Throughout the United States this summer, many avid film lovers spend the calmness of an evening to attend free outdoor movie screenings in parks and various public venues. In the past few years, this has become an emerging trend that bridges civic parks and cult classic pop culture. Events like this are fun for whole movie loving community in your area. There are a few in my city of Denver, Colorado, most notable the Film on the Rocks series at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater run by the local non-profit Denver Film Society. (Where I am a member and am involved in the assisting of their marketing).
In the next few years, I foresee this becoming a classic summer tradition for many people in most towns, not just big city parks. It’s appealing for consumers for a few reasons. This is a free event to attend. Also, during the summer people like to be outside and as the night cools off temperatures, they enjoy the outdoors even more so. You have the option to pack food and drinks to share with family and friends. In fact, the food truck craze has formed partly because of summer events like outdoor movie watching. Finally, why pay all the money in a movie theater on an iffy product; a stale remake, a lame sequel, or mediocre reboot when watching a great movie FOR FREE is the ideal, cheap safe option! During the economic downturn, no wonder this is a becoming a popular summer event.
Programming the right film fuels excitement and motivates people to show up. The audience really needs to enjoy it. While watching one cult movie favorite this summer with the large crowd obnoxiously cheering, I realized that summer outdoor movie watching is the mainstream version of Midnight Movie showings. Many indie theaters show cult classics late at night to impassioned fans ready to cheer and quote their favorite lines. Mainstream audiences enjoy watching the familiar, relatively safe classics. This might be why “Top Gun” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” are ideal choices for this type of setting then say “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” or “The Dark Crystal.”
I hope many readers at TMB enjoy watching outdoor movies as much as I do!
Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding.
He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.