National Harbor celebrates 15 years of ‘Movies on the Potomac’ screening outdoor cinema under the stars

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Movies on the Potomac' at National Harbor (Part 1)

Get ready for outdoor cinema under the stars as “Movies on the Potomac” returns to National Harbor.

The free movie screenings will be held on National Plaza in Oxon Hill, Maryland, every week now through September with Thursday “date nights” starting at 7 p.m. and Sunday “family nights” starting at 6 p.m.

“We are so excited,” Marketing Director Deborah Topcik told WTOP. “In April we just celebrated 15 years at National Harbor and really the ‘Movies on the Potomac’ have been a part of us since day one. … About nine years ago we got a gorgeous large-screen TV, so you get high-quality movies, then you get to see the water of the Potomac River in the background. Just follow the road to the water and the Capital Wheel and you won’t miss the movies.”

This weekend includes gems of Black cinema and animated family favorites.

“We have ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody,’ the Whitney Houston biopic,” Topcik said. “Sunday we’re doing a double feature of ‘Toy Story’ at 4:45 then ‘Lightyear.’ … May 18 we go a little more serious with ‘Till.’ May 21 the Sunday family movie is ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2.’ … Then May 28 we have ‘Akeelah and the Bee’ because the National Spelling Bee is right here at National Harbor at Gaylord, so we picked a movie to go with the spelling bee.”

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs. You can also order food from the nearby restaurants, though alcohol isn’t allowed on the plaza. If you would like to drink a beer, you can sit on the outdoor patio at Redstone Grill.

Here’s the full lineup:


May 4: Overboard
May 11: I Wanna Dance With Somebody
May 14: Toy Story and Lightyear
May 18: Till
May 21: Sonic The Hedgehog 2
May 25: Downton Abbey: A New Era
May 28: Akeelah and the Bee


June 4: Strange World
June 8: Ticket to Paradise
June 11: Lyle, Lyle Crocodile
June 15: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
June 18: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
June 22: Jurassic World Dominion
June 25: Cool Runnings
June 29: King Richard


July 2: DC League of Super-Pets
July 6: Black Adam
July 9: Up
July 13: Wonder Woman
July 16: The Princess Diaries
July 20: She’s the Man
July 23: Her Best Move
July 27: Gracie
July 30: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Aug. 3: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Aug. 6: The Incredibles
Aug. 10: A Journal for Jordan
Aug. 13: Incredibles 2
Aug. 17: Invictus
Aug. 20: Air Bud: World Pup
Aug. 24: Sister Act
Aug; 27: Space Jam: A New Legacy
Aug. 31: Cruella


Sept. 3: Shrek
Sept. 7: A Man Called Otto
Sept. 10: Shrek 2
Sept. 14: Coming 2 America
Sept. 17: Coco
Sept. 21: La Bamba
Sept. 24: Encanto
Sept. 28: Maid in Manhattan

Find more information here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Movies on the Potomac' at National Harbor (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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