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Movies under the stars across Long Island

Outdoor movie night at the Harry Chapin Lakeside

Outdoor movie night at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. (July 8, 2010) Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Summer movies - they aren't just in air-conditioned theaters. Parks and other venues all over Long Island are pitching oversize movie screens in a large open space and inviting folks to sprawl out on blankets under the stars. The best part - most screenings are free.

"It is great being outside watching a movie," Bill White of Cold Spring Harbor said at a late June screening of "Monsters vs. Aliens" at Heckscher Park in Huntington.

White, 43, had set up a spot with lawn chairs and a blanket and kicked off his shoes to watch the film alongside his son, Jack, 11. The pair had a cooler with sandwiches and lemon-flavored water. "I could do this all summer long," he said.

Turns out, he can.

Dozens of outdoor movies are scheduled to be screened at various locations through September.

What's playing 

Most outdoor movie screenings are family-oriented affairs at town parks or beaches, with G- or PG-rated flicks released in the past few years.

If you're into classic films, the Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton is just the ticket, screening free favorites like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (July 23) and "West Side Story" (Aug. 13) at Marder Nursery. "What we do is very low-key," says owner Silas Marder. "You show up and find a space."

The Southampton Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring drive-in movies in the parking area at Coopers Beach. "It will be like going to a drive-in used to be, but without those boxes on your car window," says co-executive director Linda Euwell.

What to bring

* Seating

* Blankets (for chilly evenings)

* Snacks

* Water or other beverages (but alcohol is typically prohibited)

* Bug spray

Where to go


JULY 18

"Bali High" and "180 Degrees South"

WHEN | WHERE 9 p.m., The Surf Lodge, 183 Edgemere St., Montauk

INFO 631-668-1562, thesurflodge.com

COST Free

SCHEDULE "Melali: The Drifter Sessions" (July 25); "Forgotten Island of Santosha" (Aug. 1); "Lost Prophets" (Aug. 8); "North Shore" (Aug. 15); "Donovan: Alive in Tahiti" (Aug. 22); "On Any Sunday" (Aug. 29); "Search for Surf" (Sept. 5); "Cosmic Children" (Sept. 12)

GOOD TO KNOW All films are surfer-themed.


JULY 21

"Rear Window"

WHEN | WHERE 9 p.m. Clark Botanic Garden, 193 I.U. Willets Rd., Albertson

INFO 516-869-6311

COST Free

GOOD TO KNOW Begins with 7 p.m. concert of the Five Town College Pops Band. Bring seating.


JULY 22

"Tootsie"

WHEN | WHERE 8:30 p.m. Marjorie Post-Massapequa Community Park, Unqua and Merrick roads, Massapequa

INFO 516-797-7990, oysterbaytown.com

COST Free

SCHEDULE "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" (Aug. 9); "How to Train Your Dragon" (Aug. 10)

GOOD TO KNOW Bring your own seating.


JULY 27

"Jaws"

WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m., Havens Beach, Bay Street, Sag Harbor

INFO 516-459-0311

COST $10 ($5 ages 10 and younger)

GOOD TO KNOW Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Film is shown on the beach to benefit the East Hampton Hurricanes swim team. Concessions available, bring seating. Rain date July 29.


JULY 29

"Rear Window"

WHEN | WHERE 8:30 p.m. Theodore Roosevelt Beach, West End Avenue, Oyster Bay

INFO 516-624-6202, oysterbaytown.com

COST Free

SCHEDULE "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" (Aug. 9)

GOOD TO KNOW Bring seating. Arrive early for best parking.


JULY 31

"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial"

WHEN | WHERE 9 p.m., North Hempstead Town Dock, 347 Main St., Port Washington

INFO 516-869-6311, northhempsteadny.gov

COST Free

SCHEDULE "American Graffiti" (8:30 p.m. Aug. 14)

GOOD TO KNOW Sunset yoga at 8 p.m., movie starts afterward.


AUG. 2

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs"

WHEN | WHERE Between 8:30-9 p.m., Dix Hills Park, 575 Vanderbilt Pkwy., between Commack Road and Deer Park Avenue, Dix Hills

INFO 631-351-3112

COST Free

GOOD TO KNOW Bring your own seating.


AUG. 6

'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs' 

WHEN | WHERE 8:30 p.m., Hoyt Farm Park Preserve, 200 New Hwy., Commack

INFO 631-543-7804

COST Free

GOOD TO KNOW Picnic tables and benches available. Nonresidents must park on the street. Rain date 8:30 p.m. Aug. 13.


AUG. 7

"The Blind Side"

WHEN | WHERE 8:45 p.m., Martin "Bunky" Reid Park, Broadway and Urban Avenue, Westbury

INFO 516-869-6311, northhempsteadny.gov

COST Free

GOOD TO KNOW Bring seating.


AUG. 11

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs"

WHEN | WHERE 8:45 p.m., Clinton G. Martin Park, 1601 Marcus Ave., New Hyde Park

INFO 516-869-6311, northhempsteadny.gov

COST Free

GOOD TO KNOW Seating available; food vendors on-site.


AUG. 26

"Up"

WHEN | WHERE 8:30 p.m., North Hempstead Beach Park, West Shore Road, Port Washington

INFO 516-869-6311, northhempsteadny.gov

COST Free

GOOD TO KNOW A true drive-in movie. Those who watch from outside their vehicles will have audio from speakers set up in the area.

"The original 'Toy Story"

WHEN | WHERE At dusk (gates open at 6 p.m.), Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville. Rain date Sept. 2

COST Free, but tickets required

SCHEDULE Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" Sept. 10 (rain date Sept. 25); "How to Train Your Dragon" Oct. 8 (rain date Oct. 16)

GOOD TO KNOW Printable tickets for each movie will be available online about two weeks in advance (for "Toy Story," go to newsday.com/toystory beginning Aug. 9).

>>COMPLETE LIST OF OUTDOOR MOVIES ON LONG ISLAND

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