Summer Cinema is a series of FREE outdoor movies showing once a week on Tuesday evenings in Vancouver’s Stanley Park on the lawn by Second Beach in summer.
SUNSET CINEMA IN AUGUST
Another great place to watch free outdoor movies in the summer is outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Screenings take place on Wednesday evenings in August. To learn about movies at that venue, see our article about Vancouver Civic Theatre’s Sunset Cinema. To learn more about free outdoor films in other places, see our article about Lower Mainland Outdoor Movies.
Movie Nights at Stanley Park
The movies at Stanley Park typically run from early July until around the third or fourth week of August. They take place at Ceperley Meadow beside Second Beach.
Shows are all free and usually start at dusk, which is at about 9:30 pm for the first show and at around 8:30 pm for the last show (plus or minus).
The event didn’t happen in 2020 and 2021 due to the spread of the coronavirus and restrictions on gatherings. The outdoor movies resumed in 2022 on Tuesday nights in July and August.
Summer Cinema Schedule
Below were the listed movies for the 2023 cinema season.
Note: Show times and film details were subject to change.
- 4th of July, 2023 – Bring It On (2000): rated PG, it started at around 9:20 pm.
- 11th of July, 2023 – The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023): it started at around 9:16 pm and was rated G.
- 18th of July, 2023 – cinema goers could vote which of these three movies to show on the night – My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997); 10 Things I Hate About You (1999); The Parent Trap (1998).
- 25th of July, 2023 – Jaws (1975): it started at around 9:02 pm and was rated PG.
- 1st of August, 2023 – The Wedding Singer (1998): rated PR, it started at around 8:52 pm.
- 8th of August, 2023 – The Birdcage (1996): it started at around 8:41 pm and was rated PG.
- 15th of August, 2023 – Shrek (2001): rated G, it started at around 8:29 pm.
- 22nd of August, 2023 – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003): it started at around 8:16 pm and was rated PG.
LIVE MUSICAL THEATRE
Don’t forget that in addition to the weekly outdoor movies at Stanley Park, some of the region’s best theatre productions also happen in the same park every night in July and August. In 2022 We Will Rock You featured music from the band Queen. We saw the show and it was awesome! Something Rotten!, meanwhile, was a second musical with a Shakespearean-themed comedy. We loved it too!
The two live shows that played in the park in 2023 were Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical and the Broadway hit musical The Prom.
If you like live theatre and musicals, there are great shows that you won’t want to miss! See our article about Theatre Under the Stars for details.
Tips & Advice
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most of your summer entertainment experiences in Stanley Park.
TIP #1: Bring your own blankets or deck chairs, and dress warmly, especially towards the end of the summer as it can get cool at night.
TIP #2: Get there early to find parking and a good spot to set up your blanket or lawn chair.
TIP #3: If you like being entertained in the outdoors, check out the Theatre Under the Stars shows. It also takes place at Stanley Park in the summer and it’s exceptional.
TIP #4: Don’t just go to Stanley Park for the movies (or live theatre). There is so much to do in the area, so combine your trip to see a show with some late afternoon and/or early evening exploring. Go for a walk or bike ride along the seawall, take your swimsuit and enjoy a swim, or have a picnic and enjoy the park.
Other Free Outdoor Movies and Information
Stanley Park isn’t the only place to find free outdoor movies in the Lower Mainland in the summer. In fact, there are usually over 50 films showing at different venues throughout the region. Click Lower Mainland Outdoor Movies for information on other venues.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Stanley Park
- The Stanley Park Seawall
- Lower Mainland Movies and Cinemas
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Parks and Places in Nature
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- Entertainment in Vancouver
- Vancouver for Children