East Bay outdoor movies for the summer

I remember going to drive-in movies in high school. I thought it was such a crime that my dad wouldn’t let me stay until the end of the double feature. Then again, those shows probably ended around 1am, so I can’t blame him now. Another drive-in memory was when I was driving cross-country with a girlfriend and we watched Twister (in which a tornado destroys a drive-in) at the drive-in. Awesome.

Since it has to be dark to show movies outside, it’s not the best plan for really little kids. I can’t wait for the day my kids are old enough to stay up for a movie that starts at 8pm that we can watch outside together. Maybe next summer. Or maybe we’ll just push it and cross our fingers and hope for no meltdowns…

Here are a few options for outdoor shows in the East Bay.

West Wind Drive-in (Concord). Kids under 5 are free, kids under 11 are $1. If your child is able to deal with Kung Fu Panda 2 at 8:45, this would be perfect for you. Mine are soooo not ready. Little babies who sleep in the car seat might also enjoy this adventure. Audio for the shows plays through your radio.

Alameda Starlight Movies. Three movies shown outdoors over the course of the summer with kid-friendly titles: Despicable Me, Night at the Museum, and Toy Story 3. This might be the series we attempt. Boxed dinners are available for $5 per meal. Pre-order your dinner by calling ARPD at 747-7529 with your credit card no later then one week before each movie.

Hayward Movies on the Plaza. FREE movies start at 8:15 and are kid-friendly films on the final Friday of the month June through September.

Jack London Waterfront Flicks. The titles for this summer series in Oakland are more adult than last year, so this is a fun date night. Movies are shown at dusk two Thursdays a month. Local restaurants offer deals and the event often opens with a trivia contest. Find the schedule on their events page.

Temescal Street Cinema. Another date-night option in Oakland, this indie vibe film series runs Thursdays June 9 through July 14.

New to the outdoor movie scene? Redtri.com shares their tips for making it fun.

[photo from hooniverse.com]

I did a lot of research, but if my list is incomplete, I’d LOVE to update it. Tell me your favorite (public) place for outdoor family-friendly movies!

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  1. Anonymous says

    The Hayward link is broken. Here is the PDF: http://www.haywardrec.org/brochure.pdf (search for “movies”)
    or here is the excerpt:

    Hayward Area Recreation and Park District and the City of Hayward Present
    Movies on the Plaza
    Fridays – All movies start at 8:15pm
    Hayward City Hall Plaza, 777 B Street, Hayward
    Join us for some FREE family fun! Bring the entire family,
    low-back, small chairs and/or blankets, flashlights (keep them
    low!) and enjoy the following feature films. Snacks and
    refreshments are available for purchase.

    May 18 Happy Feet 2 (PG)
    June 22 Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG)
    July 27 The Muppets (PG)
    August 24 The Smurfs (PG)
    September 28 Lorax (PG)

    Sponsored by Greater Hayward Area Recreation and
    Park District Foundation.

  2. Anonymous says

    Sorry — I didn’t realize this was a thread from 2011, but those last three comments regarding Danville, Jack London, Castro Valley & Hayward are all schedules for 2012. :)