Eastern NC Municipalities Offering Free Movie Showings in 2019

The crowd enjoying a Town of Knightdale outdoor movie screening. Source: Thomas Walls and Megan Thornton, knightdalenc.gov.
The crowd enjoying a Town of Knightdale outdoor movie screening. Source: Thomas Walls and Megan Thornton, knightdalenc.gov.

Compiled by Kay Whatley, Editor

Parks and recreation departments, libraries, senior centers, and community facilities host free movie nights several months each year, with some locations offering free movies year-round.

Check out the offerings in these Eastern NC towns. Free movies may be indoors or outdoors; popcorn is sometimes provided or snacks available for purchase.

Because weather can affect events, be sure to check with movie organizers for updates/changes.

List below is by town, not by date.


Clayton: Downtown Movie Series

Starting mid-summer, the Town of Clayton will be showing a monthly free movie. Starting at 6pm, there will be activities, food trucks, vendors, and more, with the movie starting after sundown. Bring blankets/chairs for comfort. The schedule includes:

  • Wizard of Oz — July 12, 2019
  • Bumblebee — August 23, 2019
  • Grease — September 20, 2019
  • Coco — October 18, 2019

Movies are shown at Clayton Town Square, 110 W Main Street, Clayton, NC. Access the town’s Parks and Rec brochure via www.townofclaytonnc.org/Parks-and-Recreation/programs-brochure.aspx.


Garner: Outdoor Movie Series

Enjoy select family-friendly movies in May and June. Refreshments will be on sale via local businesses and food trucks. Bring lawn chairs/blankets for comfort. No pets allowed. Gather on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center, 125 Avery Street, Garner, NC.

  • The Wizard of Oz — Thursday, May 23, 2019
  • First Man — Thursday, May 30, 2019
  • Jaws — Thursday, June 6, 2019
  • Fantastic Beasts 2 — Thursday, June 13, 2019
  • Jurassic Park — Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • Captain Marvel (tentative) — Thursday, June 27, 2019

Movie showings are scheduled for 8pm on all dates. See updates, weather notifications, or additional details via the Downtown Garner Facebook page.



Movies are held at the library and at Knightdale Station Park. Listed separately below.

First Friday Films

The Knightdale Parks, Recreation and Cultural Programs folks have planned several films with food trucks in the amphitheatre at Knightdale Station Park, 810 N First Avenue, Knightdale, NC. Activities and food begin at 7:30pm, with movies starting at dusk. Bring a blanket/chair for comfort. Scheduled are:

  • Ralph Breaks The Internet — June 7, 2019
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World — Friday, August 2, 2019

To see schedule and list of food trucks, visit www.knightdalenc.gov/departments/parks-recreation-and-cultural-programs/festivals-and-events/first-friday-films. With questions, call 919.217.2236.

Discover Your World Family Movies at The Library

Sunday, May 19, 2019 @ 2-3:30pm

Bring the family for a free movie at the library. Snacks are provided. Designed for students in grades K-5th. Held at East Regional Library, 946 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale, NC. Registration is not required. This is a monthly event. Future dates tentatively scheduled:

  • Sunday, June 16, 2019
  • Sunday, July 21, 2019
  • Sunday, August 18, 2019

See the Wake County public libraries East Regional Library web page to access calendar and movie details.


Lucama: Movies at the Library

Enjoy a free, family-friendly movie, no registration necessary. Movie showings are Fridays at 3-5pm. Held at the Lucama Branch library, 103 E Spring Street, Lucama, NC.

  • May 31, 2019
  • June 14, 2019
  • June 21, 2019
  • June 28, 2019

Information on this library, part of the Wilson County Public Library system, may be found here. Follow the Lucama Library Facebook page for updates or movie title.



Family outdoor movies are held by the town, and special movies are shown at the senior center. Listed separately below.

Friday Afternoon Popcorn and A Movie (Senior Center)

The NASH holds a movie for seniors on the fourth Friday of each month. Popcorn is available for 25 cents a bag. Held in Room 112 at 103 N Alston Street, Nashville, NC. The NASH movies (showing at 2pm) are:

  • May 24, 2019 — The Perfect Game
  • June 28, 2019 — Footloose

Pre-registration is requested to ensure seating and refreshments; call 252.459.7681 to register. Follow The NASH & The Southern Nash Senior Center on Facebook for activities and updates. Or, view their newsletter for April/May/June 2019 here (PDF).

Movie Night at Glover Park

Come and watch How to Train Your Dragon at this free public event on Saturday, May 18, 2019, 8-11pm. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Bring a lawn chair/blanket, or your own snacks and drinks, and enjoy this outdoor movie at Glover Park, 174 JW Glover Park Memorial Drive, Nashville, NC. Organized by the  Town of Nashville Parks and Recreation Department.


Rocky Mount: Lawn Chair Theatre

Enjoy free, outdoor, family-friendly movies at the 2019 Lawn Chair Theatre series. Except for as noted for the kick-off May 17, all Lawn Chair Theatre movie viewings will take place on the lawn of the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, 270 Gay Street, Rocky Mount, NC. Dates and movies include:

  • Small Foot — Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 8:30pm (This movie will be shown at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex, 600 Independence Drive, Rocky Mount, NC, alongside the “Tackle the Tar” kick-off (6pm) with food, activities, inflatables, and local vendors.)
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet — Friday, June 14, 2019 @ 8:30pm
  • Hotel Transylvania 3 — Friday, July 12, 2019 @ 8:30pm
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World — Friday, August 9, 2019 @ 8:30pm
  • Incredibles 2 — Friday, September 6, 2019 @ 8:30pm

All movies are free. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket for comfort. See more at www.imperialcentre.org.


Wake Forest:

The town offers outdoor movies, and special movie showings for children or senior citizens. Movies are also shown at the Wake Forest Renaissance Center. Each movie series is listed separately, below.

Family Movie Nights

Enjoy activities and a free, public movie under the stars, organized by the town’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department. Before movies, enjoy an activity or purchase goodies from food trucks starting at 7:15pm, with the movies showing around 8:30pm. Bring blankets/chairs for comfort. Also, it is suggested patrons bring bug spray, a flashlight, or even an umbrella. No pets, smoking, or alcoholic beverages are allowed.  Location is E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Road, Wake Forest, NC. Movies scheduled are:

  • Incredibles 2 — May 25, 2019
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet — June 22, 2019
  • Mulan — July 27, 2019
  • Bumblebee — August 10, 2019

To see the complete list of pre-movie activities, follow the Town of Wake Forest on Facebook.

In case of rain/weather, movie screenings may be relocated to the Flaherty Park Community Center on 1226 N White Street, Wake Forest, NC. Check Facebook or call the Wake Forest Weather Line at 919.435.9569.

First Friday Flix at the Ren Centre

Held the first Friday of each month, this movie showing (7-9pm) is free and open to the public and “feature a variety of film favorites and genres, including comedies, dramas, thrillers and more, often with a seasonal or historical theme.” Held at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S Brooks Street, Wake Forest, NC. Dates include:

  • June 7, 2019
  • July 5, 2019
  • August 2, 2019
  • September 6, 2019
  • October 4, 2019
  • November 1, 2019

See movie titles and more on the Wake Forest Renaissance Center calendar.


Bring the kids for a free, family-friendly movie on the second Monday of each month. Movies are open to the public. Held at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S Brooks Street, Wake Forest, NC. Movies show 10:30am-12:30pm and dates include:

  • May 13, 2019
  • June 10, 2019
  • July 8, 2019
  • August 12, 2019

Call the centre’s Special Events Hotline at 919.435.9428 for movie title. For more information, visit the town’s event calendar.

Free at 3 (Movies for Senior Citizens)

Free movies of all kinds at this monthly movie showing for seniors (age 50+) at 3pm. Popcorn will be on sale. Scheduled movies include:

  • Oceans 8 — Monday, May 13, 2019
  • The Seagull — June 10, 2019

Held at the Renaissance Centre, 405 S Brooks Street, Wake Forest, NC. For more information, visit the town’s event calendar.


Wilson: Movies in the Park

Enjoy an outdoor movie and activities at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, 301 S Goldsboro Street, Wilson, NC. Movie night hours are 7-9:30pm. Showings scheduled are:

  • Paddington 2 — May 10, 2019
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet — May 17, 2019
  • Mary Poppins Returns — May 24, 2019
  • Incredibles 2 — May  31, 2019

Visit the Whirligig Park website at www.wilsonwhirligigpark.org.


Zebulon: Family Movie Night

A free, family-friendly movie is planned for Friday, June 14, 2019 at the Zebulon Community Center, 301 S Arendell Avenue, Zebulon, NC. Doors open at 6:30pm and the movie starts at 7pm.

Free popcorn and bottled water is provided. Call 919.823.0432 for movie title. See Parks and Rec movies and other programs here.


Ed. Note: The initial release of “Incredibles 2” included strobe lights that could affect those with light sensitivity/epilepsy. Reportedly the movie was edited and made safer shortly after release.

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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.