In Washington, D.C., weather doesn’t often dictate what you can do. With museums and monuments and galleries all open the same hours in summer as they are in winter, altering your schedule because of the seasons isn’t a requirement.
But one part of summer life is in its final stages of the year, as sweaters and scarfs come out of the closet.
Across the area, in Maryland, Virginia and the District, outdoor movie theaters are all down to their final shows of the season. While some are wrapping up this weekend, others extend to the actual end of the summer in late September. Either way, if you want to catch a film and gaze at both the stars above and on the screen, you’ll want to make plans now.
In Maryland, there are two excellent locations for residents to unfurl blankets and watch a movie. This weekend marks the 16th annual Comcast Outdoor Movie Festival, which takes place in North Bethesda, at the Mid-Pike Plaza. The Comcast Outdoor Movie Festival takes over the weekend, with movies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Thursday, it’s the classic Washington, D.C. film, All The President’s Men, chronicling the investigative work of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein during the Watergate Scandal. Friday sees the Woody Allen love flick, Midnight in Paris and the festival finishes with another recent film, We Bought a Zoo.
All three movies start at 8:30 p.m., but that’s not when the festivities begin. At 5:30 p.m. each day, live musical acts perform, including rock, jazz and hip-hop artists. The movies, like all on this list, are free to attend, but at this festival, no food and drinks are allowed. That’s because vendors set up shop and proceeds from sales go to the National Institute of Health’s Children’s Charities.
Also in Maryland, in the eastern part of the suburbs, at National Harbor’s Movies on the Potomac series, a giant screen is placed on the edge of Washington’s river, giving guests views of both the water and the flick. National Harbor has two different outdoor movie nights. Fridays are reserved for celebrating Date Night and is in the midst of a Salute to the President series. This Friday, Dave is showing, in which a local man bearing resemblance to the president is asked to fill in. Next week is the Robin Williams election movie Man of the Year.
National Harbor’s Date Night series runs every Friday from now until September 28th. Alongside it, National Harbor screens Family Sundays, where kid-friendly flicks show. There are just two more dates for this, with My Dog Skip playing on Sunday and Homeward Bound, The Incredible Journey a week after.
In Washington, D.C., the most popular festival of the year, Screen on the Green has ended. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still opportunities. The U Street Movie Series has one more outdoor showing. This year the series was dedicated to D.C.-themed movies, and they are closing with one filmed inside the city’s perimeter. The Pelican Brief, based on a John Grisham movie, and starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts, was shot inside several local law firms. But you’ll need to wait a bit to watch it. The next U Street movie isn’t until Wednesday, September 26th. The movies are screened at the intersection of V Street and between 13th and 14th.
On the south side of the Potomac, two different film festival series come to an end this weekend. The Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival, which takes place at Gateway Park near the Key Bridge, has been screening political flicks all season. They close with a political comedy, Canadian Bacon, in which John Candy plays an American sheriff who wages war with Canada. Down the road in Crystal City, the Crystal Screen Gets Romantic series finishes out on Monday night. They’ve shown popular romantic comedies all summer, and close with one of the most famous, When Harry Meet Sally.
So with tickets to movies now costing almost $15, find time to take advantage of these free films in and around Washington, D.C.
Photo courtesy of Crystal City BID
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