Whether you’re looking for outdoor movies to enjoy those warm summer evenings, or indoor movies for those hot summer mornings when you really just need some A/C, or a drive-in movie, here are some options in the Seattle area for summer 2017.
Kids’ Summer Movie Clubs
As you may remember from your own childhood, these are probably the cheapest, easiest way to entertain your kids for two hours on a summer morning…
- Lincoln Square Bellevue, Wednesday mornings 10 am. $1 or all ten movies for $5. Schedule here: https://cinemark.com/summer-movie-clubhouse#
- Regal Summer Movie Express, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 am. $1. Bella Bottega, Redmond, Thornton Place, Seattle, Issaquah Highlands, The Landing in Renton, Regal Everett. Schedule of movies here: www.regmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express
Note: all outdoor movies start around “dusk”. This being the Pacific Northwest, that usually means around 9 – 9:30 pm in July and 8:30 – 9 in August, so outdoor movies aren’t compatible with early bedtimes. Get some handy tips / etiquette advice for outdoor movies here and here.
If you want one page that has all the movie listings all in one place, go to https://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2017/6/9/seattle-summer-outdoor-movie-guide-2017
Downtown Movies in the Park at Bellevue’s Downtown Park (by the mall). Free entertainment, popcorn and movies – each week has a non-profit partner, and you’re encouraged to donate to support these valuable programs. All movies are kid friendly. https://parks.bellevuewa.gov/special-events/outdoor-movies
Movies at Marymoor in Redmond. Wednesdays, 7/5 – 8/23. Some weeks are kid movies, some are teen/adult movies – check schedule. $5 per person, $5 to park. Live entertainment, trivia, food trucks, vendors. www.epiceap.com/movies-at-marymoor/
- PEMCO outdoor movies at Magnuson Thursdays 7/6 – 8/24. Live entertainment, trivia, food trucks, vendors. $5. Mostly kid-friendly movies. http://www.epiceap.com/seattle-outdoor-movies/
- Moonlight Cinema at Redhook Brewery, Woodinville. Thursdays, 7/13 – 8/30. $5. Mostly grown-up flicks, a couple kid-friendly. http://redhook.com/events/3/1642/moonlight-cinema-series
- Crossroads Movies in the Park, Bellevue. August 3 – 24. http://bellevue.com/outdoor-movies.php
- Ivar’s Family Films, Coulon Park, Renton. Fridays, July 21 – 8/11. $5? All kid-friendly. http://rentonwa.gov/uploadedFiles/Living/CS/REC/moviesandconcerts.pdf
- Movies in the Park. Seattle. 7/14 – 8/25 Westlake Park. This year’s movies still TBA as of 6/12/17. www.seattle.gov/parks/downtown/#movies
- Carillon Point, Kirkland. Saturdays. July 8, 22, Aug 5. Kid or teen appropriate. www.carillon-point.com/?s=outdoor+movie+night
- West Seattle Outdoor Movies. Saturdays. 7/22 – 8/26. Free. Some kid-friendly, some teen. http://westseattlemovies.blogspot.com/
- Movies at the Mural at Seattle Center. Saturdays. 7/29 – 8/26. Teen / grown-up movies mostly (except Princess Bride) www.seattlecenter.com/moviesatthemural/
- Fremont Outdoor Cinema has become Seattle Outdoor Cinema at the SLU Discovery Center. Saturdays. Grown-up only movies. www.seattleoutdoormovies.com/
- Drive in Movies at America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, July 8, 22, August 11, 26, parking starts at 4:30, movies at dusk. Free. Kid or teen movies. www.americascarmuseum.org/events/
Movies start at dusk… see note above. There aren’t many classic drive-ins left… and when you search for them online, you’re likely to find out of date listings. For example, http://www.driveintheater.com/drivlist.htm lists Samish in Bellingham, which was demolished in 2004, and http://www.driveinmovie.com/WA.htm lists Valley in Auburn which has been closed for several years and Puget Park in Everett, which closed in 2010. Here’s what’s still open within a two hour drive from Seattle:
- Rodeo Drive-in. Port Orchard / Bremerton. www.rodeodrivein.com/
- Blue Fox Drive-in – Oak Harbor. www.facebook.com/bluefoxdrivein
- Wheel-In Motor Movie. Port Townsend. www.ptwheelinmotormovie.com/
- Skyline Drive-in. Shelton. www.skylinedrive-in.com/
The only other one in the state is Auto-vue Drive-in – Colville, WA. 6 hours from Seattle. www.facebook.com/Auto-Vue-Drive-In-Theatre-120740527937813/
Summer Movie Guide and Parental Guides to Media
If you’re looking for a list of first-run movies for the summer, and advice on whether they’re kid appropriate, check out the Summer Movie Guide from Common Sense Media. Common Sense also provides reviews of movies, books, TV shows, games, apps and websites. In their movie reviews, they look at educational value, positive role models, positive messages, violence and scariness level, sexy stuff, language, consumerism and substances, providing information so parents can make their own informed decisions about what’s right for their child.
Kids in Mind also offers film reviews which rate, on a scale of 1 – 10, the level of sex/nudity, violence/gore, profanity and substance use in a movie. They also give detailed descriptions of each incident they counted, for parents to consider (and sometimes, at least for me, to laugh at…). For example, for the Captain Underpants movie, under violence and gore, these situations are described: “Children run around in a frenzy after a man pours sugar on their heads. Toilet paper rolls are launched and one roll hits a man… Flashbacks to pranks pulled on teachers include water fountains spraying in their faces, paint splattered on them, among others. A man falls into a dunk tank and is sprayed with water guns at a carnival. Thunder claps sound and lightning flashes when children go into school on a Saturday.”
Read more: http://www.kidsinmind.com/c/captainunderpantsthefirstepicmovie.htm#ixzz4jpOR1j1t
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
Other Activities: If you’re looking for other fun ideas for the summer, check out my series on “Cheap Dates with Toddlers and Young Kids”, or read about hands-on STEM enrichment activities for kids age 3 – 7 at www.InventorsOfTomorrow.com.
If you have kids age birth to 7, check out info about fabulous classes for them that include parent education for you, available at all local community colleges during the school year – register now before they fill up!!