Free NYC outdoor movies all summer long

If you can get past the muggy summer days of Manhattan, one of the huge perks of living in the city is the wealth of free outdoor events held every season. A variety of festivals hold concerts, operas, street fairs, and our favorite: outdoor films.

There's nothing quite like watching a movie on the big screen alfresco. It's the perfect excuse to call a group of friends, gather some great picnic food, and voila, the perfect budget night. Times listed are suggested starting times, as the films begin as soon as it gets dark, but we recommend arriving early to secure your perfect blanket spot.

Here's your guide to free outdoor movies all summer long:

Our favorite, the River to River fest, which is presenting films this year on the Elevated Acre at 55 Water St., a hidden open air plaza on the southern point of the South Street Seaport facing the East River. All the films have a New York theme, just the way we like it.

  • The Taking of Pehlam 123 (the 1974 original) July 13, 8 p.m.

  • West Side Story, July 20, 8 p.m.

  • Sweet Smell of Success, July 27, 8 p.m.