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While we know Coloradans will look for just about any excuse to spend time outdoors, there really is just something about enjoying cinema underneath the stars that feels like summer. So grab your folding chairs and back-of-the-car blankets, and snag a ticket (or pull up for free!) to one of these summer movie series around the Front Range.
Pull up to the two-story rooftop patio at LoHi’s Avanti Food & Beverage food hall every Thursday night for free screenings of cult classics and bawdy comedies like Crazy Rich Asians (July 27), Super Bad (August 10), Clueless (September 7), and the Big Lebowski (September 14)—and not to mention, one of the best views of the Mile High City skyline—through mid-September. Complete your open-air cinematic experience with specialty drinks or boozy Big Chill creations from the walk-up frozen cocktail bar, plus weekly deals from food stalls like Knockabout Burgers and Amá Modern Mexican.
This RiNo distillery is hosting free backyard movie nights, nearby construction be darned. Head to Ironton’s 10,000-square-foot patio space on the third Thursday of each month through September, where you can kick back in an Adirondack, chill by the fire pits, or bring your own comfy seating (tables are also available on a first come, first serve basis) for watch parties of cult classics like Princess Bride (July 20) and Rocky Horror Picture Show (September 21).
There’s not a bad seat in the plaza at this free downtown series, thanks to McGregor Square’s 66-foot mega-LED screen hoisted front and center at the Ballpark entertainment district. Grab a table or pack a blanket and snag a spot on the grass with the whole family at these weekly screenings of blockbusters—like 2023’s animated adventure featuring everyone’s favorite Italian plumber, the Super Mario Bros. Movie (August 31)—until September.
Experience a memorable evening on the pitch—no rugby skills required—with free movie nights on the jumbotron at the city of Glendale’s Infinity Park, featuring can’t-miss, action-packed favorites like Top Gun: Maverick (July 10) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (July 17) through the end of July. (Plus, a special showing of Hotel Transylvania: Transformania closer to spooky season, on October 16). Bring a cooler and seating of your choice to the field, or order grub from an on-site food truck; doors open one hour before each 7 p.m. showtime.
It’s a quintessentially Colorado tradition: Catch silver-screen classics at the state’s most iconic music venue, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, where Denver Film has been screening summer flicks for over two decades. This season’s lineup features weeknight shows like Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (July 6) and a 40th anniversary showing of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (August 21). Be sure to arrive early, as most Film on the Rocks events include pre-show entertainment, like live tunes from local singer-songwriter Claire Heywood to warm your vocal chords up for the infectious ABBA tunes of Mamma Mia! on July 24. General admission tickets starting at $20; Group pricing options available
Make your way down to the last remaining drive-in theater in the Denver area because this summer will be your final chance to experience the 51-year-old mainstay, since the owners sold the property to be redeveloped as a warehouse space following the end of this season. Open every day, rain or shine, the 6.5-acre pull-in theater hosts back-to-back nightly showings of two of the summer’s newest major motion pictures—lineups scheduled on a weekly basis—with its state-of-the-art digital projection and 35 mm film system. Just pull in, tune your radio to the FM station to hear the film sound, but leave your outside food and drink at home: The snack bar has all of your movie night essentials with popcorn, pizza, candy, funnel cakes, and other classic handheld concession-stand grub for sale. $10 per person for all-night entry; Kids under 12 are free. Tickets can only be purchased in-person at the box office beginning at 7 p.m. on the night of each showing.
The city of Thornton is hosting free weekend flicks all summer long across various green spaces, including Trail Winds Park, Community Park, Carpenter Park, and more. Enjoy childhood classics like Aladdin (July 14) and Jurassic Park (July 15) after dusk, or fresh takes on beloved franchises like the 2019 live-action Lion King (August 4) and Ghostbusters: Afterlife (September 23). Follow the city’s dedicated Facebook page for updates on special themed nights, pre-show festivities, and weather updates.
Join for neighborhood fun and iconic screenings like Selena (July 7) with this outdoor movie series at the Central Park neighborhood’s giant grassy South Green amphitheater space. Films start at roughly 8:30 p.m., but come early to shop local sponsor booths and grab bites from food trucks like Original by Greeks, Lil Yellow Chick, Pozzetti Gelato, and more. Proceeds from an on-site concession stand selling buttery popcorn, candy, and drinks will also be donated to a designated local nonprofit each week.