building community: movies in the park

I’d like see more people produce more “free outdoor movie” series in our hometowns. What feeling does that give you? I became a fan of the “oldies” movies showcased on summer Mondays in Bryant Park (NYC) and thought it might be interesting to setup a cool-but-cheap movie theater setup on the local park.

My vision is a kind of “Thursday Evening Film Series” community affair. “Classic movies under the stars.” The park opens for picnicking at 5pm with a live band (who performs gratis). The films begin at sunset, (typically between 8pm and 9pm). We ask people to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs (no plastic tarps, as they damage the grass). Give an award for the best tasting popcorn – or put a popcorn machine on wheels. Ask the local ice cream and coffee shops to stay open late. Perhaps other food vendors (sandwich/burger/pizza shops) could offer special to-go menus. And a local charity could raise money by offer food delivery service for $5 tips.

I’d love to learn how to license the oldies (think TCM-style). Then we grab a projector (I have a home movie one), 2 JBL EON’s, a small mixer and a DVD player. Setup a large white sheet with simple scaffolding or bungie cords holding the grommets. The sit back and let people laugh, cry and enjoy the moments.

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