Asheville Parks & Recreation brings free movies under the stars to downtown park

pack square park with screen on stage

A summer tradition for many Ashevillians returns to Pack Square Park on Friday, May 12. The popular Movies in the Park series produced by Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR) begins its 2023 season with a showing of DC League of Super-Pets. Community members are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs to the free viewing, which begins at dusk. Asheville Parks & Recreation Rec n Roll Play Zone opens an hour before showtime with games, giveaways, and other activities for kids and teens. Additional movies are scheduled for the second Friday of the month through August.

Movies in the Park allows people to enjoy blockbusters on the big screen with a spectacular backdrop – Asheville City Hall’s art decor exterior flanked by the rising mountains and a night sky full of stars. As Asheville’s town square, Pack Square Park’s central location allows community members in nearby neighborhoods including East End, Montford, South French Broad, and Southside to easily walk, bike, or ride to the show. Free parking in downtown after 6 p.m. makes it a low-cost night out for those traveling from further away.


Make a Plan

  • All movies begin at dusk in Pack Square Park on 80 Court Plaza in downtown Asheville. Approximate showtimes are listed below, but plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior. Bring blankets and folding chairs for comfort.
  • Asheville Parks & Recreation Rec n Roll Fun Zone activities start an hour before showtime.
  • Bring money for food and treats from local vendors. Smokee’s Pizza is scheduled for opening night on May 12 while Tin Can Pizzeria is scheduled for the remaining dates. Kona Ice of Asheville and Kernel Mike’s World Famous Kettle Corn will be available at all dates.
  • Free parking is available in marked spaces on city streets and in city-owned lots on Marjorie Street after 6 p.m.
  • Pets, smoking, and alcohol are prohibited.
  • Have fun! Dress up as your favorite characters, invite friends, and celebrate cool summer nights.


Asheville Parks & Recreation’s Movies in the Park 2023 Lineup

  • May 12, begins around 8:10 p.m.: DC League of Super-Pets (PG for language, action, mild violence, and rude humor) – Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime in Metropolis side-by-side. When Superman and the rest of the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto must convince a rag-tag shelter pack – Ace the hound, PB the pot bellied pig, Merton the turtle and Chip the squirrel – to master their own newfound powers and help him rescue the superheroes.
  • June 9, begins around 8:30 p.m.: Cruella (PG-13 for some thematic elements and some violence) – Set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, this live-action feature film explores the rebellious early days of one of cinema’s most notorious – and notoriously fashionable –  villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil of 101 Dalmatians. Estella is a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. Their relationship sets in motion a course of events that cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable, and revenge-bent Cruella.
  • July 14, begins around 8:30 p.m.: Top Gun: Maverick (PG-13 for some strong language and sequences of intense action) – After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission, Maverick encounters the son of Maverick’s late friend. Facing an uncertain future and confronting ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.
  • August 11, begins around 8:10 p.m.: Little Giants (PG) – Ever since childhood, nerdy Danny O’Shea has felt inferior to his brother, Kevin, a former college football star. Danny runs a gas station, while Kevin coaches the local youth football team. When Kevin’s team rejects Danny’s daughter because she’s a girl, she convinces her dad to start a rival team even though the city can support only one. To prove himself against his brother, Danny begins coaching his team of misfits for a playoff game.


Asheville Parks & Recreation

Established in 1956, Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR) manages a unique collection of more than 65 public parks, playgrounds, and open spaces throughout the city in a system that also includes full-complex recreation centers, swimming pools, Riverside Cemetery, sports fields and courts, and community centers that offer a variety of wellness-, education-, and culture-related programs for Ashevillians of all ages. With 10 miles of paved greenways and numerous natural surface trails, its complete portfolio acts as the foundation of a vibrant hub for the people of Asheville to connect with their neighbors and explore the natural beauty of a livable and walkable city.

Driven by the promise that Asheville is a better and safer place when everyone from infants to retirees has the opportunity to be supported, healthy, and successful, APR was the first nationally-accredited municipal recreation department in the United States. For the latest updates, follow the department on Facebook @aprca and Instagram @ashevilleparksandrecreation or visit