non-members), topspresents.com
South Bay Drive-In
Nostalgia rules at this Chula Vista institution, which runs double features daily.
Ongoing, $8 (adults), $1 (kids ages 5–9), southbaydrivein.com
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
The verdant space at Stone’s Liberty Station location includes a courtyard where movies screen every Tuesday.
May 27–August 26, free, stonelibertystation.com
Flicks at the Fountain
From Willy Wonka to E.T. and Frozen—it doesn’t get more family-friendly than Carlsbad’s lineup of movies on Thursdays at the picturesque fountain by the corner of State Street and Grand Avenue.
July 10–August 28, free, carlsbad-village.com
Films in the Garden
Roman Holiday is one of four films scheduled during the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor film series. Forgot to pack a picnic? Grab a bite from the new (and as of yet unnamed) Balboa Park eatery from the team behind Blind Lady Ale House.
July 14–August 25, free, sdmart.org