Cheap outdoor and indoor events in Baton Rouge for your summer movie fix

The summer movie season is always filled with huge blockbusters and family-friendly flicks. But an outing to a major movie chain usually gets pretty pricey when you add popcorn and a drink. In Baton Rouge, local organizations are coming up with creative ways to satisfy residents’ cravings for cinema while being kind on the wallet.

Check out some of the best local options and our tips for what you can bring along to have the best movie night.

Where to watch outdoors:

Outdoor movies are such a perfect summer activity that three places offer them regularly.

East Baton Rouge Parish Library: Movies in the Plaza at the Main Library

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets to the Plaza at the Main Library at Goodwood on Fridays for the weekly Movies in the Plaza series. Most of the movies the library shows are appropriate for all ages, but EBPRL will typically offer one intended for an older audience at some point during the season. The library also provides an indoor simulcast of the film for patrons who prefer indoor movie experiences, as well as subtitles. Food vendors distribute pizza and beverages, but all viewers are welcome to bring their own snacks. For the full list movie screenings, check ebrpl.com.

“[Movies in the Plaza] offers the community a chance to enjoy popular movies each Friday night in June, free of charge,” says assistant library director Mary Stein.”It’s a great option for families with kids, especially kids who have trouble sitting still, and anyone on a budget.”

Don’t miss Back to the Future this Friday, June 23, starting at 7 p.m.

BREC Parks: Movie in the Park

BREC’s Movie in the Park. Photo courtesy BREC

Offered year-round, BREC hosts Movie in the Park once per month at a different park each month. Blankets, lawn chairs, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are allowed at these free events, and popcorn and concessions are also available for purchase. This series typically features family movies (rated PG and below), though adults can expect an 18-year-old-and-up event in September. In the event of inclement weather, movie screenings are moved to that park’s gym. Movies always begin at dusk.

“[With Movie in the Park,] it doesn’t matter where you come from,” says director of recreation Katrina Ward. “It doesn’t matter what your demographic background is, what your financial background is. It just brings a whole group of people together to socialize and recreate as a family.”

BREC will host a special movie night showing Surf’s Up 2 at Liberty Lagoon (111 Lobdell Ave.) on Saturday, July 15, at 7 p.m. The next Movie in the Park event will show Moana at Flanacher Road Park (864 Flanacher Road) on Thursday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m.

Baton Rouge Gallery: Movies & Music on the Lawn

Baton Rouge Gallery’s Movies & Music on the Lawn. Photo courtesy Baton Rouge Gallery

For 19 years, Movies & Music on the Lawn at Baton Rouge Gallery (1515 Dalrymple Drive) has been a community favorite. With Whole Foods Market as the sponsor, BRG welcomes everyone—art-lover or otherwise—for an evening viewing of a classic or contemporary silent film with an original, live score from a local band or artist. For $7, patrons receive entry and bottomless popcorn, but anyone can bring blankets, chairs and picnic setups as well. Though most of the films that BRG shows are appropriate for all ages, families can expect a kid’s night in August featuring three or four short silent films with accompaniment from bands from Baton Rouge Music Studios.

“It’s not like you’re just going to see a movie; it’s really an entirely different experience,” says executive director Jason Andreasen. “And you see people from all walks of life. So, the diversity of the experience and the diversity of the audience is certainly something that I enjoy about this program specifically.”

The next Movies & Music on the Lawn is a screening of La Boheme with a new score from Minos the Saint this Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m.

Where to watch indoors:

Other venues offer more traditional, indoor movie experiences, but still at a cheaper rate than your major movie chains.

Manship Theatre: Creature Feature Summer Series

Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. in June, Manship Theatre at Shaw Center for the Arts (100 Lafayette St.) partners with BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo for its Creature Feature Summer Series, featuring a showing of a kid-friendly movie and an animal encounter. Attendees get close-up with one of the zoo’s animals and hear all about the creature’s origins, eating and activity habits, and how they’ve adapted to their native environments. $6 admission includes popcorn, juice or water, and a sweet treat.

Next Wednesday’s (June 28) movie is Balto and tickets are available through the Manship Theatre’s website.

Independence Park Theatre: Make it a Movie Night

Once a month, BREC also offers its free Make it a Movie Night series at Independence Park Theatre (7800 Independence Blvd.). Attendees enjoy each movie screening in comfortable indoor seating, and concessions are available for purchase.

Watch Finding Dory at the next Make it a Movie Night on Friday, July 7, at 7 p.m.

What to bring (outdoor movies only):

Seating: Bag chairs are a classic choice for any outdoor activity. Step up your game with an even more portable option, an inflatable sofa. There are loads of manufacturers making these now, but you can find the one below at Dick’s Sporting Goods (9330 Mall of Louisiana Blvd., #200)

Take your #LamzacTheOriginal with you anytime, anywhere! Our very own creator of the Lamzac, Marijn Oomen, knows how to…

Posted by Fatboy on Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blankets: You’ll definitely want something big enough to establish the space around you as your own. We’d recommend a big circular beach towel like this one from Hey, Penelope.

Posted by Hey Penelope on Friday, April 14, 2017

Eats: Snack on some fresh fruit like these blueberries from Southside Produce Market.

Posted by Southside Produce Market on Saturday, June 3, 2017

More eats: If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, Batch 13 has some delicious pre-packaged versions of its signature bowls.

Don't forget us on your way home! Stop in and grab your lunch for tomorrow. Our packaging is compartmentalized so all your food stays separated until you're ready to mix and eat!

Posted by Batch 13 Biscuits & Bowls on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Drink: Naturally, you’ll want to stay hydrated at any outdoor event. What better way to do so than with a refreshing snoball like the one below from SnoMan Snoballs. Make sure you get your snoball without the cone-shaped top (or eat that part before you start driving) so you don’t make a mess on your way there.

Come taste the rainbow! All locations open 12-6:30pm

Posted by SnoMan Snoballs on Wednesday, February 24, 2016