Miss going to the drive-in for a movie? For those of a certain age, drive-in movies were a date-night staple that freed viewers from the quiet confines of indoor movie theaters. Stadium seating and 3-D technology aside, there’s more than nostalgia to the drive-in, and the Arts & Education Council and River City Company have teamed to re-create the thrill by presenting a series of outdoor movies under the title “Movies at the 700 Block: Urban Theater in the City Center.”
The free series makes use of the undeveloped gap of space in the 700 block of Market Street now reclaimed by River City Company and will feature two films each night—the provocative documentaries AEC is known for, along with fun feature films to lighten the mood—in an open-air environment featuring food trucks and beer on site at 728 Market St.
The series begins its three-week run at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, with a screening of “Build Me A World: The Story of The Howard School” (the new documentary featured in The Pulse this week) and “The Goonies,” the 1980’s adventure-comedy cult classic produced by Steven Spielberg. At the same hour on Saturday, Sept. 8, the series pairs “Lunch Hour,” a documentary that examines America’s National School Lunch Program, which exposes children to unhealthy but culturally accepted foods at a young age, followed by the Spielberg classic “E.T.” Leaping forward to Saturday, Sept. 22, the series concludes its trial run with “Urbanized,” a documentary which explores the issues and strategies behind urban design, followed by “Back to the Future,” another ’80s fantasy classic starring Michael J. Fox.
The pairings may seem awkward and incongruous, but River City’s goal is to inform, entertain and bring attention to the vacant city block, long the center of development discussion but still a gaping hole in the city center. While River City mulls proposals for the block’s future use—a mix of parking, retail and housing are a central theme—the movie nights will bring a fun, free element to (hopefully cooler) early fall nights downtown.
For more information on the series, visit rivercitycompany.com or artsedcouncil.org.