Governors Island gets a free outdoor movie series this summer

Your new destination for movies under the stars this summer is Governors Island, which will show free outdoor films for the first time in four decades.
The lawn behind Fort Jay will host Governors Island's first-ever outdoor movie night starting in June.

The lawn behind Fort Jay will host Governors Island's first-ever outdoor movie night starting in June.

Eva Kis

There's a major new addition to the city's most scenic spots to watch an outdoor movie this summer.

 

For the first time ever, Governors Island will have its own outdoor film series beginning in June. The theme will be Escape in New York, nodding to the island’s changing role in modern New Yorkers’ lives. Originally a Revolutionary War-era battlement, it’s been an idyllic getaway from the city since reopening to the public in 2003.

 

The Film Society of Lincoln Center will curate the four-film series, which will be shown on the second Friday of every month with pre-show entertainment starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free, with space for up to 10,000 movie fans. Here’s the lineup:

 

June 8: Escape From New York
July 13: Desperately Seeking Susan
Aug. 10: Ghostbusters
Sept. 14: The Last Dragon

Movies will be screened on the island’s historic Parade Ground, a newly restored eight-acre lawn behind Fort Jay. Each feature will also be paired with a short film by a New York-based independent filmmaker.

 

“In the 1970s and ‘80s, before we had our own theaters, the Film Society of Lincoln Center presented outdoor screenings across New York,” said Lesli Klainberg, the society’s executive director. “We are returning to our roots, in a sense, by partnering with Governors Island on a free public film series, and we are thrilled to celebrate the city’s history by screening these NYC classics while also looking forward with contemporary shorts by local filmmakers.”

The film series is made possible because beginning this year, Governors Island will be open until 10 p.m. on Friday nights from Memorial Day weekend (May 25) through Sept. 14. The entire island will remain bustling, with art and cultural programs in its historic homes, late bike rentals and restaurants remaining open through 10 p.m.

Note that late-night ferry service will only run from Manhattan, with boats at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and leaving Governors Island on the hour until 10 p.m.

 
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