‘Jaws,’ ‘The Blob,’ and the return of the PhilaMOCA highlight July summer movie screenings

5 minute read
'Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse' screens this month in Philly. (Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.)
'Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse' screens this month in Philly. (Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.)

July brings plenty of chances to see older, classic films, including Return of the Living Dead, Mausoleum, E.T., Paddington 2, and more. There are also contemporary offerings like Lady Bird and Into the Spider-verse. Many screenings this month are outdoors or in-person—be sure to check each venue's Covid-19 policy before attending.


Steven Spielberg's 1975 shark movie, generally considered the first summer blockbuster, is everywhere this month. It will have a week-long run from July 1-8 at Bryn Mawr Film Institute (824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr,), culminating with a Cinema Classics Seminar, with Jennifer Fleeger, PhD, on July 8.

Jaws will also have a weekend run on July 2-4, at the Ambler Theater (108 East Butler Avenue, Ambler), and will head to Phoenixville's Colonial Theater (22 Bridge Street, Phoenixville) on July 24 and 25.

Return of the Living Dead

The 1985 horror classic directed by Dan O'Bannon lands at the Colonial on July 3 at 9:45pm as part of the "Fright Night" series.

Wet Hot American Summer

The 2001 summer camp satire from director David Wain which starred Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, and young Bradley Cooper and Paul Rudd, lands at the PFS Navy Yard drive-in (Admiral Peary Way &, League Island Boulevard, Philadelphia) on July 6 at 9:10pm for a showing to mark its 20th anniversary.

Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse

The acclaimed animated superhero movie from 2018 is getting two separate outdoor showings in Philadelphia this July.

It will show at 6pm on July 7 at Sunshine Social on the roof of Cira Green (129 South 30th Street, Philadelphia), and then again on July 29 as part of the Schuylkill Banks summer movie series at Grays Ferry Crescent. The latter showing is on the east side of the river, just south of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge.

Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig's feature directorial debut, which was nominated for five Oscars, will get an outdoor screening on July 8 as part of the Schuylkill Banks series. The movie, starring Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein, will be shown on the east side of the Schuylkill River, just north of the Walnut Street Bridge.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

You seek the grrrrrrrrrail? You'll have two chances to see Monty Python's 1976 Arthurian parody this July, to mark the film's 45th anniversary. It's showing July 11 outdoors at the Abington Art Center (515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown), in conjunction with the Hiway Theatre in Jenkintown, and July 22 as part of the Ambler Theater's Outdoor Cinema Series, at Ambler Yards (300 Brookside Avenue).


The annual Blobfest, the Phoenixville celebration of the 1958 horror classic The Blob, is once again taking place virtually this year since Phoenixville is not allowing public festivals until October. This year's edition, titled “House of Harris,” will run July 16-18 and feature three days of double features, all of which include The Blob.


Director Tim Story's 2002 celebration of Black entrepreneurship starring Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer kicked off a long-running franchise, and the original will show outdoors on July 15 as part of the Schuylkill Banks series. The movie starts at sunset.


The cult hit from 1985, directed by Jonathan Lynn and starring Tim Curry, may be the best movie ever adapted from a board game. It gets a showing on July 16 at the Colonial, at 9:45pm as part of the Cult Cinema series.

Looney Tunes Shorts

A classic compilation of short films starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig will show at Bryn Mawr Film Institute on three dates, July 17, July 25, and July 31, all at 11am. The films are almost certain to make better use of those characters than the contemporaneous Space Jam: A New Legacy, which is set for release July 16.

Little Shop of Horrors

The Cinema in the Cemetery outdoor series at Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia), continues July 17 at 8:30pm with Little Shop of Horrors, the 1986 horror comedy musical that starred Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, and a suite of songs by the great composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.

Paddington 2

The 2017 animation/live-action hybrid until recently was one of the only movies to have a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. You can watch the adventures of the beloved bear as he battles villain Hugh Grant on July 22 as part of the Schuylkill Banks series. This one is also showing on the east side of the river just north of the Walnut Street Bridge.

The PhilaMOCA venue in Callowhill (531 North 12th Street) shut down prior to the pandemic and has been closed for nearly 700 days, but the space will make a grand return on July 22 at 7:30pm. In an apropos choice, the one-time mausoleum will return with a screening of Mausoleum, the 1983 horror film directed by Michael Dugan.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

We begin and end with Spielberg, as the Hiway Theater's Outdoor Cinema Series continues July 23 at 8pm, this time with a showing of Steven Spielberg's beloved E.T. This one will take place on the top rear parking lot of the Strawbridge and Clothier building (610 Old York Road, Jenkintown).

Image Description: A still from the movie Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse. A young Miles Morales is dressed in his Spider-Man outfit, standing in front of a bathroom, mirror with a look of worry or concern. His mask is off, revealing his face.

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