31 July 2013


For the longest time I wanted to attend one of those free outdoor movie showings.  Chances are the movies are old but it's the experience that matters more.  The viewers are not limited to a particular indoor space, the sky is overhead, sitting may not be most comfortable but that's beside the point.  The free admission helps too.  I believe the very first instance I knew of such showing is that at Bryan Park in Manhattan, behind the New York Public Library's Research Library.  It's been so long I cannot remember why I never attended the movies at Bryan Park.  Maybe it started too late in the evening, such that even though I worked in Manhattan I would have to hang around the city a few hours after work just to wait for the movie to start.  Maybe it always showed on a certain day of the week that I normally scheduled to pick up my girlfriend from college.  Whatever the case, I never went.  Years passed and I learned of more similar showing, in particular the Flicks on the Beach series in Coney Island.  I've lived near Coney about fifteen years now but I finally went to a beach movie this week.  Coney itself I didn't explore until many years after moving into the area.  I recall when I first moved here I heard that it's possible to walk to Coney Island.  Only in recent years when I started to get serious with the sports of outdoor running that I actually visited Coney regularly.  The People's Playground, you have beach, the boardwalk, famous rides, but all these years I didn't visited it.  Better late than never.

The movie was Men in Black 3.  I went with my son and a nephew.  Before the movie we bought dinner from Nathan's.  Also parked the car in a lot for $10.  Nephew and son each spent about $20 at the arcade in Luna Park.  I definitely did my part in supporting the local economy.

It was a beautiful evening, not hot and not cold.  My son's feet felt cold near the end of the evening but I felt fine.  In the car we happened to have two beach towels, courtesy of TD Bank from some event, and they served the three of us just fine.  Some people had beach chairs, others just sat on the sand, then there are others who came complete with blankets and pillows.  By the time I arrived many people already settled down, but there were room to walk about, at least from the middle to the back.  The screen was not as big as I thought it would be but it did the job.  Being inflatable, it introduced curves to the images on the film but after a while you get used to it.  The audio system was good, except, lucky me, I sat near some motormouth woman who yapped constantly during the movie, something about some other woman or man she didn't get along with.  Sheesh, if you want to whine, why not do it in the comfort of your home and not bother the people at a beach movie.  Other annoyances with the setting include wafting cigarette smokes, vendors hawking their wares (snacks, beach seats), and people in the front getting up to leave.  Oh yeah, some idiot briefly shone a laser dot onto the screen.  Just minor annoyances that cannot be helped when a big group of people is involved.  Overall it was orderly, as far as I can tell.  When it was time to leave, it didn't take us too long to get past the boardwalk onto the street and back to the car.

I enjoyed the experience very much.  The movie itself was so-so, time travel and the usual jokes in the Men in Black franchise.  Good screen, good audio, good scenery, although next time I plan to bring a beach chair, plenty of food and drink nearby available for purchase, unless you are too lazy to get up and decide to patronize those vendors who snake their way among the crowd shouting and interrupting the show.  The nearest restroom was that in Luna Park but the relatively new public ones, on columns above the beach, are not far away.  I am thinking of catching Fame in two weeks, but for that I would have to go by myself as I don't know anyone else in the family who would want to watch it.  I just love the music, not care much about the story.  Better yet, I plan to go see Huey Lewis and the News, for a different free series, but also in Coney Island, on August 15.
Flicks on the Beach, with help from Rooftop Films etc.
Beautiful runner's toes, no missing nails, yet!
Happy Daddy!
Wonder Wheel!


  1. We have free outdoor movie and concert here too. We also have one drive-in movie about an hour drive from our home. But we have not been to any of these events for years.
    Motormouth and smokers should not be admitted to these events (especially around kids), as well as those who constantly texting their BFF, not paying attention to the event, plus the light from the phone really annoying.
    Grumbly geeezer from STL

  2. I think technically there is some smoking ban at beaches. I know there's a ban in public parks. As long as the smoker puffs one or two cigarettes I think I can tolerate it.