The hoodies and fleece tights may not be alllllll the way in the back of the closet yet, but it certainly seems like all of New York has finally come out of hibernation. I still may not be fully over it–no, like, really, don’t bring up cold weather around me yet–but we all deserve to treat ourselves after the snowpocolyptic cold season of 2k14 by being outside as often as possible.

The only problem is finding summer activities that are free and still, uh, an activity. I’m not talking the “free” BYO party you usually end up spending $50 for because you felt too guilty and had to Venmo all your friends for the $9 bottle of wine and KeyFoods frozen burgers. I’m thinking really, and truly free (ok fine, plus your own personal $9 bottle of wine).

Enter your new best friend: the summer movie screening. Summer movie screenings are a New York staple and also shockingly accessible. Taking advantage of all the outdoor space New York has to offer there are free showings all over the city, in every borough, for everyone. There are a number of “line ups” this summer and it can be pretty hard to keep track of just what’s playing when and where (Thrillist compiled the whole list for ya), but the absolute top of the pack would be the SummerScreen set in McCarren Park. I’m a bit biased since this one is particularly accessible for me, but the film choices are perfect for the setting.

With massive gatherings, it’s always best to play those cult classics people can recite the lines to without actually watching. Going off this mentality, SummerScreen made some really solid choices–to name just two, The Big Lebowski and Zoolander will be shown for free during the months of July and August.  Just hope it’s not a movie screen for ants because we all know we need to see Blue Steel on as big a screen as possible.

Fair warning, not a lot of actual viewing goes on at these screenings, so movie buffs: you’ve been warned. It’s a lot of catching up with friends about stories that have nothing to do with the film until the “oh, wait sorry, what did I miss?” realization hits everyone. If you’re trying to actually see the movie I would recommend using Netflix on your stoop (lucky you, for having a stoop…) since the odds of everyone talking to Hansel and yelling to their friends for more booze is pretty high. (Summer Screen)


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