Summer in San Francisco is the season of free movies, shown mostly on big screens outdoors. Though you won’t be seeing first-run films, you can’t beat the price. And under the open sky, you can picnic and stretch out on a blanket. (Bring more blankets or layers to wrap around yourself). Here are some of the places in and around San Francisco to catch free flicks from June until September 2014.
At the iconic Top of the Mark, watch classics and old favorites paired with complimentary tastings of Domaine Chandon Brut and other wines. Tastings start at 5:30 pm; films such as West Side Story, Bill Durham and When Harry Met Sally begin rolling at 7:30 pm.
At the Top of the Mark, 19/F, InterContinental Mark Hopkins, 999 California St., San Francisco 94108.
Thursdays at dusk (about 8:45 pm), June 5-Sept. 25
PG- and G-rated adventures, dramas, comedies and animated features on a 25-foot screen, including Frozen, The Wizard of Oz, The Monuments Men and Muppets Most Wanted..
At Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City 94063. Limited seating available, or bring a blanket.
The Lego Movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and other films in a waterfront setting. Giveaways and trivia games precede the films, and surrounding restaurants and bars provide dining options and food to go. Bring a blanket.
At Jack London Square’s Ferry Lawn, Washington St. near Water St., Oakland 94607.
Most Fridays and Saturdays at sunset, June 13-Sept. 27
The line-up has everything from Moneyball and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner to Despicable Me 2 andThe Lego Movie. Music and a prize drawing start an hour before the movie.
At San Anselmo's Creek Park and other Marin parks.
June 14 & 22 after World Cup viewings; and Wednesdays at dusk, July 16-August 20
Flicks like Ghostbusters and Airplane! are shown in various districts of downtown San Jose. Restaurants nearby offer food and drink specials. Pre-movie entertainment includes comedy, DJs, games and movie trivia and other contests.
At St. James Park, San Pedro Square, and Plaza de Cesar Chavez, San Jose. Bring your own chair and/or blanket.
Rotating among three San Francisco parks on select Saturday evenings, this film series includes Bullitt, The Grand Budapest Hotel and American Hustle. Popcorn, candy, soda and hot chocolate are available.
At San Francisco’s Dolores Park, Union Square and Washington Square Park.
Thursdays at 8:45 pm, June 19-July 30
An un-Hollywood showcase of films made by Bay Area artists. The season includes The Last Season, about gourmet mushroom hunters in Oregon, and films about the feminist art movement and San Quentin State Prison’s Shakespeare theater project. Free popcorn.
On 49th Street near Telegraph Ave. (side of Bank of the West building), North Oakland. Limited seating or bring your own chair.
July 2-31, various dates
At its various branches, the San Francisco Public Library shows movies set and/or filmed in the city, such as Milk, Princess Diaries, Babies, Vertigo and Dark Passage.
At various library branches in San Francisco.
Focused on local actors, producers and filmmakers, this 11-year-old annual neighborhood production screens indie shorts and videos appropriate for general audiences. The line up includes a film crawl at cafes and galleries and an outdoor finale at Precita Park.
At various locations in Bernal Heights.