McCarren Park, New York: 'Summerscreen' Outdoor Movies
Each summer, outdoor movies are shown in the McCarren Park Pool in New York City, dubbed "Summerscreen". Cost: $3 suggested donation. Program: Earnest, with a dash of headscratching. Brooklyn classic Do the Right Thing launched the series this year on July 25, followed by the typically Williamsburg-y quirk parade Bottle Rocket. The French Connection screened Aug. 8, with the unusual but admirable selections The Swimmer, Love Streams and Style Wars concluding the series that month. Even more outlandish is the live music selected to open the outdoor movie shows: "Koto with computer, lasers"? "Theremin & thrown voice"? It is like Broadway Danny Rose's client roster brought to life. View/Location: No view to speak of, unless you count the high-rise under construction across Lorimer. The pool is directly across the street from McCarren Park proper and is roughly equidistant to the Bedford and Lorimer L stops--about a 10-minute walk from either. Seating: Chairs are not only allowed but heartily encouraged for the pool, which is exactly the kind of hard, dirty, heat-radiating concrete basin you would expect to find at an empty city pool in Williamsburg. You can show up to the outdoor movie anytime and find a place to set up, but the further back you go, the less likely you are to actually enjoy the screening. Why? Well... Picture/Sound: ... I will give you the McCarren Park Pool for rock shows--a perfect venue, really (unless you are at the deep end looking up through the crowd, I suppose). In theory, it should work for films, but between a screen too small for the venue, 35 millimeter projections too dark for the setting and the acoustically unfriendly concrete surroundings, the whole experience can be kind of unpleasant. Maybe it was just the 90-percent humidity getting me down. But I doubt it. Restrooms: An abundance of portable stalls are available within a stone's throw of the pool. Food/Drink: Extremely casual, but in a good way. The MC preceded the Bottle Rocket screening with the announcement that $2 pizza slices ("There's more on the way," he added comfortingly) and free Red Bull were available, while a Mister Softee knock-off parked just inside the gates. The only drinks for sale are water ($2), sparkling water and Vitamin Water ($3 each), so consider packing a bottle or two of whatever else you prefer. Excerpt from The Reeler's Screening Gotham Special Edition: The Reeler's Guide to Outdoor Cinema in NYC . Read full article at: http://www.mcnblogs.com/reeler/archives/screening_gotham/.