Every summer there are free outdoor movies at venues like Canada Place, Stanley Park, downtown Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland.
2020 MOVIES AND COVID-19
The status of free outdoor movies in Metro Vancouver is a bit up in the air because of COVID-19. Until June, 2020, all movie theatres had been closed and all gatherings of more than 50 people have been banned. As of early July, many indoor cinemas have reopened.
Some drive-in movie theatre events have been happening this summer, and more likely will too. Events like Waterfront Cinema, where free outdoor films usually happen in the summer, have been cancelled. Most other free outdoor movie showings have also been cancelled.
Free outdoor movies take place at various Lower Mainland venues including at the following locations:
Stanley Park | Queen Elizabeth Plaza | Canada Place | Vancouver Art Gallery | Abbotsford | Burnaby | Langley | New Westminster | North Vancouver | Richmond | Squamish | Surrey | West Vancouver | Other Locations
Click on any of the above links to jump to movie information for a specific part of town, or continue reading to learn about all Metro Vancouver outdoor movie locations.
Note: If you want a list of movies in chronological order instead, click Free Outdoor Movies.
Free Outdoor Movies in the Lower Mainland
At each outdoor movie location spectators are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs, plus snacks and picnics for those that want them.
Below is a list of the 2019 outdoor movie lineup at various locations throughout Metro Vancouver, with shows all starting at dusk unless otherwise stated. The list is organized by location, and then by date within each location.
Again, if you want a list of movies in chronological order, then click Free Outdoor Movies Listing.
Before listing the movie lineup at the various locations around the Lower Mainland, here are a couple of tips to help you make the most out of your experience.
TIP #1: Go early and put your blanket down or lawn chairs out to reserve your spot, and also to find parking (which can be a challenge).
TIP #2: Unless the evenings are unusually hot, take a sweater and/or a blanket to keep warm. You’ll probably need it by the end of the show on most nights. At some locations, bug spray can be a good idea too.
Note: All movies, times and locations are subject to change.
Stanley Park Summer Cinema
Stanley Park Summer Cinema is a series of free outdoor movie showings that usually take place at Second Beach in Stanley Park from early July until late August. It is not happening in 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Free seating is available for up to 5,000 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Premium VIP seating is also available with advance reservations for between about $20 and $35 per person, although spaces are limited.
Stanley Park Summer Cinema movies all start at dusk on Tuesday evenings on one of the largest outdoor screens in the Lower Mainland.
The movie lineup for 2019 was the following (with all films starting at dusk):
- July 2, 2019 – Wayne’s World (1992, PG)
- July 9, 2019 – Beetlejuice (1988, PG)
- July 16, 2019 – Shrek (2001, PG)
- July 23, 2019 – Sleepless in Seattle (1993, PG)
- July 30, 2019 – Moulin Rouge (2001, PG)
- August 6, 2019 – Finding Nemo (2003, G)
- August 13, 2019 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004, PG)
- August 20, 2019 – Jurassic Park (1993, PG)
- August 27, 2019 – Aladdin (2019, PG)
Click Stanley Park Outdoor Cinema for more information.
TIP: Make a day of the experience – Stanley Park’s seawall is wonderful to walk or cycle around beforehand, and the Second Beach outdoor swimming pool is usually open in July until 8:45 pm, and in August until between around 8 and 8:30 pm.
Sunset Cinema at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
Outdoor movies show in the plaza outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 650 Hamilton Street, now named šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn Plaza. They aren’t happening though in 2020.
2019 films and dates were the following:
- July 17th, 2019 – Crazy Rich Asians
- July 24th, 2019 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
- July 31st, 2019 – Dumbo (2019)
- August 7th, 2019 – Captain Marvel
- August 14th, 2019 – Mary Poppins Returns
- August 21st, 2019 – Aladdin (2019)
Click Sunset Cinema 2019 for more information.
Canada Place Waterfront Cinema
Waterfront Cinema usually takes place on Thursday evenings at the far north end of the promenade deck at Canada Place and features a variety of films. Due to COVID-19, however, it is not happening in 2020.
The outdoor movie screen at Canada Place is usually one of the largest in the Lower Mainland, which makes it extra enjoyable.
In 2019 Waterfront Cinema ran from July 11th until August 29th.
Below is a list of the 2019 films. (Note: Show details were subject to change and films are weather dependent.)
- July 11, 2019 – Captain Marvel
- July 18, 2019 – Crazy Rich Asians
- July 25, 2019 – Elf
- August 1, 2019 – Shazam!
- August 8, 2019 – Beauty & the Beast
- August 15, 2019 – How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World
- August 22, 2019 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
- August 29, 2019 – Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade
Click Waterfront Cinema at Canada Place for more information.
TIP: Go early to reserve your spot, and seriously consider taking public transit. Waterfront Station is just a couple of blocks away, and from there you can get to and from virtually anywhere eventually.
Vancouver Art Gallery Outdoor Movies
In years when there isn’t a pandemic, Summer Movie Nights in the Square take place at the fairly recently renamed šx????n?q Xwtl’e7énk Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery in the 800 block of Georgia Street every Wednesday in July and August.
Pre-show activities start in the early evening and films begin at dusk. Below is the lineup for 2019. Hopefully the movies will be able to run again in 2021.
- July 3, 2019 – Clueless
- July 10, 2019 – Pitch Perfect
- July 17, 2019 – Zoolander
- July 24, 2019 – Paddington Bear
- July 29, 2019 – Bohemian Rhapsody
- August 7, 2019 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- August 14, 2019 – Inside Out
- August 21, 2019 – Crazy Rich Asians
For more information check out Downtown Vancouver Movie Night.
Abbotsford Free Outdoor Movies
Below is a list of 2019 events in Abbotsford:
- August 8th, 2019 – ET played in Abbotsford at the Rotary Stadium.
- August 15th, 2019 – Monsters Inc. played in Abbotsford at the Rotary Stadium.
- August 22nd, 2019 – The Goonies played in Abbotsford at the Rotary Stadium.
For more information visit the Cinema Under the Stars website.
Burnaby Free Outdoor Movies
Free Outdoor Movies in Burnaby often takes place outside the Bob Prittie Library – Metrotown Branch at the corner of Kingsborough and MacKay (at 6100 Willingdon Avenue) on Thursday evenings in August starting at 8:30 pm.
2019 dates included August 8, 15, 22 and 29. Shows take place rain or shine. The films are not happening in 2020.
Below is the 2019 outdoor movie lineup:
- August 8, 2019 – Mary Poppins Returns
- August 15, 2019 – Hotel Transylvania 3
- August 22, 2019 – Madagascar 3
- August 29, 2019 – The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Click Burnaby Outdoor Movie Series for further details.
Langley Outdoor Movies
Below are events that took place in Langley in 2019:
- August 23rd, 2019 – Finding Dory will be playing in Langley at Langley City Park. For more information visit the Cinema Under the Stars website
- August 30th, 2019 – Movies in the Park presents A Dog’s Way Home at Douglas Park at 20550 Douglas Crescent. See the City of Langley‘s website for details.
New Westminster Outdoor Movies
In years when they aren’t cancelled due to pandemics, New Westminster’s Outdoor Summer Movie Nights take place every Friday in July at various venues throughout the city.
Movies start at dusk (so around 9 pm plus or minus). 2019 film dates and details were the following:
- July 5, 2019 – The Emperor’s New Groove (at Port Royal Park)
- July 12, 2019 – Kung Fu Panda (at Sapperton Park)
- July 19, 2019 – The Avengers (at Moody Park)
- July 26, 2019 – Bohemian Rhapsody (at Westminster Pier Park)
North Vancouver Outdoor Movies
Free outdoor movies show at various locations around North Vancouver most summers including at Lynn Valley Village, City Hall Plaza and Lonsdale Quay. Below are details about the 2019 film line-up outside City Hall.
Movies at City Hall Plaza
The City and City Library of North Vancouver presented Family Movies in the Plaza with a series of films outdoors at the Civic Library at 120 West 14th Street on four Fridays in July and August in 2019.
The screen size is smaller here than at Stanley Park and Canada Place, and it’s a slightly cozier atmosphere with only a couple of hundred North Shore spectators most nights.
2019 dates and film details were as follows:
- July 5, 2019 – A Wrinkle in Time: the 2018 science-fantasy film starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon shows on August 17th at around 8:30 pm.
- July 19, 2019 – The Lego Movie Part 2: the sequel to original Lego movie, this film follows the Lego characters as they navigate the introduction of Duplo characters.
- July 26, 2019 – Despicable Me 3: this movie follows Gru as he meets his long lost twin brother Dru.
- August 9, 2019 – Paddington 2: the film about a bear and his quest to buy Aunt Lucy a birthday present, only for it to be stolen!
Note: Movie times and details are subject to change. See the City of North Vancouver website for exact details.
TIP: Friday evenings are also when North Vancouver’s Shipyard Night Market takes place. Consider making a day out of your trip and take in some music before the movie, or do some outdoor exploring in nature on the North Shore.
Movies at Lonsdale Quay
The Walt Disney film Moana also played for free on the big screen outdoors in the plaza at Lonsdale Quay on Saturday July 20th in 2019.
Richmond Outdoor Movies
Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movies at Lansdowne Centre at 5300 No. 3 Road features free drive-in parking for up to 200 vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis. There is also ample space for people to set up their lawn chairs.
(Note: The mall is easily accessed by the Lansdowne Canada Line SkyTrain station.)
Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movies in 2019 took place on Wednesday evenings and include the following:
- July 3, 2019 – Crazy Rich Asians
- July 10, 2019 – Ocean’s 8
- July 17, 2019 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
- July 24, 2019 – The Notebook
- July 31, 2019 – Batman: The Dark Knight
- August 7, 2019 – Aquaman
- August 14, 2019 – Shazam!
- August 21, 2019 – Detective Pikachu
- August 28, 2019 – Inception
In 2019 the public could vote on which one of two movies they wanted to see on each particular day. Voting closed on June 16, 2019, and the most popular films were announced shortly thereafter.
Click Lansdowne Centre for more information.
Squamish Outdoor Movies
A number of outdoor movies take place in Squamish in the summer. Some are free while others are not. There is usually a free outdoor movie in July during the Squamish Wind Festival and another in August during the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival.
In 2020 the Squamish Wind Festival is still happening, and it’s hosting three different outdoor movies. Squamish Days, however, has been cancelled.
See below for details about each from last year.
- Squamish Wind Festival – Mary Poppins Returns shows at Junction Park on July 19th, 2019.
- Squamish Days – a movie shows at Junction Park on August 2nd, 2019 (with film details to be confirmed.)
In addition to the above free films, drive-in theatre-style movies also showed at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park once a month in May, June, July, August, September and October last year. The cost for those was $20 per carload (or $5 for people who come by foot).
Movies showing at Squamish’s West Coast Railway Heritage Park in 2019 were the following (with details subject to change):
- Friday, May 3rd, 2019 – Mary Poppins
- Friday, June 7th, 2019 – How to Train your Dragon 3
- Friday, July 5th, 2019 – Captain Marvel
- Friday, August 2nd, 2019 – Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse
- Friday, September 6th, 2019 – Christopher Robin
- Friday, October 4th, 2019 – Avengers Endgame
Surrey Outdoor Movies
Movies at Holland Park is another series of outdoor movies that takes place most years at Surrey’s Holland Park at 13428 Old Yale Road not far from Central City mall on Saturday evenings. Each night there is popcorn, hot dogs and burgers available. Admission is by donation with proceeds going to charity.
2019 films at Holland Park included the following:
- August 3, 2019 – Space Jam
- August 10, 2019 – How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
- August 17, 2019 – The Lego Movie 2
- August 24, 2019 – Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse
West Vancouver Festival Movies
The Harmony Arts Festival is an arts festival that takes place at the waterfront in West Vancouver in early August each year (although not in 2020). In addition to concerts and outdoor art, the festival features an outdoor movie each evening starting at around 9 pm.
The Harmony Arts Festival venue stretches from Ambleside Park near the Ambleside Pier all the way to John Lawson Park, which is the location of the nightly movies.
In 2019 the Harmony Arts Festival ran from August 2nd until the 11th.
Harmony Arts Outdoor Movies
The free outdoor movies in 2019 at West Vancouver’s John Lawson Park were the following:
- August 2, 2019 (Friday) – The Green Book (2018)
- August 3, 2019 (Saturday) – Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
- August 4, 2019 (Sunday) – The Incredibles 2 (2018)
- August 5, 2019 (Monday) – Indian Horse (2018)
- August 6, 2019 (Tuesday) – Free Solo (2018)
- August 7, 2019 (Wednesday) – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
- August 8, 2019 (Thursday) – The Truman Show(1998)
- August 9, 2019 (Friday) – Black Panther (2018)
- August 10, 2019 (Saturday) – Top Gun (1986)
Check out the Harmony Arts Festival website for more information.
Other Free Outdoor Movie Locations
In addition to all of the above, free films take place at other venues too. See below for other locations.
- Cinema Under the Stars – on August 24th, 2019, Grease is playing in Mission at Fraser River Heritage Park. On August 29th, 2019, Moana played at Watson Glen Park in Chilliwack. For more information, check out the Cinema Under the Stars website.
- White Rock Movie Nights – on June 20th, 2019, The Princess Bride played in Memorial Park and on June 27th, 2019, Star Wars IV: A New Hope is playing. For more information visit the Explore White Rock website.
- Tsawwassen Sun Festival – a 3-day community festival that features a free outdoor drive-in movie in South Delta on August 24th in 2019. The film last year was Grease.
For a list of the above movies organized by date, click Free Outdoor Movies Schedule.
For a list of free live music venues, click Free Outdoor Concerts.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Fresh Air Cinema
- Vancouver Activities for Children
- FlyOver Canada Multi-Dimensional Theatre
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment