Free movies return to local parks starting Saturday night


The county’s annual free Summer Movies in the Park series is back with 115 opportunities to see new and decades-old family movies under the stars – and in a few cases, practically from home.

The first film among local venues will be screened this Saturday in the Poway Community Park. It’s “The Croods: A New Age”.

This movie and all the others will begin at dusk, approximately 15 minutes after sunset. Movie buffs will want to arrive early as there are many venues offering arts and crafts, games, shows, and refreshments to purchase about an hour before the movies are shown on a gigantic, swollen cinema screen.

Participants are advised to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to sit on the grass, picnics and jackets in case it gets cold after dark. Some sites allow dogs on a leash. Visit the series website at for details on specific locations and a list of all free movies streaming across the county through October 30.

This year’s local movie options are:

“The Croods: A New Age” can be seen Saturday June 26 at Poway Community Park, 13094 Civic Center Drive. The 2020 Animated Adventure is about a prehistoric family challenged by a rival family who claim to be more evolved. It features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Westview High alumna Kelly Marie Tran. It is rated PG for peril, action, and crass humor.

“Around the world of trolls” can be seen Friday July 9 at 4S Ranch Sports Park, 16118 4S Ranch Parkway. The 2020 animated adventure musical is about a tribe of trolls who work with other tribes to save the world. It includes the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden and Kelly Clarkson. He is rated PG for his slightly rude humor.

“Frozen II” can be seen on Saturday July 10 at the Poway Community Park. The 2019 Disney animated musical film is the sequel to the popular 2013 “Frozen”. This film has sisters Anna and Elsa, along with their friends Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, traveling from Arendelle to an enchanted land to learn the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save Arendelle. It includes the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff. It is rated PG for action / peril and some thematic elements.

“The house with a clock in its walls” can be seen Saturday July 17 at Rancho Bernardo Community Park, 18448 W. Bernardo Drive. The mysterious comic family fantasy of 2018 is about an orphan and his magical uncle in search of a clock that can end the world. It stars Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro and Kyle MacLachlan. It is rated PG for thematic elements including witchcraft, action, spooky pictures, foul humor, and language.

“Forward” can be seen on Saturday July 24 at the Poway Community Park. The 2020 Disney-Pixar animated adventure film tells the story of two elf brothers trying to bring their father back for a day. It includes the voices of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer. It is rated PG for action / peril and some light thematic elements.

“Raya and the last dragon” can be seen on Saturday August 7 at the Poway Community Park; Saturday August 21 at Rancho Bernardo Community Park; and virtually on Friday August 27. This year’s Disney animated adventure features Southeast Asia’s first Disney Princess. She is on a mission to find the last dragon in order to stop a sinister monster. It features the voices of Westview High alumnus Kelly Marie Tran in the title role, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan and Izaac Wang. It is rated PG for certain violence, action and thematic elements.

“Toy story 4” can be seen Friday August 13th at 4S Ranch Sports Park. The 2019 Disney-Pixar Animated Adventure features well-known characters from the first three films along with a new toy called Forky on a road trip that shows them just how big the world can be for them. It includes the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts and Tony Hale. It is classified G.

“The jungle Book” can be seen on Saturday August 21 at Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Road. The 1967 version of the Disney animated adventure film which tells the story of a boy who grew up in the jungle, befriends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear, but also faces situations involving his life in danger. It features the voices of Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima and Bruce Reitherman. It is classified G.

“Goose bumps” can be seen Friday October 29 at Carmel Mountain Ranch Community Park, 10152 Rancho Carmel Drive. The 2015 family adventure comedy is about a teenager whose neighbor is the author of the hit series Goosebumps. The teenager unwittingly frees the monsters from the books and they terrorize the city. It stars Jack Black, Dylan Minnette and Odeya Rush. It is rated PG for the scary, intense action and imagery of the creatures, as well as for crass humor.

As for the virtual movie series offerings that people can watch from their homes, they include “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” tomorrow evening (Friday), “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” Friday July 30; “Raya and the last dragon” Friday August 27; “Soul” Friday September 24; and “The nightmare before Christmas” Friday October 29. For more details on how to view virtually go to

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