Top Picks for Outdoor Movie Nights in Vancouver - Summer 2023

8 Min Read
Jun 25, 2023

Welcome to the vibrant city of Vancouver, where summer comes alive with a magical blend of movies and the great outdoors. As the sun sets over the stunning landscapes and the warm breeze fills the air, Vancouver transforms into a cinematic paradise, offering an unforgettable experience of summer outdoor movies.

In this comprehensive guide, we invite you to dive into the world of outdoor cinema in Vancouver for the year 2023. From lush parks to stunning waterfront venues, Vancouver offers an array of captivating settings that host captivating outdoor movie screenings.

Get ready to relax on a blanket, grab some popcorn, and lose yourself in the enchantment of the big screen beneath the open sky

1. Summer Movie Nights - by Downtownvan

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If you've been searching for a unique, immersive outdoor cinema experience in Vancouver, then you'll absolutely adore Summer Movie Nights.

This enchanting event, hosted right in the city's heart, is more than just a movie night, it's a social gathering under the stars that brings together film enthusiasts and families for memorable summer evenings.

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Every Thursday night, from July 6 to August 17, 2023, the iconic square, known to many as the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza, is transformed into a bustling outdoor theatre.

This free, family-friendly event kicks off each evening at 5 pm with an array of pre-show festivities, featuring everything from face painting and stilt walkers to live music performances and even mini-golf!

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As the sun sets, the show begins on a colossal 16-foot inflatable screen, casting a magical glow over the square and its gathering of movie-lovers lasts till 11 pm approximately.

It's a truly enchanting spectacle, watching a film under the vast Vancouver sky, nestled among fellow cinema aficionados on your own cozy blankets.

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And if you've worked up an appetite, no worries - there are food trucks stationed on-site every week. So you can grab a delicious bite to eat while you're immersed in the on-screen action. It’s the perfect romantic date idea or a unique way to spend a night in Vancouver.

July 6 - Twilight (5-11PM)

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July 13 - Bend it like Beckham (5-11PM)

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July 20 - Legally Blonde (5-11PM)

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July 27 - The LEGO Movie (5-11PM)

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August 3 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show (5-11PM)

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August 10 - Topgun | August 17 - Everything Everywhere All At Once (5-11PM)

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2. Sunset Cinema - North Vancouver - The Shipyards

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Sunset Cinema at The Shipyards, located in the vibrant heart of North Vancouver. If you're in pursuit of a quintessential outdoor movie experience during those balmy summer nights, Sunset Cinema is an unmissable destination.

When Wednesday evenings roll around in August, The Shipyard Commons comes alive, transforming into a beautiful outdoor theatre from 9 pm to 11 pm.

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You'll find a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere here, with movie-goers casually setting up their chairs and blankets, ready to enjoy a classic film as the sun gently dips below the horizon.

The unique setting, with a backdrop of historic buildings and stunning harbor views, lends an enchanting ambience to the Sunset Cinema experience. Every film screened here seems to take on an extra magic under the open sky, accompanied by the gentle hum of the bustling city in the background.

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But don't be fooled by the informal setup. The Sunset Cinema is a meticulously organized event, ensuring every visitor enjoys a smooth and memorable evening.

Be it a family outing, a fun evening with friends, or a romantic date, this summer outdoor movie spot in Vancouver is an incredible setting to relish good cinema and create lasting memories.

August 2 - Jumanji | August 9 - Mamma Mia 2 (9-11PM)

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August 16 - Encanto | August 23 - E.T. (9-11PM)

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3. Deckchair Cinema - Outdoor Movies in North Vancouver - The Polygon

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Nestled in the idyllic setting of Cates Deck, this open-air theatre is a haven for cinephiles and casual movie-goers alike.

Now in its sophomore year, this event offers a blend of classic films, local entertainment, and a diverse market, promising you an unforgettable night under the stars.

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This year, Deckchair Cinema springs to life on ten consecutive Thursdays, starting June 29. The revelries begin well before curtain time, with music and entertainment filling the air as the sun dips over the horizon.

As the skies darken, the magic truly begins. The enchanting Olivia Newton-John graces the screen in a fantastical musical odyssey, followed by a heart-warming tale of inspiration and disco roller rinks.

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The Deckchair Cinema experience is enhanced by the outdoor Meet the Makers market. Organized by lifestyle brand OCIN, it features local wineries and breweries, allowing you to savor a glass of your favorite drink as you watch a movie under the stars.

All this from the comfort of your own blanket or low chair, surrounded by fellow movie enthusiasts.

June 29 - Fantastic Planet (9:30-11PM)

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July 6 - Interstella 5555 | July 13 - What we do in the shadows (9:30-11PM)

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July 20 - Whale Rider | July 27 - Big trouble in China (9:30-11PM)

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August 3 - Xanadu | August 10 - Lovers Rock (9:30-11PM)

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August 17 - Moonstruck | August 24 - No Bears (9:30-11PM)

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August 31 - Bullitt (9:30-11PM)

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4. Summer Cinema at Stanley Park

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This well-loved event, co-hosted by Evo Car Share and Fresh Air Cinema, invites you to spend a summer night in Vancouver like no other.

Every Tuesday night, from July 4 to August 22, Stanley Park, the crown jewel of the city, morphs into a grand open-air cinema. The stars twinkle above while you watch your favorite films on a staggering 40-foot screen, nestled on the Grand Lawn at Ceperley Meadow.

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Imagine this: the beautiful park around you, a canopy of night sky overhead, and an engaging movie playing on the big screen, all for free.

Yes, you heard it right, the general seating is 100% FREE, with space for thousands of eager film lovers. But you also can pay $20 to get VIP Seating (only 200 available) on special outdoor chairs and get the front row.

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To secure a good spot, it's wise to arrive early. Bring a comfy picnic blanket or a lawn chair, gather your friends or that special someone, and prepare to indulge in a memorable cinematic experience.

The Summer Cinema at Stanley Park is more than just an outdoor movie night; it's an emblem of Vancouver's vibrant community spirit and love for cinema.

July 4 - Bring It On | July 11 - The Super Mario Bros.(9:20-11PM)

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July 18 - Vote Movie | July 25 - Jaws (8:50-11PM)

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August 1 - The Wedding Singer | August 8 - The Birdcage (8:41-11PM)

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August 15 - Shrek | August 22 - Pirates of the Caribbean (8:16-11PM)

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5. Vancouver Civic Theatres

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Known for their splendid architecture and cultural events, the VCT are now presenting free programs that run from July 6th to September 28th.

These events are not just limited to the iconic Orpheum theatre, but also unfold under the open sky at šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl'a7shn by the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

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Besides Orpheum Tours and vibrant Dance Dance Dance Latin Dance Classes, the Sunset Cinema Outdoor Movie Screenings are an absolute crowd-puller. Curated for an eclectic audience, the screenings feature a blend of action, comedy, fantasy, and drama.

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Starting in August, you can relive the thrill of aviation with 'Top Gun: Maverick' or delve into a whimsical world with 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie'. 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' offers an animated treat, while 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' takes you on a thought-provoking journey.

To round off the month, you can immerse yourself in the musical drama of 'West Side Story'.

August 2 - Top Gun: Maverick | August 9 - The Super Mario Bros. (9:00-11PM)

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August 16 - Puss in Boots | August 23 - Everything Everywhere All At Once (8:30-11PM)

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August 30 - West Side Story (8:00-11PM)

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6. Vancouver Public Library Outdoor Movies

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This hidden gem in the heart of the city provides a fantastic setting indoors and outdoors (check location details on their website) for film lovers looking for something a little different from their usual Vancouver cinema experience.

At VPL, the love for movies and conversation combines beautifully. They don't just screen popular feature films and thought-provoking documentaries, they spark engaging discussions.

July 21 - The Croods (3:30-5:15PM) | July 21 - John Wick (6:00-8:45PM)

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These talks often feature film critics, directors, and knowledgeable guests who bring a unique perspective to each screening.

The VPL's movie events are an oasis for all age groups. They offer 'Afternoon at the Movies', specifically tailored for the young ones. On July 21, for instance, they're screening the beloved animation 'The Croods'.

But the entertainment isn't restricted to just the afternoons or kids. Their 'Friday Night at the Movies' has something for the adults as well, like the thrilling 'John Wick: Chapter 4' scheduled for the same day.

To Sum It All Up

And that's a wrap! As the credits roll on our guide to the top picks for outdoor movie nights in Vancouver - Summer 2023, it's clear that our city offers a veritable treasure trove of cinematic experiences under the stars.

As the curtain falls on our Outdoor Movie Guide, let's switch gears and embark on a new adventure that promises to keep your nights vibrant and your spirits soaring.

Prepare to immerse yourself in the lively world of karaoke as we unveil the ultimate guide to The Best Karaoke Places in Vancouver, ensuring an unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling energized and in high spirits throughout the night!

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