Each summer, enjoy outdoor movies at Hudson River Park in New York City. Wednesdays feature classic films geared toward a more "adult" audience, while Fridays cater to families in this urban open air cinema.
Well, it depends. What Wednesday's programmers call a "Quirky-Themed Movie Series" I would call more of a "Celebrate Vicious Urban Sociopathy Series": Goodfellas
and A Clockwork Orange
wrapped up the schedule this year at Pier 54. They made it up to families Friday nights at Pier 46 with outdoor movie programs featuring Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
About a 15-minute walk from the nearest subway station (the 1 stop at Christopher St.--another hot family spot for Friday night), but worth the trek. Granted, the skyline belongs to Jersey City, but as they say in brothels: In the dark, all cats are gray. The Hudson also yields a little friendlier breeze than its cousin to the East. Or at least it did the nights I was there.
Challenging, especially on Fridays. The piers naturally possess a higher space premium, and when it fills up, don't count on leaving unless you can camp on the center emergency row or near the side walkways. That said, the artificial turf is reasonably comfy if you can claim it. Chairs are allowed, but be considerate: Set up to the sides or in the back. Some benches are available on the piers' edges, but trees obscure a good portion of their views.
The outdoor movie screen is about the right size for the piers, but the further back you are, the less likely you are to enjoy what you are attempting to watch. Sound is dodgy at best: The West Side Highway is a loud neighbor, and it is not uncommon to sense an odd disconnection between the movie's sound and picture--as thought someone is syncing them on the spot. It also improves--but does not necessarily abate--the closer you are to the screen.
Not a good situation. Walk off the pier, down the boardwalk a few hundred feet, and use one of three portable stalls set up right next to the locked public restrooms. Guys should bring a pee bottle. Ladies... I don't know what to say. Don't drink anything, I guess.
Besides free popcorn (available after 8:45), and a bare-bones snack-cart vendor (soda, water and hot dogs for under $2) there's nothing on-site or even close to on-site. I would recommend bringing dinner and your own bottle.
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/. Photo credit: STV.