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Starry, Starry Cinema: Free Outdoor Movies in Orange County for 2015

Outdoor Summer Movies

2015 Summer Free Outdoor Movies in Orange County

There is something inherently blissful about watching a movie outdoors in the summertime. The sound of the film is audible yet not overpowering, thus allowing the natural ambiance of chirping birds or the effects of gusting breezes to be quietly heard. The visuals that are seen on celluloid are accompanied by the twinkle of the darkened heavens. The food and drink that is enjoyed may very well improve upon buckets of popcorn smeared in buttery goo.

The temperature is typically just cool enough to make it a convenient reason to huddle close to your family and share a measure of loving warmth. Sure, the films being shown aren’t exactly new – parents with little kids may unwittingly have some of them committed to memory – but that’s totally fine. Nobody ever goes to an outdoor movie in the summer solely for the flick, anyway.

More and more cities in Orange County have caught on to this magical concept over the years, and families are better off for this trend. This summer sees plenty of spots in OC where parents and children can gather under the cosmos for free and catch a film together, as demonstrated by the handy little list that follows. While the movies that are being shown here are nice, the memories that they are poised to spawn in the minds of families is far nicer.

(NOTE: Some of these venues may have family-friendly activities prior to the movies. Check the cities’ official website for details.)

Aliso Viejo

Venue: Grand Park – City Lights Dr
Movie: The Lego Movie (July 10), Big Hero 6 (July 24), Finding Nemo (August 7th), Toy Story (August 21st)
Time: Dusk


Venue: Honda Center – 2695 East Katella Ave. Anaheim, CA 92806
Movie: Double-feature community event will begin with The Sandlot at 5:30 PM and Independence Day playing at 8:00 PM.
Date:Sunday, June 28

– Food Trucks and Doors open at 4:30 PM
– Screening of The Sandlot will begin at 5:30 PM
– Screening of Independence Day will begin at 8:00 PM

Venue: Pearson Park – 401 N Lemon St
Movies: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (August 14); Big Hero 6 (August 16).
Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Oak Canyon Nature Center – 6700 E. Walnut Canyon Rd
Movies: The LEGO Movie (July 17); Paddington (July 24); Brave (July 31)
Time: 7:30 PM, including a half-hour tour of the facility. (The movie is free; however, there is a suggested donation of $5)


Venue: Arovista Park Amphitheatre – 500 West Imperial Hwy
Movies: Frozen (July 11); Angels in the Outfield (July 18); The Parent Trap (1998 re-make, July 25); Despicable Me (August 1); The Lorax (August 8); The LEGO Movie (August 15).
Time: 7:00 PM

Costa Mesa

Venue: South Coast Collection – 3333 Hyland Ave
Movies: Big Hero 6 (June 2); Willy Wonky and the Chocolate Factory (July 7); Jiro Dreams of Sushi OR Chef (August 4); When Harry Met Sally OR Casablanca (September 1); Coraline OR Edward Scissorhands (October 6)
Time: 8:30 PM

Dana Point

Venue: Lantern Bay Park – 25111 Park Lantern
Movies: Big Hero 6 (June 5); Mr. Peabody & Sherman (June 12); Disney’s Malificent (August 19); Paddington (August 26)
Time: 8:00 PM

Fountain Valley

Venue: Fountain Valley Recreation Center & Sports Park (Mile Square Park) – 16400 Brookhurst St.
Movie: Kung Fu Panda (August 4)
Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Green Valley Park – Los Jardines West
Movie: How to Train Your Dragon (August 14)
Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Vista View Park – 9235 Honeysuckle Ave
Movie: Up (August 21)
Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Harper Park – Morongo St
Movie: Frozen (August 28)
Time: 6:00 PM

Garden Grove

Venue: Village Green Park – 12732 Main St
Movies: McFarland USA (July 2); Big Hero 6 (August 20)
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM


Venue: Great Park – Sand Canyon Ave
Movies: Casablanca (June 5); How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 6); High Society (June 12); Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (July 13); Hoosiers (June 19); Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979, June 26); Penguins of Madagascar (June 27); The Muppet Movie (July 10); Paddington (July 11); The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (July 18).
Time: Dusk

Venue: Hotel Irvine
17900 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92614
Time: 6:30pm
Movies: Top Gun (July 24), Back to the Future (July 31), The Goonies (August 14), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (August 21)
Food: A picnic from The Marketplace can be pre-ordered, or the gang can feast on chef’s outdoor BBQ with tri-tip sandwiches, bratwurst, hot dogs and hamburgers and munch on staple movie snacks like popcorn and candy.
**Tickets are $5 per person; free for children under the age of five**

For those who’d like to make it a mini getaway, Hotel Irvine is offering a Movie Night Retreat Package that includes four Movie Night tickets, a blanket and movie-themed welcome treat. Package price starts at $169 per night. Additional Saturday night stays start at $159. Pricing excludes applicable taxes and service charge. Book online at or call, toll free, 866-396-4201.

Lake Forest

Venue: Lake Forest Sports Park – Rancho Pkwy
Movies: Muppets Most Wanted (June 19); The LEGO Movie (July 10)
Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Pittsford Park – Pittsford St
Movie: Big Hero 6 (July 21)
Time: 7:30 PM

Venue – Mountain View Park – Dylan Ave
Movie: Monsters University (August 7)
Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: El Toro Park – Los Alisos Blvd
Movie: A Bug’s Life (August 14)
Time: 7:30 PM

Los Alamitos

Venue: Laurel Park – 10862 Bloomfield St
Movies: Angels in the Outfield (June 27 – movie preceded by a concert by the band Reckless); Frozen (August 1 – movie preceded by a concert by the band Southland Mega Groove); Big Hero 6 (August 8 – movie preceded by a concert by the band Identity Crisis)
Time: 8:00 PM (Concerts begin at 6:30 PM)

Venue: JFTB Pool – 11200 Lexington Dr
Movie: Dolphin Tale (July 11 – movie preceded by a concert by Vibe Tribe)
Time: 8:00 PM (Concert begins at 6:30 PM)


Venue: Champions Sports Complex – 505 Jefferson St
Movies: Paddington (July 10); Planes: fire and Rescue (July 17); Hercules (July 24); Ratatouille (July 31); Disney’s Malificent (August 7); Big Hero 6 (August 14); Cinderella (August 21).
Time: Dusk

Seal Beach

Venue: Seal Beach Pier
Movie: Big Hero 6 (June 6)
Time: Dusk

Venue: Edison Park – College Park Dr
Movie: Paddington (June 20)
Time: Dusk

Santa Ana

Bring a picnic, grab a blanket and enjoy this classic movie under the stars. The event arena will open at 7:30 p.m.

Event Name:
Free Movies in the Park: featuring “Grease 2” at Fairhaven Memorial Park

Fairhaven Memorial Park

Date and Time:
Saturday, July 18 at 8:15 p.m.

Fairhaven Memorial Park
1702 E Fairhaven Ave
Santa Ana, CA 92705



Venue: Heritage Park – Heritage Way
Movie: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (July 23)
Time: Dusk

Venue: Cedar Grove Park – 11385 Pioneer Rd
Movie: Mr. Peabody & Sherman (July 30)
Time: Dusk

Venue: Peppertree Park – 230 West First St
Movie: The Hundred Foot Journey (August 6)
Time: Dusk

Venue: Centennial Park – Devonshire Ave
Movie: Paddington (August 13)
Time: Dusk

Venue: Frontier Park – 1400 Mitchell Ave
Movie: Big Hero 6 (August 20)
Time: Dusk

Yorba Linda

Venue: Hurless Barton Park – Casa Loma Ave
Movies: Planes: Fire and Rescue (July 24); Big Hero 6 (August 21)
Time: 7:45 PM


Rancho Las Lomas Wildlife Foundation
19191 Lawrence Canyon | Silverado, CA 92676

Friday night movie series as a fundraiser for our facility. Tickets are $15.00 each and include access to our zoo and movie. Gates open at 6:00pm for guests to enjoy the property, grab a drink from our bar and hold a seat for the movie. We have a great selection of movies to choose from for family night, date night or girls night out!

July 10th – “Dirty Dancing”
July 17th – “Beethoven”
July 24th – “Braveheart”
July 31st – “Jumanji”
August 7th – “Top Gun”
August 14th “Forest Gump”
August 21st “ Jerry Maguire”

Bring: Low back chair, blanket and picnic

We will have a full bar available for purchase including beer and wine buckets.

Must RSVP to [email protected] or 949-589-7900 (limited seating)

Know of an event we missed? Email us at [email protected]

Rich Manning is a freelance writer that has been covering Orange County’s food, wine, and lifestyle scene for ten years. He currently lives in Fountain Valley with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs.
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