Every summer, HBO sponsors Screen on the Green, a weekly series of free movies on the National Mall.
SOTG sets up a huge movie screen in the middle of the Mall, with the U.S. Capitol behind it, and tens of thousands of people come on Monday nights to watch old or classic movies. Last year's schedule included "All the President's Men," "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "The Thin Man," and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (naturally).
Movies start just after dusk, which in the summer is around 8:30 or 9pm. Be sure to bring a blanket and a picnic dinner, and get there early! Some people scope out spaces as early as 5pm.
Two tips: Bring a pillow, because the ground can get very uncomfortable when you're sitting on it for 2 hours. Also, alcohol is not technically allowed, but we've had no troubles brining a bottle of wine.
Special bonus: They show old cartoons (Bugs Bunny, Roadrunner/Coyote, etc.) before the feature. And you get to hear the old-school HBO Movies theme -- the cool one from the '80s -- and everyone dances to it.
There's no better way to enjoy a free movie than under the stars in Washington with 20,000 of your closest friends.
For more information, including a schedule of films, visit http://cityguide.aol.com/washington/screenonthegreen/main.adp