Every summer, we gush over the benefits of free outdoor movie screenings and how their awesomeness can never can eclipsed. This is what happens to a drive-in theater deprived nation. While you can catch a flick each week all over the city to suit your style, there are some screen set-ups that are superior to others.
For the more mature cinemaphiles, there’s Bryant Park’s packed line-up showing the likes of the French Connection and The China Syndrome which fill up faster due to young professionals and their “summer hours”. Then there’s Hudson River Park which screens films on the waterfront but offers only children’s movies, with the exception of the Great Muppet Caper. I’m sorry kids, the muppets are for us! And my old stand-by was always Brooklyn Bridge Park. For their grassy knolls, scenic view, and ample picnic space. That too has gone down a notch in my book. You have to get there super early to beat out the stroller crowd and the line-up this year is less than stellar. Do we really need two separate outdoor screenings of Monster Vs Aliens (the Pixar kind not the awesome Predator kind)? And for the love of god, please show another Woody Allen film besides Annie Hall. It gets screened each year at some point, and he did make a lot of other movies, although you can leave out Scoop, or really anything after 1995.
I have to say my favorite out of all the outdoor screenings, for mainstream films that is, is L Magazine’s Summer Screen in Williamsburg. I don’t want to hear your whines about how you don’t want to tread into hipsterville to see a movie, but it is by far the most well-organized set-up with good line-ups, killer food, and no crying babies to be sure, (well maybe one wearing an ironic snapsuit, but just ignore him). It’s set-up in the blacktop lot near the automotive high school where you can usually find old guys from the neighborhood boozing and playing baseball. While the hard ground leaves something to be desired, pack a lawn chair or a thick blanket and carve out a spacious spot, since there’s plenty of room for everyone.
The best part is the snacks. Skip the popcorn and instead spring for some Chinese BBQ Pork Belly hotdogs from Asia Dogs, or a fresh lobster roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound. Then wash it all down with some local Six Point Beer. It beats the hell out of Twizzlers and Whoppers any day. Check out their full food line-up to start drooling. And as always, their movie selection has a little something for everyone, and heavy on 90′s nostalgia. This Wednesday’s flick is the Shakespearian teen-angst fest Romeo and Juliet featuring a baby-faced Leo, and Claire Danes post Angela Chase. Keep your eye out for Point Break and Dead Man for more 90′s heartthrob action.
L Magazine’s Summer Screen
Wednesday Nights, July 7- August 18, 6:00-10:00pm
McCarren Park Ballfields
Corner of N 12th & Bedford [Williamsburg]