Where to Watch Outdoor Movies In and Around Calgary
The upcoming movie screening events to pencil into your calendar this summer.
Photograph courtesy of Spruce Meadows
[Note: This article was last updated on August 2, 2017]
Outdoor movie watching is an experience that induces a wave of nostalgia. Maybe your family used to pile into the 1950s Cadillac and drive to the nearest drive-in theatre with plenty of blankets and snacks for an outdoor movie on a summer evening. Or maybe you were the kind of family that set up lawn chairs in the back of the pick-up truck for the outdoor movie screening.
Either way, those days are in the past. There aren’t many drive-in theatres left, but there are still places to catch a movie screening outdoors. With these screenings, you can experience that summertime tradition without making the trip to one of Western Canada’s remaining drive-in movie theatres — you’d be driving to Enderby, Lumsden or Regina.
Upcoming screening dates: Saturday, August 26 at 9:30 p.m.
The experience: The Calgary Underground Film Festival's Field Trips of Terror summer series is back. This year, they'll be screening The Blob and Matinee for the series, and one of them will be an outdoor screening. CUFF will be screening The Blob, a 1988 alien film, at Lukes Drug Mart's Bridgeland location.
Keep in mind: Lukes Drug Mart closes at 9 p.m. on Saturdays, so if you're planning to pick up a treat to enjoy during the movie, make sure you arrive early.
Lukes Drug Mart, 112 4 St. N.E., calgaryundergroundfilm.org
Upcoming screening dates: Thursday, August 24 at 8:45 p.m.
The experience: Outdoor movie screenings at The Rise on St. Patrick’s Island have been a hit in the past, and you can experience it again this month for one night only. This month's film choice hasn't been announced yet. Gather on the nine-metre-high natural amphitheatre and watch the film that is shown on an inflatable movie screen at its base.
Keep in mind: The Rise is a relatively steep slope so don’t bother bringing along those lawn chairs. Also, because this is a natural area, come prepared with some bug spray.
St. Patrick’s Island, 1300 Zoo Rd. N.E., evexperience.com
Upcoming screening dates: Every Saturday evening in August, from August 5 to August 26, at 9 p.m.
The experience: For the third summer in a row, you can watch a free outdoor movie in Kensington in August. During this series, a different film will be screened each week in the parking lot next to Purr, and there will be free hot chocolate and iced tea. Screenings include The Breakfast Club on August 5, Ghostbusters on August 12, Pretty Woman on August 19 and Jaws on August 26. All screenings start at 9 p.m.
Keep in mind: There aren’t a lot of options when it comes to parking around here. Try to take public transit, a Car2Go or bike a long the river pathway to get here.
Calgary Parking Authority Lot 57, 1220 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-270-3585, visitkensington.com
Upcoming screening dates: Wednesday, August 9, 16 and 23. Screenings begin at dusk.
Cost: The price is $15 per carload if you buy tickets in advance or $20 per carload if you pay at the gate.
The experience: This summer, Spruce Meadows started hosting outdoor film screenings in July, and you can still catch one in the equestrian facility's Green Ring in August. Calgarians voted on Facebook for which movies they wanted to see, choosing between a pre-released film, a horse themed film and a family favourite. So far, past screenings have included The Princess Bride, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and Beauty and the Beast. Next, they'll be screening Back to the Future on August 9, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on August 16 and Rogue One: A Star Ways Story on August 23. Arrive early as there will be live music before each screening starting at 7:30 p.m.
Keep in mind: Bring something to sit on and some money for snacks. There's going to be a snack tent with popcorn, soft drinks and candy, Cafe Vino will be offering items like coffee, wine, beer, pastries and sandwiches, and you can get items like fish and chips, burgers and hot dogs at Flavours of the World.
Spruce Meadow's Green Ring, 18011 Spruce Meadows Way S.W., sprucemeadows.com
Upcoming screening dates: Friday, August 18 and Friday, September 22. Class starts at 7:30 p.m.
The experience: This summer, Inglewood's Junction 9 Yoga & Pilates launched a new series that combines yoga with movies. Once a month, they host a 1-hour rooftop yoga session, which will be followed by a rooftop movie screenings. The movies for August and September haven't been announced yet, but they screened E.T. in July. The yoga and movie nights feature a raffle, free popcorn and there are drinks for purchase.
Keep in mind: Bring appropriate clothing and gear for both of the activities. You'll likely need yoga mats and clothing for the first part of the night, and some warmer clothes and blanket for the movie part of the night.
919 9 Ave. S.E., 403-474-9118, junction9.ca