SAN DIEGO — Grab a blanket and your favorite movie snacks, San Diego County’s free Summer Movies in the Park series is coming back.
Starting next weekend, the County Parks and Recreation department will be hosting free, outdoor movie nights every week from May 26 to Oct. 31 at local parks across the San Diego region — from the coast all the way to the desert.
The annual event series began in 2007 as a “take back our parks” initiative, according to the county, giving local residents a reason to visit their nearby parks. Since then, it has become the region’s biggest outdoor movie series, with more than 100 screenings each year.
This year’s series kicks off next Friday with “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” in downtown’s picturesque Waterfront Park.
All of the titles gracing the outdoor silver-screen are perfect for a family outing, with ratings ranging from G to PG-13.
Among the picks for this year’s series are classics like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “The Sandlot,” “School of Rock” and “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,” as well as animated favorites like “Zootopia,” “Lilo and Stitch,” “Shrek” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”
In October, the event will shift to a slate of Halloween films filled with spooky-fun, including “Hocus Pocus,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Hotel Transylvania.”
All events begin as early as 6 p.m., though actual movie start times are 15 minutes after sunset. The full movie schedule, including details about location and time, can be found here.
County Parks and Recreation officials suggest people looking to catch one of the movies come early — some locations will have pre-screening activities like games, booths and food trucks. Certain screenings will also have concessions, but the outdoor screenings are perfect for a picnic.
Whether you’re a cinephile or just looking to catch a free film, these screenings are the perfect chance to relax and enjoy a fun movie under the stars.