City Pulse

By Mrinalini Kamath

The next festival to continue our miniseries on free and inexpensive summer film festivals in NYC is what many consider to be the granddaddy of the them all: The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival. Due to the price, (free!) location and variety of classic films they feature (some of this year’s films include “The 39 Steps,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “Airplane!”) the lawn tends to get a little crowded, and this year, there is an additional reason for the congestion: for the first time in its history, the festival will be allowing attendees to bring their own alcohol and will shortly be serving wine and beer at the ‘Wichcraft kiosk. Films are every Monday, from June 20th to August 22nd. The lawn opens for seating at 5:00 p.m. and the films start at sunset, usually between 8 and 9 p.m. For more information on the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, go to:

RiverFlicks, organized by the Hudson River Park Trust, shows two different film series, one for Grown-Ups (Wednesday nights) and another for Kids (Friday nights). On Wednesdays, the films play at the Pier 63 lawn in Chelsea. Bring your own food (minus alcohol), blanket and/or lawn chairs and enjoy the complimentary popcorn (beverages and other snacks are sold at the venue). Movies begin at dusk, generally about 8:30. The Grown-Ups series kicks off on July 6th with “The Social Network” and continues every Wednesday through August 17th with “Easy A,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “The Other Guys,” “The Fighter,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” and “The Town.” The Kids series is held at Pier 46 and begins on Friday, July 8 with “The Karate Kid (2010 version),” and runs every Friday through August 19th, with “Despicable Me,” personal fave “The Princess Bride,” “Toy Story 3,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Shrek Forever After” and “Tangled.” For more information on RiverFlicks, check out

For Brooklynites who’d rather not have to trek into Manhattan for their free movie fix, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, in partnership with the Syfy Channel, has a series called “Syfy Movies with a View.” Each feature-length film is preceded by an independent short film, and music is provided by a different DJ every night. The series starts on July 7th with the short film “Tugs,” followed by the feature presentation, (ironically) Woody Allen classic, “Manhattan,” with music provided by DJ Emch (of Subatomic Sound System). Again, this is a BYOC event (Bring Your Own Blanket/Chairs). Music starts at 6 p.m. and the movies begin at dusk. Unlike some of the other festivals, you can ride your bike to this one, as bike valets are provided by Transportation Alternatives, sponsored by Bike and Roll. You can also vote on the winner of the short film contest by going to For more information on the series, go to:

Originally published June 2011
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