6 ways kids can see free (or super cheap) summer movies in Pittsburgh

Summer season is a great time to watch movies with the kids in Pittsburgh. Escape hot summer days in an air-conditioned theater or unwind on balmy nights with movie viewing under the stars. There are lots of opportunities to do both this summer without paying for pricey tickets. Some theaters offer admission as low as $1 to top-quality feature films your kids will love.

Many of these family-friendly movies are from the past year. Some are as new as recent releases like “Missing “Link,” “Bigfoot” and “How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World.”

Free movies run all summer long as part of Allegheny County Summer Movies in the Parks program and Pittsburgh Citiparks Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park held in neighborhood parks in and around town.

Here’s the lineup:


Allegheny County Movies in the Park has a terrific lineup of family favorites that will be shown at South Park Amphitheater on Wednesdays from July 10 to Aug. 14. North Park movies will run on Saturdays from July 13 to Aug. 17 on the Boathouse lawn. The final movie of the summer will be screened at Wagman Observatory in Deer Lakes Park on Aug. 21.

  • “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” (PG): July 10 at South Park Amphitheater, July 13 at North Park Boathouse Lawn
  • “Bumblebee” (PG): July 17 at South Park, July 20 at North Park
  • “Incredibles 2” (PG): July 24 at South Park, July 27 at North Park
  • “Mary Poppins Returns” (PG): July 31 at South Park, Aug. 30 at North Park
  • “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (PG): Aug. 7 at South Park, Aug. 10 at North Park
  • “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (PG): Aug. 14 at South Park, Aug. 17 at North Park
  • “Captain Marvel” (PG): Aug. 21 at Deer Lakes Park Wagman Observatory


Free family movies are scheduled through Citiparks Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park from June 2 to Aug. 31 throughout Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Sundays are marked for Schenley Plaza in Oakland, Tuesdays at West End Overlook Park, Thursdays at Brookline Memorial Park, Fridays at Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville, Saturdays at Grandview Park in Mt. Washington and Riverview Park.

A few locations will screen films three times throughout the summer: McBride Park in Lincoln Place offers movies on June 10, July 8 and Aug. 12. Chartiers Playground movies run June 13, July 17 and Aug. 19. Highland Park has showtimes on June 24, July 29 and Aug. 26.

The same films run all week on different nights at different locations, with the exception of Observatory Hill at Riverview Park and Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park (see below).

  • Week of June 2: “Mary Poppins Returns” (PG)
  • Weeks of June 9: “The House with a Clock in its Walls” (PG)
  • Week of June 16: “Zoo” (PG)
  • Week of June 23: “Johnny English Strikes Again” (PG)
  • Week of June 30: “The Grinch” (PG)
  • Week of July 7: “Christopher Robin” (PG)
  • Week of July 14: “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” (PG)
  • Week of July 21: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” (PG)
  • Week of July 28: “Jumanji” (1995) (PG)
  • Week of Aug. 4: “Space Jam” (PG)
  • Week of Aug. 11: “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (PG)
  • Week of Aug. 18: “Incredibles 2” (PG)
  • Week of Aug. 25: “Dumbo” (PG)

Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park and Observatory Hill in Riverview Park will be showing a different lineup of movies in the Spark! Film Series. Spark! Movies include movies from diverse cultures to help bring communities together and “spark” conversations.

Both locations also include a musical performance from 7 to 8 p.m. before the film. Movies at these two locations include:

  • June 5, 8: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (PG)
  • June 12, 15: “Labyrinth” (PG)
  • June 15, 22: “English Vinglish” (not rated)
  • June 22, 29: “Aquaman” (PG-13)
  • July 3, 6: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (PG-13)
  • July 10, 13: “Captain Marvel” (PG-13)
  • July 17, 20: “First Man” (PG-13)
  • July 24, 27: “The Eagle Huntress” (G)
  • July 31, Aug. 3: “Avengers: Infinity War” (PG-13)
  • Aug. 7, 10: “Golden Door” (PG-13)
  • Aug. 14, 17: “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusader” (PG-13)
  • Aug. 21, 24: “Won’t You be my Neighbor?) (PG-13)
  • Aug. 28, 31: “Jurassic World” (PG-13)


Southside Works Cinema presents Cleveland Cinema’s annual $1 Summer Family Film Series on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. from June 19 to July 24. All seats for the films in this series are $1. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. One adult is required for every 10 children. No outside food or drinks allowed.

  • June 19: “Trolls” (PG)
  • June 26: “Penguins of Madagascar” (PG)
  • July 3: “Dr. Seuss’ the Grinch”(PG)
  • July 10: “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” (PG)
  • July 17: “Puss in Boots” (PG)
  • July 24: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” (PG)


Cinemark theaters offer a 10-week program of G- and PG-rated films at the cost of 10 movies for $5 or one movie for $1 as part of its Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse. Local participating theaters include Cinemark 18 and IMAX at Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills; Cinemark Monroeville Mall; and Cinemark Center Township, Monaca. Days, times and weeks of the series are determined by each local theater. Check the website for details.

Featured movies as part of the Summer Movie Clubhouse include:

  • “Sherlock Gnomes” (PG)
  • “Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” (PG)
  • “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” (PG)
  • “How to Train Your Dragon” (PG)
  • “Smallfoot” (PG)
  • “The LEGO Movie” (PG)
  • “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” (PG)
  • “Despicable Me 3” (PG)
  • “King Fu Panda” (PG)
  • “Peter Rabbit” (PG)


AMC Classic Theatres kick off summer with a nine-week Summer Movie Camp beginning June 12. For $4 each week, guests can purchase a ticket to the family-favorite film of the week and an AMC Kids Pack, which includes popcorn, a fountain drink and fruit snacks.

Participating area locations include AMC Classic South Pike 10 in Sarver; AMC Classic Delmont 12, and AMC Classic Uniontown 6. Features include:

  • June 12: “Wonder Park” (PG)
  • June 19: “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” (PG)
  • June 26: “Peter Rabbit” (PG)
  • July 3: “Smallfoot” (PG)
  • July 10: “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” (PG)
  • July 17: “Teen Titans Go! to the Movies” (PG)
  • July 24: “The House with a Clock on its Walls” (PG)
  • July 31: “Trolls” (PG)
  • Aug. 7: “How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World” (PG)


Pittsburgh-based theater chain MovieScoop Cinemas offers a $1 Summer Movie Series. The 5 MovieScoop theaters include those at Waterworks and Cranberry. The $1 movies will run at 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. All screenings include a sensory-friendly option with theater lights kept on and the sound low.

In addition to the $1 ticket price for all ages, concession deals include a 12-ounce Junior Drink and a Junior Popcorn for $3.

  • June 12, 13: “Bigfoot” (PG)
  • June 19, 20: “Paddington 2”
  • June 26, 27: “Despicable Me 3” (PG)
  • July 3, 4: “How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World” (PG)
  • July 10, 11: “Missing Link”
  • July 17, 18: “Sing” (PG)
  • July 24, 25: “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” (PG)
  • July 31, Aug. 1: “Peter Rabbit” (PG)
  • Aug. 7, 8: “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” (PG)

Wondering which films are appropriate for your kids? Check out the Common Sense Media summer movie guides for 2018 and 2019 for the inside scoop.