Free summer movies in NJ, at Jersey beaches, theaters & zoos!
Summer's kicked into high gear in New Jersey, which means FREE plans for families are a hot commodity. Here's a roundup of spots to catch some old and newer favorite movies, for a range of ages, on the (very) cheap across Jersey. There's a selection of indoor screenings, followed by beach movies and even some 'zoo flicks' in Paramus and West Orange!
INDOOR Free Summer Movies in NJ
Bow Tie Cinemas Summer Kids Series. Theaters in Bergenfield, Hoboken, South Orange and Montclair offer these screenings on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Seating is first-come, first-served.
July 11 & 12: Storks
July 18 & 19: Ice Age Collision Course
July 25 & 26: Trolls
August 1 & 2: Kung Fu Panda 3
August 8 & 9: Hotel Transylvania 2
August 15 & 16: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Count Basie Theatre Free Summer Film Series (Red Bank)
Cool off with a matinee or evening screening. Movies are free, but tickets must be reserved online.
July 8: Despicable Me (11am)
July 18: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (7pm)
August 1: E.T. (7pm)
August 15: In the Heat of the Night (matinee, 1pm)
August 15: Guardians of the Galaxy (7pm)
August 25: The Karate Kid (original) (7pm)
State Theatre Free Summer Movies (New Brunswick)
Experience films on the theater’s gigantic 46’ screen, with a state-of-the-art sound system. This summer’s free series features six family-friendly favorites. All films are shown each day at 10:30am and 7pm. You don’t need a ticket or reservation to attend, though groups of 20 or more are encouraged to pre-register.
Wednesday, July 5: The Incredibles
Tuesday, July 11: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Tuesday, July 18: Finding Dory
Tuesday, July 25: Zootopia
Tuesday, August 1: Mary Poppins
Tuesday, August 8: The Secret Life of Pets
CityPlex 12 Free Kids Summer Films (Newark)
Take a break from the heat with free indoor films. Wednesday & Thursday mornings through August, doors open at 9 a.m., movies start at 10 a.m. Seating is first-come, first-served.
July 11 & 12: The Lego Batman Movie
July 18 & 19: Secret Life of Pets
July 25 & 26: Sing
August 1 & 2: Trolls
August 8 & 9: Ice Age Collision Course
August 15& 16: Ratchet & Clank
August 22 & 23: Storks
August 29 & 30: Monster Trucks
Marquee Cinemas Free Summer Movies (Toms River)
Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 9:30am. Two films are featured each week, so take your pick or go both days.
July 11 & 12: Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, The Secret Life of Pets
July 18 & 19: Kubo & the 2 Strings, Norm of the North
July 25 & 26: Storks, The Peanut Movie
August 1 & 2: Trolls, Sing
August 8 & 9: Monster Trucks, The Wild Life
August 15 & 16: The Lego Batman Movie, Ice Age Collision Course
Regal Cinemas' Summer Movie Express returns with $1 screenings of popular kids films each Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Two films are featured each week, with half a dozen NJ theaters taking part (Burlington, Manahawkin, Mays Landing, Phillipsburg, Turnersville and Vineland).
July 11-12: Monster Trucks, Penguins of Madagascar
July 18-19: Rio 2, The Boxtrolls
July 25-26: The Secret Life of Pets, Sing
August 1-2: Kubo and the Two Strings, Ratchet and Clank
August 8-9: The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, The Adventures of Tintin
August 15-16: Happy Feet 2, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
August 22-23: Storks, The Lego Batman Movie
OUTDOOR Free Summer Movies in NJ
Every Tuesday, there’s 'Movies Under the Stars' in Atlantic City at Gardner's Basin. Movies start at dusk. No outside food or beverage is permitted. Vendors will be featured each week.
July 11: Shark Tale
July 18: The Croods
July 25: Trolls
August 1: Penguins of Madagascar
August 8: Home
August 15: Horton Hears a Who
August 22: Boss Baby
August 29: Rio
September 5: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Movies on the beach in Ventnor are every Monday in July and August. Films start at dusk, weather permitting, at Suffolk Ave Beach behind the tennis courts. No outside food or beverage is permitted. Vendors will be featured each week.
July 10: Rio
July 17: Boss Baby
July 24: Turbo
July 31: Trolls
August 7: How To Train Your Dragon
August 14: Mr. Peabody & Sherman
August 21: Shark Tale
Zoo Flix After Dark Family Nite in Paramus are Fridays at Van Saun County Park. Friday night movies are kid-friendly. All start times are after 8:30 PM (after sunset).
July 7: We Bought a Zoo
July 14: Pete’s Dragon
July 21: Moana
July 28: The Secret Life of Pets
August 4: Lego Batman
August 11: Toy Story,
August 18: Storks
August 25: The Jungle Book
Bergen County’s "Summer Movies in the Park" also offers Wednesday night movies, geared toward an adult crowd (line up the sitters now!). Screenings are at spots including Van Saun County Park, Darlington Lake and Riverside County Park. Start times are after 8:30 PM.
July 12: Zoo Flix After Dark – Jason Bourne
July 19: Movies at the Lake – Jaws
July 26: Movies in the Meadowlands – Allied
August 2: Zoo Flix After Dark – Anchorman
August 9: Movies at the Lake – Deepwater Horizon
August 16: Movies in the Meadowlands – La La Land
August 23: Zoo Flix After Dark – The Space Between Us
August 30: Movies at the Lake – Inferno
Pemberton Township presents free movies at Mirror Lake Beach each Friday night in July and August. Free popcorn each screening, while supplies last.
July 7: Star Wars, Rogue One
July 14: Moana
July 21: Ninja Turtles
July 28: Sing
August 4: Power Rangers
August 11: Finding Dory
August 18: Beauty and the Beast
August 25: ‘Flashback Friday’ with Honey I Shrunk the Kids
Cape May County
Movies on the beach in Wildwood. Every Friday, head to Leaming Ave Beach with your chairs and blankets. Films start at dusk, weather permitting. No outside food or beverage is allowed. Vendors include Cape May BBQ, Just Delicious Kettlecorn, Kona Ice Cape May and SmartFruit.
July 7: Boss Baby
July 14: Trolls
July 21: Rio
July 28: Horton Hears a Who
August 4: Mr. Peabody and Sherman
August 11: The Sandlot
August 18: Captain Underpants
Turtleback Zoo in West Orange presents free summer movies on Wednesdays at 7:30pm from the top deck of the zoo's parking garage. Enjoy sunset, a great view and a fun film in one evening. Bring your own lawn chair and snacks, or buy from a concession. Films begin at dusk, weather permitting. The garage is outside zoo grounds, so film-goers do not need to pay zoo admission.
July 5: Disneynature African Cats. ‘Meet a local author’ before the show.
July 12: Disney Tarzan. ‘Meet Jane’ before the show.
July 19: The Adventures of Milo and Otis
July 26: The Secret Life of Pets
August 2: FernGully: The Last Rainforest. ‘Meet a fairy’ before the show.
August 9: How to Train Your Dragon
August 16: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
August 23: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
August 30: Moana. ‘Meet Moana’ before the show.
Gloucester County(locations vary)
Movies are provided by the county and titles are chosen by each municipality. All shows begin at dusk (8:00-8:30).
Friday, July 7: Sing (Woodbury Heights Community Center)
Monday, July 10: Moana (Free Public Library of Monroe)
Wednesday, July 12: Sing (West Deptford Township, Riverwinds Community Center)
Friday, July 14: Sing (Swedesboro, Lake Narraticon Park)
Wednesday, July 19: Moana (Glassboro, East New Street Park)
Friday, July 21: Sing (Woodbury, Wing-Dickerson Park)
Wednesday, July 26: Sing (Newfield Borough, Newfield Grove)
Friday, July 28: Moana (Woolwich Township Municipal Building)
Friday, August 4: Moana (Paulsboro, Fort Billings Park)
Wednesday, August 9: Moana (Mantua Township, Chestnut Branch Park)
Friday, August 11: Secret Life of Pets (Greenwich Township, Memorial Park)
Friday, August 18: Secret Life of Pets (Clayton Borough, Sandelier Park)
Wednesday, August 23: Moana (South Harrison Township, Stewart Park)
Friday, August 25: Finding Dory (Red Bank Battlefield, 100 Hessian Avenue)
Wednesday, August 30: Sing (Pitman, Sunset Auditorium, Laurel Avenue)
Princeton, Palmer Square offers free movies, starting at 8:30pm (dusk).
Friday, July 14th - The Parent Trap
Friday, August 18th - Moana
Highland Park offers a free seasonal outdoor movie theater at the Municipal Parking Lot, Btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave. The screenings range in age from family friendly to a more adult audience.
July 15: Time Bandits
July 29: Do the Right Thing
August 12: Gimme Danger
August 26: Kiki’s Delivery Service
Sayreville offers a couple of free summer movies at Kennedy Park, after dark.
Saturday, July 15, (9pm): Sing
August 26 (8:30pm): Moana
Asbury Park is getting back to free beach movies for August. The films are screened on Thursday nights, after dusk on Second Avenue beach (in front of Langosta Lounge). Viewings are sponsored by the Asbury Park Film Initiative and Shore Flicks, with canned goods accepted for an ongoing food drive.
Aug 3: Moana
Aug 10: Dirty Dancing (30th anniversary screening)
Aug 17: JAWS
Aug 24: you can vote, 'audience choice' bids are happening via Facebook.
Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach offers free beach movies on Friday nights, starting at dark. Be sure to bring a blanket. All events are weather permitting.
July 7: The Goonies (PG)
July 14: Finding Dory (PG)
July 21:The LEGO Batman Movie (PG)
July 28: Jungle Book 2016 (PG)
August 4: Pete’s Dragon 2016 (PG)
August 11: Moana (PG)
August 18: Sing (PG)
August 25: Beauty and the Beast 2017 (PG)
September 1: Zootopia (PG)
Belmar summer movies on the beach are Saturday nights on the 8th Avenue beach, starting at dusk.
July 8: The Secret Life of Pets (rain date July 12)
July 15: Rogue One (rain date July 19)
July 22: Elf (rain date July 26)
July 29: Lego Batman Movie (rain date August 2)
August 5: Sing (rain date August 9)
August 12: Finding Dory (rain date August 16)
August 19: Beauty and the Beast (rain date August 23)
August 26: Moana (rain date August 30)
September 9: Jaws (no rain date)
Spring Lake movies on the beach. Join the Spring Lake Recreation department every Wednesday night at dusk at the North End Pavilion (weather permitting). In addition to beach chairs and blankets, don’t forget to bring canned goods to be donated to local charities.
July 12: Kicking and Screaming
July 19: Finding Dory
July 26: The Lego Batman Movie
August 2: Soul Surfer
August 9: Free Willy
August 16: Moana
August 23: The Blind Side
August 30: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Brick drive-in movies on Fridays are part of Summerfest at Windward Beach Park. Movies begin at dusk.
August 11: Zootopia
August 18: Miracle
August 25: The Secret Life of Pets
Summer beach movies in Seaside Heights are twice a week in July and August. Bring a chair or blanket to the beach at Carteret Ave. Showtime starts at sunset.
Sunday, July 9: The Secret Life of Pets
Tuesday, July 11: Big Hero 6
Sunday, July 16: The Wild Life
Tuesday, July 18: Lego Batman Movie
Sunday, July 23: Storks
Tuesday, July 25: Angry Birds Movie
Sunday, July 30: Finding Dory
Tuesday, August 1: Wreck It Ralph
Sunday, August 6: Moana
Tuesday, August 8: Monsters University
Sunday, August 13: Despicable Me 2
Tuesday, August 15: Minions
Sunday, August 20: The BFG
Tuesday, August 22: Sing
Sunday, August 27: Finding Nemo
Tuesday, August 29: Beauty and the Beast
The Dover Township Recreation Department presents Summer Movies at JFK Commons Park. Movie starts around 8pm.
July 28: Finding Dory
August 26: Moana
Morris Township presents Free Big Screen Outdoor Movies at Ginty Field, next to the Municipal Complex. Start time begins at dusk, approximately 8:30 PM.
July 12: Jungle Book
July 26: LEGO Batman
August 26: Secret Life of Pets
October 28: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
Basking Ridge Parks & Rec is offering Wednesday night movies at Dunham Park. Start times are at dusk, with rain dates the following night.
July 12: Lilo and Stitch
July 19: Honey I Shrunk the Kids
July 26: Finding Dory
August 2: Beauty and the Beast
Somerset County is hosting a couple of Friday Night Drive-In Movies at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater. Popcorn and refreshments are available, with start times at 8:30 pm.
July 21: Trolls
July 28: The Boss Baby
Sparta Township offers free summer movie nights at Dykstra Park. There's a DJ prior to each movie, plus face painting and a concession stand. Screenings start at dusk.
July 15: Elf (Christmas in July!)
August 19: Finding Dory
September 9: Sing
Family Fun & Flix runs in Union County through early August at Warinanco Park (Elizabeth). Movies start at dusk.
July 11: Finding Dory
July 18: Storks
July 25: Sing
August 8: Moana
Union County National Night Out also offers another free movie at Meisel Park, Springfield. Explore emergency vehicles & check out games, activities, demonstrations and more, followed by the movie.
August 1: Secret Life of Pets
Summit Village Green's Screen on the Green happens Thursday nights through July and August. Family Dance Party begins at 7:30, with the movie at dark. All rain dates are the following Monday night.
July 20: The Lego Batman Movie
July 27: Trolls
August 3: Boss Baby
August 10: Captain Underpants
Scotch Plains Village Green offers free movies on Friday nights at 7:30pm.
July 14: Sing
August 4: West Side Story
August 11: Toy Story
August 18: A League of Their Own
August 25: Moana
Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee. A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.
Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.