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Outdoor Movies Suck

Fight me. But they do.

Here’s something that sometimes happens on a nice summer weekday: a friend will text you an invite to a super-fun and chill outdoor movie screening of say, Mean Girls or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in a park or on a rooftop. It seems like a good idea at first. It’ll be fun! You’ll drink some wine that you shoved in your bag and you’ll eat a burrito while sitting cross-legged on the ground, watching a movie you’ve seen approximately 10 times on a screen that’s too far away. Nothing like being in proximity to the sweaty bodies of strangers, all fighting for their corner of the beach bedsheet their friend stuffed in a tote bag and dragged to the park or rough patch of asphalt you’ll be sitting on for an entire evening.


In theory, it’s great! Summer is the sweaty respite we get between unending, ceaseless cold, black ice and slush. Go stand outside just because you CAN and because it’s WARM and if you don’t, you’re going to regret it. But a movie is meant to be enjoyed inside. If going to the beach is the best outdoor activity during the summer months, I argue that seeing a film of your choosing is its natural, indoors-only counterpart. Movie theaters are cold and dark; there are fountain sodas and popcorn. It’s nice in there because that’s where you’re meant to be. Indoors. Not sitting in a park on some itchy-ass grass, watching a bunch of a-holes take the same shitty picture of the dinky outdoor movie screen during sunset to post on Instagram.

Bring a sweater. Smoke some weed. See a movie inside. It’s for the best.


Senior Writer, Jezebel

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I attended an outdoor screening of Fellowship of the Ring (and the next year, The Two Towers) where Chicago Symphony Orchestra played the score live. The weather was beautiful and we brought cheese, wine and charcuterie, and it manifestly did NOT suck.