Recently we made our way to Cepperley Meadow in Stanley Park to experience Fresh Air Cinema’s presentation of the classic 80’s adventure movie The Goonies. For anyone not familiar, Fresh Air Cinema is a mobile open-air movie theatre (for hire by businesses, organizations and individuals) that can set up pretty much anywhere and everywhere there is an open space. Movies are …
Recently we made our way to Cepperley Meadow in Stanley Park to experience Fresh Air Cinema’s presentation of the classic 80’s adventure movie The Goonies. For anyone not familiar, Fresh Air Cinema is a mobile open-air movie theatre (for hire by businesses, organizations and individuals) that can set up pretty much anywhere and everywhere there is an open space. Movies are projected on to a giant inflatable screen, turning any area into an instant drive-in or walk-in theatre.
Movies begin at dusk, which on hot summer nights can be as late as 10pm. We arrived a little over an hour and a half early which was good enough to get a good (but not great) spot at the back of the park. While there were plenty of children around, the demographic was less suburban family and more urban bohemian. The vibe was friendly, laid back and the weather, in a word, perfect. Almost everyone was enjoying a picnic, pre-packed dinner, take-out, or other treats on their blankets. Several couples and groups were responsibly enjoying a (plastic) glass of wine or other beverage. While there were park authorities present they seemed unfettered by the occasional libation.
There were two minor drawbacks to our experience however. Nothing that ruined our evening but things worth pointing out to anyone thinking of making this a night out. The first issue was latecomers who jammed themselves in or met up with and overcrowded their friends’ spot. Obviously space is expected to be at a premium at an event like this but when several people arrive at dusk, shoehorn themselves in and consequently impede both your personal space and view, it’s a touch impolite. Second, we were surprised at the amount of smoking. A lot of cigarettes were being lit up, some of them of the ‘wacky’ variety. The scene was almost reminiscent of a 1980’s bingo hall, except outdoors. We’re of the belief that chain smoking kind of defeats the purpose of “fresh air” cinema, but to each their own. An allergy to cigarette smoke certainly doesn’t help matters.
All in all it was an enjoyable evening with a real good community feel. The crowd can get really involved cheering and reciting lines – a highlight was definitely the collective cheer that erupted when Chunk did Truffle Shuffle! While there aren’t any more films currently scheduled for Stanley Park, there are many open air cinema events taking place throughout the rest of the Summer.
Arrive really early for the best choice of location for your setup. If you have a touch of claustophobia or just don’t like being in the heart of crowds, might we suggest setting up your blanket on the boulevard or grass on either side of the Beach Avenue sidewalk. If you’re checking out events at another location, search the fringe of the area especially for any rises or grassy knolls. Out there on the periphery you have a fine view of the screen; a whole lot more elbow room; and you can even get away with lawn chairs (these being frowned upon in areas closer to the screen). Don’t overdo it but bring a sizable blanket to stake your space and give yourself a bit of extra room. Pre-pack a picnic dinner or snack and be sure to bring along a nice pre-chilled Selection Original White Zinfandel or Estate Series Washington Yakima Valley Pinot Gris.
(Photo from BeyondRobson.com)