From nostalgic films to new releases, bookmark these great movies you can watch outdoors in the Triangle.
by Kara Adams
From hotly-anticipated new releases like Black Widow to cult classics like The Goonies, there are loads of movies screening in the great outdoors over the next few months. With locations all over the Triangle, including drive-ins of decades past, scenic amphitheaters, and the beautiful Flowers Field at Dorothea Dix Park, there’s plenty of genre options for everyone. Whether you’re not quite ready to return to a movie theatre, or just prefer to watch your favorite flick with the beautiful evening North Carolina sky as a backdrop, add one of these outdoor movies to your summer bucket list. Note: We will update this list as more shows are announced.
F9: The Fast Saga at Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre
See the penultimate film in the Fast and Furious franchise the way the street racers would want you to: from your own car. Enjoy something from the theater’s extensive list of concessions during this thrilling movie, including Oreo churros, a variety of burgers and hot dogs, and, of course, popcorn.
June 30 – July 1; 9 p.m; $10/adult, $7/child; 3336 Raleigh Rd Henderson; details here
Top Gun at the Triangle Drive In
Watch Tom Cruise and the rest of the Navy’s most elite pilots practice daring maneuvers in this 1986 action-packed classic from your vehicle. Make it dinner and a movie with a meal from the featured food truck on site, or snack on movie theatre staples including popcorn and a variety of candy from the concession stand located nearby.
July 2; 9 p.m; $10/adult, $7/child; 5959 Triangle Town Blvd; triangledrive.in/
Independence Day at the Triangle Drive In
Celebrate the 4th of July (sans aliens) with Roland Emmerich’s patriotic sci-fi film showing in the Triangle Town Center near the Barnes & Noble. Featuring an all-star cast and sinister otherworldly creatures, this flick is the quintessential holiday movie.
July 3; 9 p.m; $10/adult, $7/child; 5959 Triangle Town Blvd; triangledrive.in/
Boss Baby 2 at Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre
See the return of the Boss Baby as he gets back into his regular shenanigans with Baby Corp at the Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre. Be sure to check out the schedule for the night, as Raleigh Road shows multiple films back to back, and a single ticket grants you access to all of them.
July 2 – 5 & 8 – 9; 9 p.m; $10/adult, $7/child; 3336 Raleigh Rd Henderson; details here
Sing at Stephenson Amphitheatre
Head over to Raleigh Little Theatre’s Louise “Scottie” Stephenson Amphitheatre for a family-friendly showing of the 2016 animated musical comedy, Sing. This feature, part of their Movies in the Garden series, is full of star-power and familiar tunes including Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”. Outside food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in the amphitheatre, and blankets or lawn chairs are recommended for your comfort.
July 8; 8:30 p.m; pay what you can starting at $1; 301 Pogue St; details here
Black Widow at the Carraway Village Drive In
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanova is back in the newest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, playing on the big screen at Chapel Hill’s new drive-in theatre. Consider the June 27th screening for a special Girl’s Night Out event in celebration of another female superhero movie, with all proceeds going to charity.
July 9-29; see website for showtimes; $12.90/adult, $10.75/child; 500 Carraway Crossing, Chapel Hill; details here
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl at Dorothea Dix Park
Don your swarthiest pirate garb (best-dressed wins a prize!) to enjoy food trucks and the film that kicked off the swashbuckling series featuring the notorious Jack Sparrow. Bring your own blanket or low lawn chairs and feel free to make it a picnic with a cooler full of your favorite beer, wine, and snacks.
July 10; 7 p.m; free but reservations required; Flowers Field, 2105 Umstead Drive; dixpark.org
The Goonies at the NCMA
See the nostalgic 1985 film featuring a band of adventurous kids searching for treasure as you spread out under the stars at NCMA’s open-air amphitheater. Although outdoor food and beverages aren’t allowed, you can choose from a variety of food and beverages available for purchase on site, including beer and wine options.
July 10; 9 p.m; $9.65; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd; details here
The Croods: A New Age at Durham County Memorial Stadium
Join Durham Parks and Recreation for a family-friendly screening in their summer series, Bull City Reels on Wheels. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone, you can watch the movie from your own vehicle, or bring lawn chairs and sit in front of your car. A variety of food trucks will be available, but you’re also welcome to bring your own food and beverages.
July 16; 9 p.m; free but reservations required; 750 Stadium Drive; details here
Spies in Disguise at Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre
Come early to this beautiful woodsy amphitheatre to grab the best seats in the house for a pre-show concert from the band Sweet Potato Pie, starting at 7 p.m. The 2019 animated comedy, featuring Will Smith and Tom Holland, will begin at dusk.
July 16; 8 p.m; free; 2600 Evans Road Apex; details here
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at the NCMA
Take a day off with this John Hughes cult classic from 1986 at the beautiful Joseph M. Bryan, Jr. Theater. Bring your own blankets and folding chairs for lawn seating, and don’t try and drive home backwards after the movie.
July 17; 9 p.m; $9.65; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd; details here
Frozen II at Koka Booth Amphitheatre
WakeMed presents Frozen II as a part of their Movies by Moonlight series at Koka Booth’s outdoor amphitheatre, with a portion of the proceeds going to WakeMed Children’s services. The 2019 animated feature shows the return of the beloved snow queen Elsa as she embarks on another journey with even more adorable sidekicks than before.
July 23; 8:30 p.m; $5; 8003 Regency Pkwy, Cary; details here
Scream at Dorothea Dix Park
Come out to the flowers field at Dix Park for Scary Movie Night and a screening of the meta modern horror film Scream. Bring your own beverages for a night of frightening fun with friends.
July 24; 7 p.m; free but reservations required; Flowers Field, 2105 Umstead Drive; dixpark.org
Onward at Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre
Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and a picnic dinner out to Apex for this heartwarming adventure tale from Disney and Pixar about two elf brothers spending one last day with their late dad.
July 24; 8 p.m; free; 2600 Evans Road Apex; details here
Clueless at the NCMA
Watch the 1995 retelling of Jane Austen classic Emma that inspired countless iconic quotes like, “Ugh, as if!” in this iconic 90s movie. Gates open one hour before show time.
July 24; 9 p.m; $9.65; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd; details here
Toy Story 4 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre
Head over to Regency Park for a moonlight showing of the 2019 family-friendly comedy, featuring fan-favorite Pixar characters Buzz Lightyear and Woody, who are joined by new toys such as Forky as they embark on yet another adventure. You’re welcome to bring your own snacks or pre-order food from Koka Booth’s Picnic in the Park partners.
July 30; 8:30 p.m; $5; 8003 Regency Pkwy, Cary; details here
Monty Python and the Holy Grail at the NCMA
Join the NCMA for a screening of the 1975 British comedy that parodies King Arthur and his knights’ quest to find the Holy Grail. This quirky film is hilarious and iconic in its own right, and you won’t want to miss the chance to watch it on the big screen, surrounded by nature.
July 31; 9 p.m; $9.65; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd; details here
Guardians of the Galaxy at Koka Booth Amphitheatre
Rock out to Peter Quill’s prized mixtape, Awesome Mix Vol. 1, as you watch this misfit group fight their way through space. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket for lawn seating, or reserve one of Koka Booth’s tables for your whole family. Doors open at 7:00.
Aug. 6; 8:30 p.m; $5; 8003 Regency Pkwy, Cary; details here
Mrs. Doubtfire at Durham County Memorial Stadium
Come out to Durham for a night full of laughter with Robin Williams and the rest of the cast of this beloved 1993 comedy. The gates open an hour before the show starts, so come early and enjoy dinner from one of the food trucks on location before the show!
Aug. 6; 9 p.m; free but reservation required; 750 Stadium Drive; details here
The Mighty Ducks at Dorothea Dix Park
Come dressed in your favorite sports gear and bring a stadium blanket over to Dix Park to cheer on a ragtag group of kids and their underdog hockey team in this charming 1992 film by Stephen Herek.
Aug. 7; 7 p.m; free but reservations required; Flowers Field, 2105 Umstead Drive; dixpark.org
Sister Act at the NCMA
Whoopi Goldberg revitalizes a convent’s outdated choir in this delightful comedy from 1992 full of mischief and heart-warming moments. Get your tickets now for a sing-along in the great outdoors at Museum Park.
Aug. 7; 9 p.m; $9.65; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd; details here
Singin’ in the Rain at the NCMA
See one of the most quintessential musicals of all time, starring Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly, and set in Hollywood in the late 1920’s. The 1952 production will be showing at the North Carolina Museum of Art, where tickets are selling out quickly.
Aug. 14; 9 p.m; $9.65; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd; details here
The Wiz at the NCMA
Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, and more superstars take on the roles from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and redefine them as part of the African American experience in this 1978 musical. See this iconic film in NCMA’s amphitheater, as part of the Summer Films series.
Aug. 21; 8:30 p.m; $9.65; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd; details here
Raya and the Last Dragon at Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre
Come see the epic tale of Raya, a lone warrior on a quest to bring back the last dragon and save her homeland. Disney’s first Southeast Asian Princess, played by Kelly Marie Tran, is joined by Gemma Chan, Sanda Oh, Awkwafina, and more on her journey to restore peace to the world.
Aug. 28; 8 p.m; free; 2600 Evans Road Apex; details here
West Side Story at the NCMA
Enjoy this award-winning musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, set in 1950’s New York City. Take this perfect opportunity to see the original 1961 film by Robert Wise before the release of Steven Spielberg’s retelling later this year.
Aug. 28; 8:30 p.m; $9.65; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd; details here
Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre, the Carraway Village Drive In, the Triangle Drive In, and Koka Booth Amphitheatre are frequently announcing new outdoor movie screenings. Check back on their websites to stay up to date.