Screen on the Green in Washington, DC

Screen on the Green in Washington, DC. Where to see.

Screen on the Green

For the Screen on the Green Newbie

Every summer we Washingtonians wait with baited breath for those fun-filled, film-rolled, Hollywood-enhanced movie nights on the green spaces in, and around DC. Many of the venues that play these movies on green spaces have different names for this occasion. I will forever know them, every single one, by “screen on the green.” For those of you who have never been; it’s a free movie showing, outdoors, where you can bring, frisbee, picnic and date for a great time. The movies usually play at around dusk but people usually come and take the good spots starting at around 5pm. The one on the actual National Mall is arguably the most popular, though it isn’t the only one around. There are several other spots with free, outdoor movie showings:

  • Films at the Stone – Outdoor showings of movies at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. The films here put on display people living the legacy of democracy, justice, hope, and love during difficult situations. The last showing is August, 8th and it’s entitled “Cry Freedom.”
  • Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival – This runs through August and is at the main green in Rosslyn. The movies this year are from the 80’s and 90’s. Only a couple of blocks from the metro station. They also have 80’s and 90’s themed games and prizes. Bring a picnic and a blanket. (Watch out for Yogi Bear.)
  • NoMa Summer Screen 2013This is a free, 13-week outdoor film series in a place called NoMa, which is one of DC’s fastest growing neighborhoods. This year they are playing some pretty great classics mixed with some new indie films. Movies play every Wednesday from May 22 to August 21. There’s music, giveaways, food trucks, picnic opportunity, and a whole lot of fun. Bring a frisbee or football while you wait.
  • Capitol Riverfront Summer Outdoor Movies 2013 – The theme for this year is, Marvel vs. DC Comics. The movies are free and open for everyone. The location for the outdoor movies has moved from Tingey Plaza to the northern block of Canal Park. (Map on website.)
  • Crystal Screen 2013 – This outdoor film showing happens every Monday at sundown in downtown Crystal City up to the end of August. Some big movies being played there this year. The theme is “Blockbusters.”
  • National Harbor Outdoor Movies 2013 – From the Goonies to Ghostbusters, this venue has a lot of family-friendly movies playing this year. Great place on the water to watch movies. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages permitted. Coolers with booze…not so much permitted.
  • The National Mall’s “Screen on the Green” – Playing movies every Monday up to the 12th of August. This is one of the most glorious of all summer activities in DC. Definitely among my top favorite places (the National Mall that is), and playing movies?! On a BIG SCREEN?!?! Awesome!

This link gives you a pretty good amount of information on the different screen on the green events, in and around DC.

These are the venues in and around the DC area. The different venues try to stagger the days that they are playing movies as much as possible, to try to allow for movie-goers to explore the options and visit multiple screenings. If you are a big movie buff, or just like free things, it is a wonderful experience. There is something pretty great about sitting down with friends, family, or your special someone on the National Mall, watching (on a huge screen) E.T. fly across the moon on that bike, in that quintessential “movie magic moment,” all while snacking on some grub from a famous DC food truck and kicking back on the blanket you brought from home. On the other hand, maybe I’m just incredibly sappy. I can almost guarantee you’ll have a good time, though.

In closing…

The amount of things to do in The District, and the surrounding areas is pretty boggling to the mind. Screen on the Green is just one small section of the year, in selective parts of the Metro Area, and there are plenty of other activities to pick from. So, after your dental appointment, head home, grab your frisbee, your friend, and some grub, then head over to one of these spots for a great DC experience. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Stay healthy (and entertained) my friends.



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