The schedule for the four Screen on the Green movies has been released. All four are old classics that you’ve heard mentioned many times but have likely not seen (or at least in a long time). Everyone worked hard to bring the outdoor movie series back, so make sure you get it on your calendar and remember to go!
- July 20, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- July 27, Dog Day Afternoon
- August 3, On The Waterfront
- August 10, Rebel Without A Cause
photo by riacale on Flickr
Yesterday, We Love DC broke the sad news that HBO is pulling it’s sponsorship of Screen on the Green, news that quickly sparked the birth of a Facebook group called “Save Screen on the Green!” The outdoor movie festival has been a long-time favorite summer activity in our dear city and will be sorely missed – you just can’t beat that gorgeous backdrop. But do not fret for too long, as there are enough alternatives around the area that you can basically see a different movie outside every night from May through September. Update: Screen on the Green is Saved!
- No one else seems to be covering this in their outdoor movie guides but I’m more than happy to share it here – The Capitol Riverfront BID, which showed baseball-themed movies last summer, is running with an 80’s theme this year. Every Thursday night from June 4 – August 6, at Tingey Plaza in SE, right by the ballpark.
- NoMa’s Screen Festival returns again this year with “Music in Pictures,” featuring films about musicians and bands. Wednesday nights from June 10 – July 29, at L Street Between 2nd and 3rd Streets in NE.
- Crystal City’s Crystal Screen is showing Superhero movies this year on Monday nights from May 4 – September 23 in the courtyard at 18th and Bell Streets, across from the Crystal City Metro.
- The Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival is showing 80’s movies (these groups need to start coordinating their themes to avoid overlap! Last year it was all Bond, this year is all 80’s) on Fridays from May 1 – September 4.
- And if Rockville isn’t too far out of the city for you, The 13th Annual Comcast Film Festival acts as a fundraiser for NIH Children’s charities. August 14 – 21 at the Mansion at Strathmore.
- Update: DCist lists a few more options that are out in the ‘burbs.
So there you go, Tuesday night is the only weekend when you cannot find an outdoor movie showing. Not too shabby, even without Screen on the Green! Now throw in Jazz in the Garden, and the many free summer concerts in the area, and you’ve got a jam packed summer schedule. So pack a picnic, a blanket to sit on, and enjoy all that summer in DC has to offer.
Screen on the Green is one of those things that anyone living in DC needs to do at least once. There is something about sitting on the Mall watching a movie on a big screen that is framed by a beautifully lit Capitol dome that just feels special. Even if you don’t love the movie that is being shown, it’s hard to not enjoy the experience. My tips for a successful night at the movies: bring a picnic to munch on since you need to show up early to stake out a good spot, bring with plenty of water, bug spray, coffee (as soon as the sun goes down it is too easy to fall asleep when you are lying on a blanket), and a pillow to sit on or a reclining chair – preferably the kind that has you still sitting on the ground, otherwise you are “that guy” who is blocking the view of everyone behind you.
My one complaint about Screen on the Green in the past couple of years is that there does not seem to be any connection between the movies. It’s as though the organizers just pulled random titles out of a hat. And in an election year, you would think that a collection of politically-themed movies might be appropriate. Or how about movies filmed in DC? I am sure they are trying to avoid too much violence or foul language but how fun would it be to watch something like Independence Day on the National Mall on the night before the 4th of July?
So here is my list of movies that I think should be shown on the Mall.
And a few more classic political/DC movies:
I know I am missing a bunch, so please add to the list in the comments!