Watching a movie is an excellent way to spend quality family time. The Baltimore area has some unique features with regard to each of its outdoor movie venues. Most are free, but some are available at a nominal cost.



Bengie’s Drive-in
3417 Eastern Blvd.
Baltimore, Md. 21220
(410) 687-5627

This venue opened in 1956 and is located in Baltimore County. The screen is touted as the largest in the country and measures 52 feet high by 120 feet wide. Movies begin at dusk and the theater is open Fridays through Sundays. Instead of speakers, patrons must use their car radios to tune in to the movies. The first feature is always a family-friendly movie. This year, the theater is celebrating its 59th year.

American Visionary Art Museum (Credit, Vickie Lawson)

Flicks on the Hill
American Visionary Art Museum
800 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md. 21230
(410) 244-1900

Date: Thursdays from July 10 through Aug. 28, 2014

This outdoor venue features a 30-foot-wide screen. Movies are shown on Thursday nights between July 10 and Aug. 28. There is also free admission to AVAM from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The movies are free and open to the public. Movies begin at 9 p.m. Some of the great family films this summer include “Jurassic Park,” “Back to the Future,” “WarGames,” “Time Bandits” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” Visit the website for a full schedule.

A View of the Screen on Ciao Bella Restaurant (Credit, Vickie Lawson)

Cinema at Fresco Open Air Film Festival
Ciao Bella Restaurant
236 S. High St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202

Date: July 11 – Sept. 5, 2014

Located in the Little Italy area of Baltimore City, this event is now in its 16th year. This is the first venue to begin the open air film festivals. The outdoor movies started when the late Mr. Pente, who lived at S. High and Stiles Streets, allowed the projector to be set up inside his house on the third floor and projected across the street to a wall on the side of Ciao Bella Restaurant. According to resident Joe Bertorelli, this has become a Baltimore tradition even after the death of Mr. Pente, who lived to be 102. This venue is free and open to the public. Free popcorn is also available Friday nights at 9 p.m. The venue also features live music and dancing, beginning at 7 p.m. This year’s schedule includes such films as “Hairspray,” “King Kong,” “Moonstruck,” “Rocky” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” Check the website for a full schedule.

Related: Best Indie Movie Theaters In Baltimore

Fells Point Film Festival
Broadway Pier
Baltimore, Md. 21213
(410) 563-9011

Movies are shown on Wednesdays, beginning at 8:45 p.m. from July 9 until Aug. 27 thanks to the owner of The Sound Garden record and movie shop. This a great way to spend a summer’s night on the Broadway Pier under the stars looking at the stars on screen. The schedule has not yet been set, but the selections are sure to be family-friendly viewing.

Related: Baltimore’s Best Drive-In Theaters 

Vickie Lawson is a freelance writer whose work can be found on