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Posts Tagged ‘Rooftop Films’

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach

Ghostbusters at Coney Island Flicks on the Beach. July 2, 2012. Photo © Bruce Handy/Pablo 57 via flickr

Outdoor movie shows in Coney Island date back to the early days of the cinema. Hot dog inventor Charles Feltman’s grand restaurant and amusement park boasted the Seaside Garden Theatre where films were shown with live musical accompaniment. “At every performance 2,000 persons are seated in the outdoor theatre,” according to a 1917 article in the New York Sun. “The garden has won favor with the ‘movie’ public because of its location, which is by the sea.”

The 2012 season debut of Coney Island’s free outdoor movie series on the beach was last Monday. A nice crowd came out for Ghostbusters as you can see in Bruce Handy’s photo above. The movies are projected onto a giant screen set up on the beach between W 10th and W 12th Streets. In the past, pre-show entertainment has featured the Coney Island Sideshow, celebrity impersonators, trivia contests and dancing. The pre-show is at 7pm with the feature film starting at around 8:30pm. Here’s the rest of the 2012 schedule:

July 9 – Edge of the City: Underground NY Shorts By the Sea
Edge of the City: Underground NY Shorts By the Sea is a collection of independent short films, including The Best Thing I Ever Done—an endearing account of Domenico DeMarco, owner of the legendary pizza shop Di Fara—and A Man Named Magick, about a charismatic Midtown magic shop owner. The showcase begins at 8:30pm.

July 14 – Bound for Glory (1976)
David Carradine plays Woody Guthrie in this Oscar-winning biopic, set in the Dust Bowl, about the folk artist’s experience with the working class after leaving Texas to join the Okies headed to California in search of work.

July 16 – Manhattan (1979)
See Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway and Meryl Streep in Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning love story.

July 23 – The Muppets (2011) (Postponed due to rain)
Jim Henson’s much-loved characters return to the big screen, as Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) aim to reunite the gang in an attempt to salvage The Muppet Theater.

July 30 – Girl Walk // All Day (2011)
This feature-length film is actually a long-form dance music video, featuring three dancers who use the cityscape as their stage. The movie is set to Girl Talk’s sample-heavy 2010 album, All Day.

August 6 – Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt in the fourth installment of the Mission Impossible series. Hunt and his team, who are implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, must go rogue to clear the Impossible Missions Force’s name.

August 13 – The Muppets – Rescheduled from July 23
Jim Henson’s much-loved characters return to the big screen, as Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) aim to reunite the gang in an attempt to salvage The Muppet Theater.

The free movie series in Coney Island is sponsored by the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) and NYC & Company in conjunction with Rooftop Films.

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Rooftop Films

Rooftop Films outdoor movie screenings include such venues as the roof of El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem. Photo © Dillon DeWaters via Rooftop Films

UPDATE… JULY 9, 2012… The 2012 season of Coney Island Flicks on the Beach began on July 2 and continues on Monday nights through August 6. The schedule includes Bound for Glory featuring David Carradine as Woody Guthrie, Woody Allen’s Manhattan, and Jim Henson’s The Muppets. Full schedule at “Coney Island 2012: Free Movie Screenings on the Beach” (ATZ, July 9, 2012).

Rooftop Films, a nonprofit which has been showing underground films outdoors in New York City since 1997, will bring free movie screenings to Coney Island’s beach this summer. The Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC), NYC & Company and EpixHD are partnering with Rooftop to launch the new Coney Island Film Series.

Lela Scott-MacNeil of Rooftop Films tells ATZ that the Coney Island screenings will be free of charge and the program is being put together especially for the new venue. “It is not part of our regular summer series,” said Scott-McNeil. When details of the Coney Island program are announced, ATZ will post an update.

Rooftop’s 14th Summer Series of “Underground Movies Outdoors” includes 25 feature films and over 150 short films in themed programs. Screening venues include Fort Greene Park, Socrates Sculpture Park and the roofs of Brooklyn Tech, El Museo del Barrio and Brooklyn Grange in Long Island City. According to Rooftop’s website: “We couple films with venues, and connect artists with audiences so that each event is unique and memorable.”

A tip of the hat to our friend Brian Hedden of the South Brooklyn blog BK Southie, who wrote in January, “Dear Luna Park, make this happen, movies at the beach.” Today he says: “Hey, I’m glad someone was listening back when I was begging for beachside movies!” ATZ urges BK Southie and everyone else to keep the ideas coming for event programming in Coney Island. Your idea could turn out to be the next new thing! We also ask our readers: What movies would you like to see on the big screen at Coney Island’s beach?

UPDATE, May 16, 2011…

NYC & Co. announced the schedule for the new film series today.  Coney Island Flicks on the Beach will be shown on Monday nights at sundown on the beach between W 10th and W 12th Streets. The series begins on July 11 with Saturday Night Fever. Here’s the full schedule…

July 11
- Saturday Night Fever (1977)
The ’70s disco-kid flick stars a young John Travolta in an Oscar-nominated performance as Tony Manero, a Brooklyn teen who works a dead-end job and suffers from “night fever,” but knows how to boogie it off. The film is famously set in NYC, largely in the now-closed Bay Ridge disco 2001 Odyssey.

July 18
- Rango (2011)
This animated comedy-western follows Rango (Johnny Depp), a domesticated lizard, as he stumbles upon a town in the Old West and winds up becoming sheriff, only to brave a rattlesnake showdown.

July 25 – Top Gun (1986)
Revisit the time when Tom Cruise was Maverick, a too-cool-for-school Navy fighter pilot recruit, fueled by the need for speed. The hit film celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

August 1- Iron Man 2 (2010)
Now that the world knows the double identity of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) as the armored superhero, everyone wants the Iron Man technology. Stark refuses to hand it over. But the evil Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) has built his own weapon to retaliate.

August 8
 – Annie Hall (1977)
Woody Allen and Diane Keaton star in this romantic comedy as a neurotic yet charming New York couple who fall in love after an awkward meeting, flirt in Central Park, argue over lobsters in the Hamptons and, eventually, split.

August 15
 – Moonstruck (1987)
Cher plays Loretta, a widowed, 30-something Brooklyn bookkeeper who, while indifferently engaged to Johnny (Danny Aiello), falls for her fiancé’s estranged brother, Ronny (a young, hairy and angry Nicolas Cage).

August 22
 – Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)
Watch the Biebs prepare for his first sold-out show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. This documentary is titled for his song and mantra: “Never Say Never.”

August 29
 – How She Move (2008)
After her older sister dies suddenly, a talented teen flubs her chance at a private-school scholarship and moves back home to her family’s crime-ridden neighborhood. But after she earns a spot on a respected step crew, she discovers how her dance skills can deliver the future she dreams of.

When the weather is iffy, check the Coney Island tweeters on Coney Island Fun’s list for updates here.

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