Summer Cinema in the City
by Kathleen Lees
Jul 11, 2012 | 8285 views | 0 0 comments | 166 166 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Outdoor Cinema at Socrates Sculpture Park. Image courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park.
Outdoor Cinema at Socrates Sculpture Park. Image courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park.
A performance by ASE Dance Theatre Collection prior to the film at QMA.
A performance by ASE Dance Theatre Collection prior to the film at QMA.
Perhaps it’s the silver screen. Or, perhaps it’s the hero and his trusty sidekick. Whatever it is, Brooklyn and Queens are cramming your summer schedule with lots of movies, and they’re free. Parks and museums have picked some of the classic cult favorites down to the latest documentaries to fill your entertainment needs.

Prerana Reddy, the director of public events at the Queens Museum of Art, says summer and movies in New York City are the perfect combination. “It’s free, it’s open to everybody and it’s the chance to get out of your hot apartment,” Reddy says.

The Queens Museum of Art, located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, is holding its eighth year of “Target Passport Fridays,” a weekly outdoor festival with live dance performances, concerts and film screenings every Friday till August 24, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Reddy emphasizes the focus on a different country or region each screening of the exhibit. “We want to give people an idea of contemporary issues going on in those areas,” Reddy says.

This year, the film exhibition is focusing on Caribbean culture for six of the eight movie showings. With an emphasis on documentaries, independent and feature films, these flicks “aren’t going to be at your local Blockbuster,” Reddy says.

John Hatfield, the executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park, agrees that summer is an optimal time for outdoor movies in the city. The park has worked in conjunction with the Museum of Moving Image for the past 14 years to show foreign films as part of their “Rooftop Cinema” exhibit at Socrates Sculpture Park, located at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City. “When we feature a particular country, we get a huge turnout from that country in our area,” Hatfield says.

Hatfield says most of the films are in a foreign language with English subtitles. The movies are every Wednesday through August 22, with prescreening performances beginning at 7 p.m. and films beginning at sunset with free admission.

David Schwartz, the chief curator at the Museum of Moving Image, says determining films that work in an outdoor setting is also an important part of picking movies. Schwartz describes one of their Brazilian films titled “Senna,” with great archival footage and car racing scenes. “We want to use something that is easy and exciting to watch,” he says. “Something that is dramatic.”

Schwartz also emphasized the museum’s regular cinema screenings, which take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer until September 9 at various times. “These are classic movies that need to be seen on the big screen, like Space Odyssey,” Schwartz says.

The screenings are free with admission to the Museum of Moving Image, located at 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria.

The Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway


Film screenings are from Sun., July 15, 2 p.m. and various Thursdays through August 23, 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Click here for schedule.

East River State Park

North 8th St. & Kent Avenue


Annual music and movies series every Thursday from July 12 to August 16. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. and films screen at sundown. Admission is free.

Click here for schedule.

Socrates Sculpture Park

32-01 Vernon Boulevard

Long Island City

“Outdoor Cinema 2012” is every Wednesday through Aug. 29. Pre-screening performances begin at 7 p.m. and films begin at sunset. Admission is free.

Click here for schedule.

The Museum of Moving Image

36-01 35 Avenue


"See It Big!" is every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 9 at various times. Admission is $12 for adults (+18); $9 for senior citizens and college students with valid ID; $6 for children (3-17); and free for museum members and children under three.

Click here for schedule.

Queens Museum of Art

Flushing Meadows Corona Park


“Target Passport Fridays” is every Friday through Aug. 24, 6:30 to 10 p.m. Admission is free.

Click here for schedule.

McCarren Park

Bedford Avenue and North 12 St.


“Summer Screen” is various Wednesdays through Aug. 15. Parking opens at 6 p.m. The band begins at 6:30 p.m. and credits start rolling at 8:15 p.m.

Click here for schedule.

“Rooftop Films: Underground Movies Outdoors” is through Aug. 18 at various locations in New York City. Admission is $12.

Click here for schedule.

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