9 places to catch al fresco flicks

new centerSummer's here and after a record-breakingly cold winter, we Michiganders are desperate to spend some time enjoying the heat. While fireworks displays are generally relegated to the beginning of July and one can only handle so many carnival rides, movies seem to perfectly fit the bill for a relaxing night spent enjoying a well-derseved warm season. So, we did some searching and we found nine places to catch al fresco flicks this summer.

Flicks on Bricks, Wyandotte

Probably the coolest thing about this movie night is that it's held on a grassy knoll on which the city's theater used to sit. While the movie house was demolished back in 2007, when it was built in 1936, it was the first multiple screen theater in Michigan. Found on the corner of First and Elm, the lot is now used for a weekly farmers market in the summer and as the outdoor auditorium on the last Friday of June and July. Catch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on June 27 and The Smurfs on July 25. Films begin at dusk and patrons are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. While pets and alcohol are not permitted, refreshments are available for purchase. www.wyandotte.net/ArtsCulture/FlicksOnBricks.asp

Wednesday Night Movies, New Center Park

A weekly event, this series actually starts this Wednesday, June 4 at Detroit's New Center Park. Doors open to this event at 8 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk, "between 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.". The Wizard of Oz will kick off the summer-long series and guests are encouraged to dress up as their favorite character to win tickets to see The Wizard of Oz performed live at the Detroit Opera House. This month's movies also include The Triplets of Belleville, Casablanca, and Jurassic Park.


Park-It Family Fun Nights, various locations

Hosting events all over the metro Detroit area, Park-It Family Fun Nights's first event of the summer will be held at Brandenburg Park in Chesterfield with others following in Southfield, Sterling Heights, Detroit, Warren, Southgate, and more. Events begin between 5 and 6 p.m. and include a pre-show of live music. The free event generally features childrens movies like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Despicable Me 2, Lego Movie, Epic, and Monsters University.


Movies in the Moonlight, Rochester

Held on Saturdays from July 12 to August 2, this series takes place at the Farmers Market Lot E at Third and Water Streets in Downtown Rochester. Doors open to these showings at 7:30 p.m. and movies include Frozen, Saving Mr. Banks, Despicable Me 2, and ET-The Extra Terrestrial, consecutively.


Top of the Park, Ann Arbor

Shown at the Rackham Stage as part of the Ann Arbor's Summer Fest 2014, you'll be able to catch movies like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Hunger Games: Catching FireNorth by Northwest, Gravity, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Despicable Me 2 during this three and a half week-long festival. Movies are free and start at 10 p.m.


Movies Under the Moonlight, Waterford

Held at Pierce Middle School in Waterford, this free movie night begins at 6:30 p.m. on June 20 and includes extreme sports like rock wall climbing. There will also be a photo booth, dunk tank, and concession stand. The movie Frozen will begin at dusk and patrons are asked to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.

Outdoor Movie Night, Berkley

As part of the city of Berkley's annual Summer Fest, this event is held for one night only on August 23 at Community Park. Cozy up on your blanket or get settled in your lawn chair starting at 6 p.m. and while the movie is yet to be determined, it will begin at dusk. There will be activities for kids and a concession stand and while alcohol is not permitted, guests are welcome to bring their own snacks and drinks.


Booth Park, Birmingham

Held at Booth Park in Birmingham, this family-friendly series kicks off at June 20 with Frozen. Pro Tip: they'll be airing the sing-along version, so if you can't bear to endure the squealing of "Let It Go" by a chorus of pre-pubescent girls, you might want to skip this one. Other movies include Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, which, thankfully, doesn't come in a sing-along version, and Despicable Me 2.  Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk.


Compuware Sports Arena Drive-In Theatre

Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, this drive-in isn't free, but it does offer double features of first-run movies for just $10 per adult, $8 for kids 4 through 12, and free for kids under 3. Three screens offers some options, so the cash might be worth it to catch a flick you really want to see.



Ford Wyoming Drive-In Theatre

We're calling this one a bonus since it's open year-round. Found in Dearborn, this theater is currently the largest drive-in theater in the world. All movies are first-run double features that begin at dusk and patrons can tune in via their car radios.



We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.