You know what’s weird about summer in Columbus? While we’re all too excited to spend as much time outside as possible, we still sometimes wanna kick back and take in a flick. Who says you have to choose? These are our top 10 picks from the city’s myriad summer movies series to keep the summer silver…
6.8 Mildred Pierce @ Greenlawn Abbey
What’s cooler than watching a movie under the stars next to a neoclassical mausoleum that resembles the Greek Parthenon? How about watching a dark, classic film noir that came out when some of the Abbey’s tenants were in high school? Bring a picnic or eat some grub from Skyward Grille, and your $5 entry goes toward the restoration of one of Columbus’s hidden treasures. For more, visit greenlawnabbey.org.
6.15 Gimme Shelter @ Wex Drive-In
The old folks like to say that rock and roll ain’t what it used to be, and in some cases, that’s not a bad thing. Infamously, a crowd member of the Rolling Stones’ 1969 Altamont Free Concert met his end at the hand of a rogue Hell’s Angel, the lead-up and aftermath captured in the Maysles Brothers’ incredible documentary. The 35mm print rolls at dusk, but you’d be wise to show up at 8 to hear local band Dana tear it up. For the opening of Wex Drive-In’s summer season, you’ll also be able to grab bites from Mikey’s Late Night, Hai Poke, and Jeni’s, as well as beer from Seventh Son Brewing. “Satisfaction”: guaranteed. For more, visit wexarts.org.
6.17 Jurassic Park @ Topiary Park
For those that often cry “the book was better!” behold, the best counter-argument in the form of Steven Spielberg’s revolutionary modern classic. Thanks Columbus Library! We know you know what’s up. Sure, you’ll probably have to look over your shoulder a few times to make sure that shadow is a bush and not a Brontosaurus. For more, visit topiarypark.org.
7.11 Back to the Future @ Gateway Picture Show
Look, we know that Ohio State’s campus area looked a helluva lot different in 1955 and 1985, so why not sit amongst the futuristic-feeling Gateway and take in a classic. You can bring your own chairs/blankets, or just soak up beer specials on the World of Beer patio. Free hoverboard parking, too. For more, visit heygateway.com.
7.13 Ghostbusters @ Zoombezi Bay
You ever want to just go float down a fake river and drink a very real beer or 5? That’s what Zoombezi Bay can offer in the summertime, and if you’ve paced yourself properly, it’ll be good to hang around to watch Venkman and Co. vanquish those pesky paranormal pests. It’s a “dive-in” movie!
7.13 Coco @ Columbus Commons
On the former site of Columbus Commons, the ill-fated City Center Mall, taking your kids might have meant having to take out a second mortgage. Now, the open public space is host to all sorts of family-friendly events, including their summer movie series. Here’s your chance to see one of Pixar’s best films in years—with a lot more room for you and your brood to spread out. For more, visit columbuscommons.org.
7.24 Elf @ Movies by Moonlight at Easton
Those retail folks just keep moving Christmas up in the calendar, don’t they? Perhaps we could get stores to let us pick up some out-of-season wrapping paper or decorations on the cheap…if so, then we could kill two birds with one stone, getting a jump on your Xmas list and getting a front row seat for the Will Ferrell holiday romp. Ya ever heard 500 kids scream SANTA in 90-degree weather? We can’t wait… For more, visit eastontowncenter.com.
7.28-29 The Big Sleep @ Ohio Theater
If you’ve never set foot inside any of CAPA’s beautifully-maintained historic theatres, you should rectify that and enjoy a stunning visual of the theater itself. Even better? Earning culture points and throwback trivia fodder by adding a classic detective noir to your watched list. Yaaaa, see? It’s a talkie, right? For more about the longest running classic film series in America, visit capa.com.
8.3 Rogue One – A Star Wars Story @ Highbanks Metro Park
These series are about more than just the big screen—it’s about enjoying your favorite films under what most likely isn’t your everyday backdrop. We can’t imagine a more unique night out than the sensory onslaught of a Star Wars movie beneath a blanket of stars and surrounded by 1,200 acres of local nature. For more, visit metroparks.net.
8.30 Almost Famous @ Nightlight 614
The “movie series for adults” keeps packing them for the past years, with Columbus’s YP set pouring into the COSI steps at Genoa Park to drink in a series of modern hits. There’s plenty of pop culture mainstays on this summer’s lineups, but we’re most excited about Cameron Crowe’s rock-and-road memoir you can sing along to. Here’s to hearing echoes of “Tiny Dancer” reverberating through Downtown. For more, visit nightlight614.com.