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Movies under the stars: free outdoor summer films around Buffalo

Summer is a great time for movie fans. Not only do we get to watch all the big popcorn movies the season brings, but we can also go outside to see movies under the stars.

In addition to movies at area drive-ins, there are at least nine area outdoor movie series announced this summer with more to come. Do you like your movies on the beach? At a park? Conveniently outside an ice cream parlor? They're all here. Best of all - they're free. While most of the selections are popular family films, there are some titles for the grown-ups like a double feature of "The Notebook" and "A Star is Born."

Some tips: Check what each location will allow, but you can usually bring blankets and chairs for comfy seating. Don't forget bug spray, hand sanitizer or wipes. Get there early for the best seating (don’t forget you may need extra time to park at some locations). In the case of rain, some spots will move inside so check listings.

Here's the list of what's been announced so far.

"Mary Poppins Returns" will be shown for free at Canalside and Cazenovia Park. (Walt Disney)

Monday movies at Canalside

Movies start at 7 p.m. on the Great Lawn at Canalside. Bring blankets, chairs, food and drink. Food is also available for purchase at Clinton’s Dish and Garden Bar.

July 8: “E.T.”

July 15: “Mary Poppins Returns”

July 22: “The Grinch”

July 29: “Cool Runnings"

University at Buffalo Film Series

Movies start at 9 p.m. in July and 8:45 p.m. August at two locations (one at each campus). Movies are shown on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Special Events Field next to the Student Union on the North Campus and Fridays at Hayes Hall lawn, South Campus. In the event of rain, films move indoors to Knox 110, North Campus and Diefendorf 148 on South Campus.

July 9, 10, 12: “Dumbo”

July 16, 17, 19: “Shazam”

July 23, 24, 26: “Pokémon Detective Pikachu”

July 30, 31, Aug. 2: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

Aug. 6, 7, 9: “Rocketman”

Aug. 13, 14, 16: “Avengers: Endgame”

Aug. 20, 21, 23: “Dark Phoenix”

Green Acres Family Movie Night and Kids Pajama Party

This popular annual summer series returns to Green Acres Ice Cream (4357 Broadway, Depew). Get there early for the kids pajama party contest. Chairs and blankets are allowed. Be sure to bring extra money for an ice cream treat.

July 10: “Ralph Breaks the Internet”

July 17: “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”

July 24: “The Grinch”

July 31: “Incredibles 2”

Aug. 7: “Wonder Park”

Aug. 14: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

Tim Burton's new version of "Dumbo" will be shown for free. (Walt Disney Pictures)

Family Movie Night at Buffalo Harbor State Park

Movies begin at 7 p.m. at the park (1111 Fuhrman Blvd.) near picnic shelter 4. Parking is free. Look for the movie-themed crafts offered at non costs by the State Parks and Tifft Nature Preserve staff.

July 10: "Ralph Breaks the Internet"

July 17: "Dumbo"

July 24: "Smallfoot"

July 31: "Little Mermaid"

Aug. 7: "Hotel Transylvania 3"

Aug. 14: "Finding Dory"

Aug: 21: "Lego Batman"

Aug. 28: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

Movies in the Park – Hamlin Park

Movies start at dusk at the Hamlin Park Bandstand, East Aurora. Refreshments are available for purchase; bring blankets and chairs.

July 12: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

July 19: “Incredibles 2”

July 26: “Ralph Breaks the Internet”

Aug. 2: “Minions”

Aug. 9: “Frozen”

Aug. 16: “Zootopia”

Aug. 23: “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”

Aug. 30: “How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World”

Movie Night on the Beach at Woodlawn Beach

3580 Lake Shore Road, Blasdell

Woodlawn Beach hosts two weekly outdoor film series. On Tuesday nights, it's all about the kids with pre-movie activities including character meet and greets at 7 p.m. Movies begin as soon as it is dark enough to see (so around dusk). On Wednesday nights, the movies are geared toward adults, but kids are allowed if accompanied by adults.

Bring blankets. Cabana rentals are available for $50 and include $20 food voucher. No coolers or outside food and drink allowed. Refreshments will be available for sale at the bar. Free parking at the beach after 7 p.m. Non-perishable food donations for the Food Bank of WNY are collected at each Tuesday movie.

Kids Series

July 9: “Lion King” (animated)

July 16: “Finding Nemo”

July 23: “Zootopia”

July 30: “101 Dalmatians”

Aug. 6: “Frozen”

Aug. 13: “Aladdin”

Aug. 20: “Toy Story”

Aug. 27: “Beauty and the Beast”

A free showing of "A Star is Born" takes place on Woodlawn Beach.

For the adults

July 10: “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters 2”

July 17: TBA

July 24: “Titanic”

July 31: “Weekend at Bernie’s” and “Big Trouble in Little China”

Aug. 7: “Karate Kid” and “Karate Kid 2”

Aug. 14: “Dirty Dancing” and “Saturday Night Fever”

Aug. 21: “The Notebook” and “A Star is Born”

Aug. 28: “The Warriors”

Family Movie Nights at Buffalo Olmstead Parks

Movies start at dusk and are held at various parks. Blankets and food are allowed.

Aug. 9 at Cazenovia Park: “Mary Poppins Returns”

Aug. 16 at Riverside Park: “School of Rock”

Aug. 19 at Shakespeare Hill, Delaware Park: “Christopher Robin”

Aug. 23 at Front Park: “Coco”

Family Movie Night at Artpark

Movies start at dusk in Artpark's Outdoor Amphitheater. Parking is free. Bring chairs and blankets. Light concessions will be sold.

Aug. 12: "Tale of the Princess Kaguya"

Aug. 26: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

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