Thursday, June 23, 2011

Movies in the Dark in the Park

Pass the Popcorn or in This Case the Picnic Basket
The Skyline Overlooking the Park
Shh! Watch the Movie
"You know what I like best about Bryant Park Movie Night? It feels like heaven." Those are the words my friend Lauren uttered while displaying a wide grin on her face.  A smile came across my face as well after realizing I've had the same opinion of the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival ever since my first visit.  In short, every summer, for the last 19 years, Bryant Park plays an old school film on Monday nights until August.  Everyone packs the lawn starting at 5PM and picnics until the movie starts at sundown.

This season kicked off with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with Jack Nicholson.  Other great movies on the roster include Gentlemen Prefer Blondes & Dirty Harry.  Before the feature film starts, there is a classic animation short from Warner Brothers followed by a mini celebration where the movie goers (well the fun ones) stand up, dance, and clap while the opening credits roll.

While the movies are all classics with big time actors and directors, I think the ambiance and the idea of watching a movie on a big screen in a relatively small park in the middle of New York City is the real attraction.  The park itself is one of my favorites nestled in by willowing trees, mile high skyscrapers, and the tough sturdy back wall of the New York Public Library.  The juxtaposition of nature in the middle of steel and concrete is what I appreciate the most.  Also the sense of unity that one feels in this city when we all come together to picnic, socialize, eat, drink and be merry (yeah, I went there) is another great characteristic about the BP movie night.  It is one that most likely has helped propel this film festival's longevity and sounds like my definition of heaven on Earth.

Places of Interest:
Bryant Park, 42nd St. & 6th Ave

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