Free Movies and Unique Film Events Coming Up in Eastern NC

Crafts and Movie July 28, 2018 flyer. Source: Braswell Memorial Library, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Crafts and Movie July 28, 2018 flyer. Source: Braswell Memorial Library, Rocky Mount, North Carolina

By Kay Whatley, Editor

Taking the kids to a movie makes for a fun time. Thanks to area towns and Parks and Recreation Departments, free movies are available — often with free popcorn and water too. Your kids will have a fun time, your kids meet other kids, and you don’t break your budget at one of these free events around the area.

Events listed below may be outdoors or indoors, as noted. While some events are kids only, others welcome families to stay and enjoy the movie together.

Below the list of free movies,  several unique movie opportunities are listed even though they charge a ticket or entry fee.

If you know of a free, public movie showing not listed, or have a change to details for an event below, email the editor.

Free Movies — July 2018

Zebulon Free Family Movie Night (July 13, 2018)

This series is organized by the town Parks and Recreation Department. The Friday, July 13, 2018 movie event will be held 7-9pm at the Zebulon Community Center, 301 S Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC.  The Center’s doors will open at 6:30pm to give everyone time to settle in before the movie begins.

This is a free movie for the whole family, with free popcorn and bottled water provided for everyone. Family-friendly film will be shown. Due to restrictions imposed by the film studio, movie title may not be publicized except by Parks and Rec. Call 919.823.0432 and ask what the movie’s title is, or see this Parks and Rec event with title.

Family Movie Nights are held on the second Friday of each month. All ages welcome.

Wilson Library Friday Morning Family Movies (July 13, 2018)

Enjoy an indoor, free, family-friendly movie every Friday morning inside the Wilson County Main Library, 249 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. The Friday, July 13, 2018 movie begins at 10am: Despicable Me 3. Free popcorn and lemonade will be provided, and movie-watchers are allowed to bring in their own snacks.  Arriving early is recommended, as space fills up quickly.

This library event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required for this event. With questions, call the library at 252.237.5355. Larger groups are welcome, but must arrange space in-advance by calling Genevieve at 252.237.5355 x.5050. See this and other library movie dates at www1.youseemore.com/wilsoncountypl.

Rocky Mount Library Crafts And Movie (July 14, 2018)

Youth may join the fun with “Crafts and Movie” on Saturday, July 14, 2018, 1-3pm in the YS Story Room at Braswell Memorial Library, 727 N Grace Street, Rocky Mount NC. This afternoon event features the film, The Princess and The Frog, and is part of the Libraries Rock! summer programs. For more information on “Crafts And Movie” events, call Melissa Corso at 252.442.1951 x236.

Wilson Library Friday Morning Family Movies (July 20, 2018)

Enjoy an indoor, free, family-friendly movie every Friday morning inside the Wilson County Main Library, 249 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. The Friday, July 20, 2018 movie begins at 10am: Ferdinand. Free popcorn and lemonade will be provided, and movie-watchers are allowed to bring in their own snacks.  Arriving early is recommended, as space fills up quickly.

This library event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required for this event. With questions, call the library at 252.237.5355. Larger groups are welcome, but must arrange space in-advance by calling Genevieve at 252.237.5355 x.5050. See this and other library movie dates at www1.youseemore.com/wilsoncountypl.

Clayton Friday Night Movie (July 20, 2018)

Enjoy this free movie on Friday, July 20, 2018, 6-10pm, at the Clayton General Store, 10522 Hwy 70 Business, Clayton NC. Bring family and friends for this all-ages movie, Hotel Transylvania 2. UPDATE: Note that this movie was rescheduled from July 13, and on the new July 20 date will include Fired Up Pizza and BBQ and Fairy Hair and Face Painting.

See this event and more public events hosted by the Clayton General Store via their Facebook page.

Wilson Library Friday Morning Family Movies (July 27, 2018)

Enjoy an indoor, free, family-friendly movie every Friday morning inside the Wilson County Main Library, 249 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. The Friday, July 27, 2018 movie begins at 10am: Coco. Free popcorn and lemonade will be provided, and movie-watchers are allowed to bring in their own snacks.  Arriving early is recommended, as space fills up quickly.

This library event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required for this event. With questions, call the library at 252.237.5355. Larger groups are welcome, but must arrange space in-advance by calling Genevieve at 252.237.5355 x.5050. See this and other library movie dates at www1.youseemore.com/wilsoncountypl.

Lawn Chair Theater (July 27, 2018)

Enjoy a free, family-friendly movie outdoors in the courtyard at The Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, 270 Gay Street, Rocky Mount NC. The Children’s Museum will provide children’s activities before the movie. On Friday, July 27, 2018, doors open at 7pm and the movie, Despicable Me 3, will begin around 8:30pm. As the name implies, bring a lawn chair for comfort. Concessions are available for purchase. This is the final date of the season; info here.

Rocky Mount Library Crafts And Movie (July 28, 2018)

Youth may join the fun with “Crafts and Movie” on Saturday, July 28, 2018, 1-3pm, in the YS Story Room at Braswell Memorial Library, 727 N Grace Street, Rocky Mount NC. Come and watch the film, Coco, at this youth afternoon event. For more information on “Crafts And Movie” events, call Melissa Corso at 252.442.1951 x236.

Smithfield Movie at Town Commons (July 28, 2018)

Enjoy a family movie under the stars, presented by Smithfield Parks and Recreation on Saturday, July 28, 2018, 8:30-10pm. The location is 150 S Front Street, Smithfield NC. Watch the film, Peter Rabbit, and bring a picnic if you like. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for comfort.

Check out, or follow, the Smithfield Parks and Recreation’s Facebook page for updates and other events.

Wake Forest Family Movie Nights (July 28, 2018)

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department shows monthly outdoor movies in Joyner Park, 701 Harris Road, Wake Forest NC. Prior to the movie, there will be activities in the park. On July 28, 2018, pre-show activity starts at 7:15pm. Bring a cardboard box and create a car with your family, then you can sit in your cardboard car (if you like) while you watch the film. Then, the movie shows at 8:30pm and you can enjoy watching Cars 3. Arriving early is strongly recommended, as space fills quickly. See movie nights information on this Town of Wake Forest web page.

Free Movies — August 2018

Garner Outdoor Movie Series (August 2, 2018)

On August 2, 2018, starting at 8pm, join the fun and watch a movie (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) under the stars on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 W Garner Road, Garner NC.  Bring a lawn chair and/or blanket for comfort. Food, snacks, popcorn, and beverages will be available for purchase from on-site vendors/food trucks. You may bring your own picnic.

The town holds free outdoor movies on the first Thursday of each month through October. Parking is free at 742 W Garner Road, and at the Avery Street Rec Center,125 Avery Street. The full Garner movie series is listed here. In case of bad weather or rain, this event will be canceled. No pets.

Clayton Family Movie Night (Rescheduled)

**New Date: August 10, 2018 @ 6pm**

Enjoy this free movie rescheduled from Friday, July 27, 2018, to August 10, 2018 at 6-10pm, at the Clayton General Store, 10522 Hwy 70 Business, Clayton NC. Chick-Fil-A will be on-site for the event. Bring family and friends for this all-ages movie, Sherlock Gnomes.

See this event and more public events hosted by the Clayton General Store via their Facebook page.

Zebulon Free Family Movie Night (August 10, 2018)

This series is organized by the town Parks and Recreation Department. The Friday, August 10, 2018 movie event is 7-9pm at the Zebulon Community Center, 301 S Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC. the Center’s doors will open at 6:30pm to give everyone time to settle in before the movie begins.

This is a free movie for the whole family, with free popcorn and bottled water provided for everyone. Family-friendly film will be shown. Due to restrictions imposed by the film studio, movie title may not be publicized except by Parks and Rec. Call 919.823.0432 and ask what the movie’s title is, or watch the Parks and Rec Facebook page for movie title announcement. Family Movie Nights are held on the second Friday of each month. All ages welcome.

Wake Forest Family Movie Nights (August 11, 2018)

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department shows monthly outdoor movies in Joyner Park, 701 Harris Road, Wake Forest NC. Prior to the movie, there will be activities in the park. On August 11, 2018, pre-show activity starts at 7:15pm. Bring a new or gently-used book to donate, meet Princess Belle, and then watch the movie Beauty and the Beast starting at 8:30pm.

Arriving early is strongly recommended, as space fills quickly. See movie nights information on this Town of Wake Forest web page.

Smithfield Picture and Picnic in The Park (August 11, 2018)

The town will be showing Mary Poppins at the Smithfield Community Park, 600 E Booker Dairy Road, Smithfield NC. Movie date is Saturday, August 11, 2018, approximately 8-9:30pm.

Bring lawn chairs and/or blankets for comfort. Movie-goers may bring a picnic or purchase from the concession stand. Movie will begin at sundown. This and other events may be found on the Smithfield Parks and Rec programs webpage.

Shaw RV Family Movie Series (August 11, 2018)

Enjoy a free movie outdoors on the football field at Rolesville Middle School, 4700 Burlington Mills Road, Rolesville NC. On Saturday, August 11, 2018, 8:15-10:15pm, enjoy the film Ferdinand. Bring a chair or blanket for comfort.  Concessions will be open for purchases during the movies.  See full movie series here.

Free Movies — September 2018

Garner Outdoor Movie Series (September 6, 2018)

On September 6, 2018, starting at 7:30pm, join the fun and watch a movie (Black Panther) under the stars on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 W Garner Road, Garner NC.  Bring a lawn chair and/or blanket for comfort. Food, snacks, popcorn, and beverages will be available for purchase from on-site vendors/food trucks. You may bring your own picnic.

The town holds free outdoor movies on the first Thursday of each month through October. Parking is free at 742 W Garner Road, and at the Avery Street Rec Center,125 Avery Street. The full Garner movie series is listed here.  In case of bad weather or rain, this event will be canceled. No pets.

Shaw RV Family Movie Series (September 8, 2018)

Enjoy a free movie outdoors on the football field at Rolesville Middle School, 4700 Burlington Mills Road, Rolesville NC. On Saturday, September 8, 2018, 8-10pm, enjoy the film The Wizard of Oz. Bring a chair or blanket for comfort.  Concessions will be open for purchases during the movies.  See full movie series here.

Clayton Free Family Movie Night (September 14, 2018)

As part of the Clayton Harvest Festival, enjoy a free movie on Friday, September 14, 2018, 7:30-10pm. Gather at Main Street, Clayton NC, and enjoy watching Despicable Me 3.  The movie screening is sponsored by Zaxby’s. Enjoy the family-oriented movie and “chow down on Zaxby’s eats.” The movie begins at dark.

Get there before the movie and kids can take part in the “Create Your Own Hot Dog” Challenge at Town Square — part of the Clayton Harvest Festival. From the festival website:

The Clayton Harvest Festival, brought to you by Sheetz, is the largest festival in Johnston County, North Carolina. It is hosted in September each year by the Clayton Chamber of Commerce for the community and includes events such as Squealin’ on the Square BBQ competition and People’s Choice, the return of the Clayton Idol singing competition, Clayton’s largest vendor fair, a classic car show, concerts, a family movie night, a kid’s hot dog creation contest, and a Latin American Festival. We are also excited to introduce the Clayton Harvest Festival Military Crossroads in 2018.

Learn more at www.ClaytonHarvestFestival.com.

Nashville Movie Under the Stars (September 15, 2018)

The Town of Nashville Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department will be showing a free movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, on September 15, 2018, starting around 7:20pm. The movie is free, and popcorn will be available. Bring chairs and/or blanket for comfort during this outdoor showing.  Location is HD Cooley Library, 114 W Washington Street, Nashville NC.

See the town’s movies, free concerts, and more events via their Facebook page.

Free Movies — October 2018

Garner Outdoor Movie Series (October 4, 2018)

On October 4, 2018, starting at 7pm, join the fun and watch a movie (Hocus Pocus) under the stars on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 W Garner Road, Garner NC.  Bring a lawn chair and/or blanket for comfort. Food, snacks, popcorn, and beverages will be available for purchase from on-site vendors/food trucks. You may bring your own picnic.

The town holds free outdoor movies on the first Thursday of each month through October. Parking is free at 742 W Garner Road, and at the Avery Street Rec Center,125 Avery Street. The full Garner movie series, including food truck names, is listed here.  In case of bad weather or rain, this event will be canceled. No pets.

Shaw RV Family Movie Series (October 13, 2018)

Enjoy a free movie outdoors on the football field at Rolesville Middle School, 4700 Burlington Mills Road, Rolesville NC. On Saturday, October 13, 2018, 7:30-9:30pm, enjoy the film The Greatest Showman. Bring a chair or blanket for comfort.  Concessions will be open for purchases during the movies.  See full movie series here.

Nashville Movie Under the Stars (October 26, 2018)

The Town of Nashville Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department will be showing a free movie, Hocus Pocus, on Friday, October 26, 2018, starting around 6:45pm. The movie is free, and popcorn will be available. Bring chairs and/or blanket for comfort during this outdoor showing. Location is HD Cooley Library, 114 W Washington Street, Nashville NC.

See the town’s movies, free concerts, and more events via their Facebook page.

Knightdale Movie Night Series (Dates TBA)

Note that the Knightdale NC Movie Night Series will return in the fall. Watch this town web page for information, soon to be released.

 

Not Free, Unique

Grease Movie and Sock Hop (July 20, 2018)

On Friday, July 20, 2018, join the fun at the “sock hop” starting at 6:30pm. Following the dancing, watch Grease on the big screen starting at 7:30pm. After the movie, music continues until around 10pm — for those who’d like to dance more. Costumes are “encouraged and will be rewarded.” Small fee of $5 for this event.

Held by Arts of the Pamlico, at 150 W Main Street, Washington NC. See the original Arts of the Pamlico event description here.

Movie & Lunch Day Trip (August 7, 2018)

Listed as an event for Seniors, this day trip to an area movie theatre is being organized by Zebulon Parks and Rec. Join the trip on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, for a fee of $15 per person. That fee includes the movie ticket and round-trip van ride to the theatre. Lunch is not included but will be available for purchase. Seating is limited in the van, so sign up early.

The decision on movie title, time, and theatre (likely in Raleigh or Wake Forest NC) will be announced prior to the trip date. To sign up, contact Zebulon Parks and Rec at 919.823.1814. See this and more programs online here.

The Round Up Family Fun Day & Movie Premiere (August 18, 2018)

The Cavvietta Round Up is a family fun evening for folks in Wilson County and surrounding areas to come enjoy ranch life. Kick-start the evening August 18, 2018, around 5pm, with a demonstration from a mounted cowgirls drill team, followed by a roping demonstration, and a cowboy mounted shooting demonstration. Enjoy games for all ages, photo opportunities, roping lessons on the ground, vendors for shopping and food, giveaways, raffles, auctions and more. This part of the evening is free.

The address for the Round Up, and the movie to follow, is Cavvietta Quarter Horse & Cattle Co., 6131 Town Creek Road, Elm City NC.

Join Cavvietta Quarter Horse and Cattle Company with filmmaker Twila LaBar for the North Carolina exclusive premiere of the independent film, Blanche, on Saturday, August 18, 2018, at 7pm. The premiere will open with original songs from the movie, performed by LaBar, the film director and composer.

“Blanche” tells the story of Tommy, a lonely rancher who suffers from hardship, heartbreak and loss. With the help of old friends and a crazy bet on a chicken named Blanche, he realizes there are second chances at life and love.

Tickets are on sale now at www.tickettailor.com/events/blanchethemovie/174805 for $10 per person. There are only 100 tickets for this exclusive movie premiere.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (September 7, 2018)

Join Arts of the Pamlico and “Do the Time Warp” in the historic Turnage Theatre, 150 W Main Street, Washington NC, as Washington’s wildest night returns September 7, 2018, 9-11pm. This interactive movie screening encourages costumes, but they are not mandatory. Tickets are $15, but only a limited number of tickets (only the first 50) will get a free audience participation bag included with their ticket.

Popcorn will be on sale for $1, Wine & Beer on sale in the lobby.  Entertaining trivia for prizes around 8:45pm before the movie. This movie is NOT recommended for children. See details and ticket information on this Arts of the Pamlico web page.

Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre — A real drive-in! (Many Dates Available)

See a movie in a way that is not old fashioned, but exceptionally comfortable. Park your vehicle and drop the tailgate to watch under the stars, or sit inside your vehicle with the A/C on. Listen to the movie-sound through your car radio, or bring a portable radio if you worry about running down your car battery.  The Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre is located at 3336 Raleigh Road, Henderson NC.

On many nights, you can see two or even three movies — depending on what they’re screening that night — for $8 per adult, $5 for ages 3-11, and free for under 3 years old.  Visit the snack bar for a wide variety of goodies, drinks, and popcorn for sale. See more at www.raleighroaddrivein.com or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/raleighroadtheatre.

 

Ed. Note: Updated with new movie dates mid-July and early August.

About Kay Whatley 1968 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.