Sunset Cinema is a series of free outdoor movies that take place in the plaza outside Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Wednesday evenings in the summer.
In 2022 free outdoor movies took place in the plaza on August 16th, 17th, 24th and 31st. The final film of the season was In the Heights on Wednesday, August 31st. On that evening, before the film, there was live Afro-Cuban-influenced music with Duo Aye. Dates and details about the event in 2023 are to be confirmed.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT VANCOUVER CIVIC THEATRES?
Sunset Cinema is hosted by Vancouver Civic Theatres which is owned and operated by the City of Vancouver. The organization manages the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Orpheum, Vancouver Playhouse, ANNEX and šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn (formerly known as the Queen Elizabeth Plaza). The organization also hosts special events, like Sunset Cinema in the summer.
To learn about all the amazing events taking place at the above venues, visit the Vancouver Civic Theatres website. To learn about Sunset Cinema and what showed in 2022, continue reading.
Vancouver’s Sunset Cinema in 2022
Four free movies showed in the plaza in front of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in the summer of 2022. The theatre is located at 630 Hamilton Street. The plaza itself is on West Georgia Street across from the CBC Building and kitty-corner to the main Vancouver Public Library.
A film showed on all but one Wednesday in August in 2022. Below were the films that showed in the summer in 2022. The shows started at dusk and the times given below were approximate.
- 16th of August, 2022 – Sing 2 at ~8:45 pm
- 17th of August, 2022 – Pitch Perfect at ~8:30 pm
- 24th of August, 2022 – Spider-Man: No Way Home at ~8:15 pm
- 31st of August, 2022 – In the Heights at ~8:00 pm
In addition to the movies, the events sometimes feature a musical performance before the show. That was the case on August 16th. There might also be live music on one other day too. The films are on a large inflatable screen. Bring your own blankets or chairs to sit on, and pillows too if you want. Dogs on leash are also permitted.
Sunset Cinema Video
To get an idea of what the Sunset Cinema event looks like, check out the video below. It shows scenes of the event from August 16th in 2022. On that date there was also free face painting and live music before the film. There was live music again on most of the other dates, just not on August 24th. The face painter though was likely only there on the first day of the season.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and things to know to help you make the most of your outdoor movie experience.
TIP #1: Take public transit if you can. The Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain Station is close, and Vancouver City Centre Station isn’t too far either.
TIP #2: Take a blanket or warm sweater. It can get cool in the evenings, especially in the second half of August. Bring your own chair too if you can.
TIP #3: Arrive early to get a good seat.
TIP #4: In the past, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre has sometimes (but not always) set up a bar and licensed area outside prior to the show. If you want an adult (19+) beverage, be sure to take photo ID.
TIP #5: If your hearing is an issue, sit close to one of the speakers.
TIP #6: If you like dancing and Latin music, in 2022 Vancouver Civic Theatres also hosted Dance Dance Dance which was a series of free Latin dance lessons led by Dance in Transit. The sessions also took place outdoors at šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn (formerly the QET Plaza). They occurred on the following Fridays in 2022:
- July 22nd – Salsa & Latin Mix with Corey Solomon
- July 29th – Bachata & Latin Mix with Corey Solomon
- August 5th – Argentine Tango with Gabriel Monty from Argentine Tango Lab
- August 12th – Argentine Tango with Jorge Olguin
No dancing experience was necessary to join the above dance events. You did though need to book your spot in advance. (Note: The event details were subject to change. Also, the lessons would have been moved indoors if the weather looked like it was going to rain.) To register click, Dance Dance Dance.
For more information about the movies and other events, see the Vancouver Civic Theatres website.
For details about other similar film opportunities see our article about Free Vancouver Outdoor Movies.
Free live music performances take place all over the Lower Mainland too. To learn about them click Free Outdoor Concerts.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Downtown Vancouver Hotels
- Vancouver Restaurants
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Best Places for Children
- Vancouver Theatres
- Lower Mainland Movies
The plaza where Summer Cinema takes place is officially called šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn which means “a place where a cultural gathering occurs” in the Coast Salish language. It is pronounced (very approximately) as Hoot-lacken or Hoot-awe-shen.