News / USA

Outdoor Movies Gain Popularity in US

Outdoor Movies Gain Popularity in USi
X
August 06, 2013 11:08 PM
More than half a century ago, there were 4000 drive-in movie theaters in the United States, and watching a movie from your car was a popular way to spend an evening. But with the number of drive-ins reduced to just a few hundred, a new breed of outdoor movie has been popping up across the nation. Producer June Soh tells us that going to an open-air theater has become a modern summer pastime for many movie fans. Amy Katz narrates.
June Soh
More than half a century ago, there were 4000 drive-in movie theaters in the United States, and watching a movie from your car was a popular way to spend an evening. But with the number of drive-ins reduced to just a few hundred, a new breed of outdoor movie has been popping up across the nation. Going to an open-air theater has become a modern summer pastime for many movie fans.

A huge inflatable screen is being erected in a park in downtown Rosslyn, Virginia, a busy suburb outside of Washington. It is for a film festival that night.

Brynne Magaziner came early with her husband. “We try to come at least a couple times every summer. Just nice to be outside in the beautiful weather and watch a movie. And it is free, which is a bonus.”

Nick Donner came with friends. "I enjoy the social aspect being with friends and seeing movies that I haven’t seen in a while. It’s relaxing to be here.”

Free movies

The Rosslyn Business Improvement District, known as BID, started the Outdoor Film Festival in 2007. It features a free movie every Friday night during the warm weather, from mid-May to the end of August. Lee Anne McLarty is the group’s acting director of communications.

“The Rosslyn BID really wants to change the perception that people have of Rosslyn. And so part of that is offering new experiences and cultural entertainment that Rosslyn is increasingly becoming known for, outside of being a business center,” she said.

On average, McLarty said, about 1,000 people attend each movie night. “It is a lot of young professionals, young workers and residents in and around Arlington that come over from D.C. They even come from the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia.”

In recent years, outdoor movie screenings have cropped up in parks, vacant lots and shopping malls around the nation. Many of them are part of development or revitalization initiatives.

The NoMa Summer Screen [NoMa = North of Massachusetts Avenue] started six years ago in a Washington neighborhood. Rachel Davis, the director of marketing and events for the NoMa BID, said, “When we started it, there wasn’t very much in the middle of NoMa with all being developed at the time. And there were a bunch of residential neighborhoods around. So this was really an event to bring people together and form a community gathering place for them.”

Old trend gets new life

A little rain does not discourage these movie fans, and food trucks in the vacant lot cater to those who want something to eat before the show starts.

For some, the outdoor movies are reminiscent of the drive-in theaters of their youths.

“This is comparable to the atmosphere of drive-ins. We can bring friends, food, good wine, and watch the movie together,” said Lua Cherbakov.

Americans’ revitalized love affair with outdoor movies makes Stephen Bastas ever busier. He is a partner of Moonflics, which rents outdoor movie screens. Bastas said his seven-member crew sets up screens in various locations mostly in the Washington area every day throughout the summer.

“We are doing pretty well. We’ve actually doubled over the past two and a half years, and we hope to continue the trend. And it looks like we are going to,” he said.

That's because many fans say there is nothing like watching a movie on a breezy summer evening under the stars.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Super Size Screens from: Louisville, KY
September 02, 2013 8:35 PM
We do outdoor movies with small to huge inflatable screens in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio and we do seem to be gaining lots of customers. I believe the word is starting to spread about outdoor movies. And it's not just outdoor movies as video games outside on the big screen is also popular. Being able to setup anywhere is also a huge plus as we do pool parties with outdoor movies, indoor parties, wedding receptions, and more.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid