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Movies Under the Summertime Stars in San Diego!

Sculpture garden at San Diego Museum of Art (Photo: Rob Malouf/Flickr)

Outdoor movies are a hallmark of summer, even if those drive-in theaters of old are getting mighty hard to come by. Here in San Diego, fulfilling this old-school seasonal tradition isn’t difficult—you’ve got plenty of options!

Take the “Summer Movies in the Park” program, for instance, which airs family-friendly classics all over San Diego County throughout the summer—for free! In the coming weeks, for instance, you can catch The Sandlot at Waterfront Park (July 8), Kung Fu Panda 3 at Balboa Park (July 9), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Old Town’s Heritage County Park (July 22).

Head down to a given park early so you can nab a choice spot. And you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy this charming tradition: “Summer Movies in the Park” runs all the way through October. (Hey, don’t forget—this is Southern California.)

But it’s not the only game in town. Next month, the San Diego Museum of Art will again be hosting its topnotch film series, “Film in the Garden,” with offerings that reflect the exhibitions currently on tap in its hallowed halls. The movies are shown in the gorgeous May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden, where you can spread out a blanket, indulge in a few nibbles and libations from the museum’s Panama 66 eatery (right on the edge of the garden), and enjoy some high cinema under the evening sky.

This summer’s free “Film in the Garden” schedule includes: How to Make an American Quilt (August 1), Spring in a Small Town (August 8), Belle (August 15), The Venice Project (August 22), and The Big Sleep (August 29).

And then there’s the “Little Italy Summer Film Festival,” where you can snuggle up to (subtitled) masterpieces of Italian cinema at the Amici Park Amphitheater. Entry is $5.

Up in La Jolla, meanwhile, the “Flicks on the Bricks” series combines the silver screen with vino at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Settle in to The Prince and the Showgirl (August 4), To Have and Have Not (August 11), Our Man in Havana (August 18), or To Catch a Thief (August 25), and sip curated wines specially selected for a given night’s movie.

Stay with us at the Sofia Hotel this summer, and catch a flick under the stars—there’s nothing like it!