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Posted at 2:23 PM ET, 05/12/2009

No Screen on the Green? Try These Outdoor Films Instead

By Fritz Hahn

Why watch a movie from "stadium seats" in a theater when you could be picnicking under the stars at Strathmore? (Comcast Outdoor Film Festival)

The big news ricocheting around the D.C. blogosphere this morning is that HBO will not be sponsoring the annual Screen on the Green movie series on the Mall this summer. We Love D.C. had the news this morning, and it's not yet clear whether the outdoor films will continue with a new sponsor or whether the series is completely finished. We'll update with more news as we get it.

But as we're waiting, we wanted to remind everyone that as much as we loved the six-week series, there are a number of other free, Metro-accessible outdoor film festivals in the area every summer. If you need to get your al fresco cinema fix this summer, we suggest making plans to see one of these.

I Love the '80s Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival
Fridays through Sept. 4
"Dirty Dancing," "Sixteen Candles," "The Karate Kid," "Top Gun," "Weird Science," "Pretty in Pink," "Ghostbusters," "E.T.," "Footloose," "Back to the Future," "Short Circuit"-- this film festival in Rosslyn's Gateway Park covers all the bases for fans of classic '80s films.

Crystal Screen Summer Film Series
Mondays and Wednesdays through September 23
Superheroes are the focus at Crystal City's ever-popular series. Catch all five "Superman" films, all three "X-Men" releases and the seemingly endless supply of Batmen, from Michael Keaton to Christian Bale. Outdoor screenings begin at dusk on Monday nights, and all films will also be shown two days later in a family-friendly afternoon screening at the Crystal City Sports Pub.

NoMa Summer Screen
Wednesdays, June 10-July 29
An empty lot near the New York Avenue Metro station is the site of a weekly series devoted to music-related films. Expect a mix of documentaries (Wilco's "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," "Buena Vista Social Club," "Standing in the Shadows of Motown") and fictional portrayals ("Ray," the Dylan-in-the-'60s bio "No Direction Home"). DJs from the excellent funk-and-soul night Fatback warm up the crowd with dance music, and barbecue will be available.

The Comcast Outdoor Film Festival
Nightly, August 14-21
Heavier on recent blockbusters than the other festivals, this annual event at Strathmore is a fundraiser for NIH children's charities. (Admission is free, but the charities benefit through concession sales and donations.) Selections this year include "Slumdog Millionaire," "Twilight," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Bring the kids for "Kung Fu Panda" and "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa."

Other perennial outdoor festivals, including those in downtown Bethesda and the Village at Shirlington, have not yet announced their lineups.

-- Fritz

Update: (May 13) In the Style section, Dan Zak writes about memories of Screen on the Green.

By Fritz Hahn  | May 12, 2009; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  Events, Movies  
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and Thursday nights at DOT at the Waterfront
June 4 - Back to the Future
June 11 - The Princess Bride
June 18 - Ghostbusters
June 25 - Ferris Bueller's Day Off
July 2 - Caddy Shack
July 9 - Breakfast Club
July 16 - E.T.
July 23 - Top Gun
July 30 - Dirty Dancing
August 6 - BIG

Posted by: MatTri | May 12, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

This news made me so sad. It's not summer in DC without Screen on the Green. How much does it cost to put it on? Maybe we could raise the money somehow...?

Posted by: tig_coili | May 12, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Some more details the Capitol Riverfront BID released on their facebook fan page:

June 4 - Back to the Future (Snap Bracelets Giveaway)

June 11 - The Princess Bride (WABA Bike In Movie Night)

June 18 – Ghostbusters (Wax lips, pixie sticks and more 80's candy)

June 25 - Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Slinkies Giveaway)

July 2 - Caddy Shack (Wear your best 80's Golf Shirt)

July 9 - Breakfast Club (Snap Bracelets Giveaway)

July 16 - E.T. (WABA Bike In Movie Night & Reese’s Pieces)

July 23 - Top Gun (Wear your sunglasses at night)

July 30 - Dirty Dancing (Wear your snazziest legwarmers)

August 6 - BIG (Wax lips, pixie sticks and more 80's candy)

Posted by: Daisies83 | May 13, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

The George Washington University presents “Films on the Vern: From Reel to Real”
Wednesdays, July 8 – August 12
GW’s Films on the Vern Outdoor Movie Series will showcase real people or events that have affected the world in which we live. Movies will be shown every Wednesday night from July 8 through August 12, 2009 at 8:30pm on GW’s Mount Vernon Campus Quad, with the exception of the last film on August 12, which will be shown at GW’s Outdoor Pool on the Mount Vernon Campus. For all the movies, the rain location is the Eckles Library Auditorium. GW’s Mount Vernon Campus is located at 2100 Foxhall Rd NW, Washington, DC 20007. All movies are FREE and open to the public. Visit for more information. 202-242-6673,

Posted by: cklementik | May 15, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

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