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Beat the heat with dive-in movies

Courtesy the Beverly Hilton

Surf's up! Beverly Hilton guests enjoy a movie poolside.

When it comes to cooling down after a sweltering summer day, some travelers like to take in a movie; others would rather take a dip.

Who says you have to choose? This summer, plenty of hotels are offering poolside movies that invite guests to dive in and enjoy the show.

“For generations, watching a movie together has been a traditional family activity,” said Arica Haro, recreation director for the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla. “But attending a dive-in movie turns the everyday into something unusual and exciting.”

Ready to take the plunge? Depending on where your travels take you this summer, here are four places where the aquatic and cinematic come together:

The Beverly Hilton: Think of it as “to live and dive in L.A.” and the chance to enjoy movies in the same pool where “Hollywood Mermaid” Esther Williams once taught swim lessons. These days, the hotel shows free movies on a 60-foot screen on Wednesday and Thursday nights overlooking the Aqua Star Pool. The movies are open to guests and non-guests, with a percentage of concession revenue benefiting the Beverly Hills Education Foundation.

Innisbrook Resort: Located just north of Tampa-St. Petersburg, this resort is home to the Loch Ness Pool, a 127,000-gallon, Nessie-shaped behemoth with a sandy entry, waterfall and two water slides. On Saturday nights, guests show up 30 minutes before sunset for face painting, trivia contests and “minute to win it” games and then settle in or around the pool for family-friendly movies on a 16’ x 9’ inflatable screen.

The Fairmont Dallas: By day, the outdoor pool on the third floor of this high-rise hotel offers panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. At 8:30 on Friday nights, though, the center of attention is the poolside movie screen where guests and non-guests can watch free movies. “Cars” is scheduled for July 29, and August's selections will cover the entertaining, but vaguely dispiriting theme of Back to School.

The Boise Hotel & Conference Center: With its indoor pool and 25-foot movies screen, this Idaho hotel can show movies year-round, which it does on Friday and Saturday nights. It also offers one of the best deals in the dive-in movie business: A four-person room, plus four movie tickets, four movie-sized candy bars and sodas, a large popcorn and a disposable underwater camera. At $99 per room, it’s probably cheaper than going to the local multiplex.

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Rob Lovitt is a longtime travel writer who still believes the journey is as important as the destination. Follow him at Twitter.