Budget Dates
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Free Things to do in Providence: Movies on the Block

With Eric back in school full time pursuing his MBA, we’ve had to get clever when it comes to budgeting for dates. So when we found out we could watch classic movie favorites in the beautiful and historic Downcity Providence under the stars, we immediately jumped at the idea. Especially when we could get out of our stifling apartment on a nice summer night. Who knew New England could be so hot?!

Movies on the Block Downcity Providence

But first a little background on what we found out about Movies on the Block:

  1. Apparently they’ve been putting on movies for the community for the last nine years.
  2. They’re located on Grant’s Block, right off of Westminster Street and they start in the beginning of June and run all the way through the last of September.
  3. They play an array of classic movies from old black and whites to newer films like Gangs of New York. This year’s line up includes Jaws, Groundhog Day, The Shinning, Dracula and Who Framed Rodger Rabbit. These are just a few that caught our eye, but you can check out the full schedule at MoviesOnTheBlock.com.
  4. They put on movies every Thursday night if weather allows. If the weather is moody, like it usually is in Rhode Island, they reschedule and post updates on their facebook.
  5. Did we mention this event is completely free with no strings attached?

We recommend arriving early. They don’t start playing the movie until sunset – usually 8:00ish. We arrived an hour early and got really great seats but I do think we were a bit too early as there was only five of us in the lot at that time. Plan your arrival time based on the movie popularity though. We saw Blade Runner and there was probably a good three hundred people in attendance, but movies like Jaws tend to be packed out.

Westminster Street Downcity ProvidenceWe weren’t too sure what to expect when we got there, so we stopped by a local restaurant and picked up dinner to go. However, when we arrived, Poco Loco Tacos was stationed in the parking lot. We could have had tacos (insert devastated face here)! If you’re going on the really cheap, we have a perfect picnic recipe to pack along. Because it is located on Westminster Street (Westminster is seriously becoming one of our favorite places!), there’s a huge selection of restaurants and shops to peruse. We also recommend bringing chairs or really thick blankets as the ground is gravel. If you get there really early, there are some bench-like boxes you can sit on and a fake lawn area you can set out some towels on.

All and all, we loved Movies on the Block and recommend it for a budget date or a summer night out. Between its location, its great movie features, being the only outdoor theater in the area and free, this was a neat little find we’re excited to pass onto you.

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We believe that dating after the wedding bells is as much a priority as dating before those rings were slipped on your fingers. Why? Because time develops intimacy. Committing to spending intentional time together with consistent date nights will transform your marriage.


  1. Movies on the Block has been on my list since year one, and I still haven’t made it! Thanks for a good description of what to expect.

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