9 Outdoor Cinemas in SoCal That Take the Big Screen to a Whole New Level

From Rooftop Hangs to Seaside Showings, These Outdoor Theaters Are Totally Epic

One 2020 trend we’re not ready to bid adieu to? Outdoor cinemas, of course! As Californians looked for new ways to partake in one of their favorite pastimes, an old tradition garnered newfound popularity—and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. With more drive-in and rooftop movie viewing options than ever before, we put together a list of the best open-air cinemas that Southern California has to offer. After all, the only thing better than kicking back and watching a movie is watching one in the perfect California weather. Outdoor Movie Theaters California

Outdoor Movie Theaters California

1 | East Village Movies in the Park

The hip enclave of East Village may be known for its chic shops, bustling restaurants and famed baseball stadium, but this summer, this San Diego neighborhood is also rolling out the big screen for an epic movie series in the park! You and your crew can catch iconic flicks like “Mean Girls,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Shining,” “Dirty Dancing” and more. Just grab your picnic blankets, your snack of choice and find a spot on the lawn of Fault Line Park, located between J Street and Island Avenue. This is the perfect way to get some fresh air and spend a summer night in San Diego!

Location: East Village

EXP 9/13


2 | Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Loews Santa Monica is offering seaside flicks this spring! With a big screen situated at their pool, family-classics will be available to watch Saturdays from 7-9 p.m. Snack on movie munchies from their on-site restaurant, Blue Streak, and watch the sunset dip behind the ocean. It’s a movie night you’ll never forget! 

Location: Santa Monica 

Outdoor Movie Theaters California

3 | Rooftop Cinema Club

This place has it all. Seriously. From sweeping views of the city skyline to curated themed cocktails, Rooftop Cinema Club masters the open-air screening concept down to the very last detail. Showing a large array of cult, classic and newly released films, there’s something for everyone to love! And another feature that can be universally enjoyed? Their full food and bar menu that takes “dinner and a movie” to a whole new level. So, cozy up with their complimentary blankets and immerse yourself in a viewing experience that will have you coming back time and time again.

Locations: El Segundo, Santa Monica and San Diego 

EXP 9/16


4 | Roadium Drive-In + Open-Air Market

Open-air market by day and drive-in theatre by night, this venue serves as an all-day affair for the whole family! Peruse their 15-acre facility for collectibles, antiques and custom-made keepsakes, and then wind down for the evening with a Friday night flick. For over 60 years, the Roadium Market has been serving Southern California and offers a variety of films for all ages. This venue charges by the car, so pile in the squad and treat yourself to a day of retail therapy and the ultimate movie night.

Location: Torrance 

Outdoor Movie Theaters California

5 | Melrose Rooftop Theatre

Nestled in the heart of West Hollywood, Melrose Rooftop Theatre takes the open-air cinema experience to new luxe heights. Keeping their loyal viewers in mind, this outdoor theatre uses wireless technology with individual headsets to offer premium sound quality and a truly immersive experience for each guest. Sprawl out on their oversized bean-bag chairs and enjoy dinner and cocktails with a spectacular view of the iconic Hollywood Hills.

Location: West Hollywood 

EXP 9/12


6 | Cinespia

What’s more Hollywood than watching your favorite cult classic at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery? We’re waiting…yeah, we couldn’t think of anything either. Home to live music, classic films, poetry readings and LA’s liveliest spirits, The Hollywood Cemetery is a long-standing stage to the arts and the idyllic venue for your motion-picture viewing pleasure. Additionally, Cinespia is now offering a drive-in theatre at the legendary Greek Theatre. Can’t decide which location sounds better? Try both!

Locations: Hollywood Forever Cemetery and Greek Theatre 

Outdoor Movie Theaters California

7 | Seaside Cinema

Ready for summer? We sure are, and so is Seaside Cinema. Ideal for intimate birthdays, proposals, anniversaries and more, Seaside Cinema offers private, pop-up movies in the dreamiest locations. Hang out on the sand, under the stars and in the coziest set-up as you watch your favorite flick. It doesn’t get better than this! 

Location: San Diego

8 | South Bay Drive-in

Complete with a world-famous swap meet, snack bar and drive-in theatre, this San Diego hotspot has been a one-stop destination for fun in the sun since 1958! Showing the latest and greatest films that come onto the scene, South Bay Drive-in is a unique way to catch the newest arrivals that you’ve been dying to see. Want to make a day of it? Show up early and explore over 300 vendors for a little pre-film shopping spree.

Location: San Diego

Outdoor Movie Theaters California

9 | Paramount Drive-In

Transport yourself back a few decades to simpler times with a classic drive-in movie experience. Paramount Drive-In is seasoned in the outdoor cinema scene and offers seamless, memorable film nights under the moonlight. And aside from run-of-the-mill drive-in features like concession stands, this outdoor theatre also allows private viewing parties where you and your closest friends and family can rent out the entire venue! It’s time to put your car in drive and head back to the 1950s.

Location: Paramount

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