Cinema al fresco in Santa Cruz

July 17, 2014

I went to high school in a small, one traffic light kind of cowtown in upstate New York where the entertainment options for teenagers were sorely lacking. The one thing that we did have, however, was an old-school drive-in movie theater that opened each summer. Many a summer weekend night was spent gathering a couple of friends to pay $6 a piece for two first-run films of dubious quality, to then go sit on blankets under the night sky, batting away mosquitoes, consuming trans fat- and high-fructose corn syrup laden snacks while socializing with our high school peers.

Call me crazy, but sometimes I’m a bit nostalgic for those experiences.

Santa Cruz may not have a drive-in but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your outdoor movie fix this summer.

Here are a few options:

  • Movies at the Mission: Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks are continuing their summer series of events with music, arts and movies. This Saturday, they’ll be showing locally-filed “Chasing Mavericks” starting at 7 p.m. On Aug. 16, they’ll show “Jurassic Park: The Lost World.” The movies are free and snacks will be available for purchase; bring chairs.
  • Movies in the Beer Garden: Unwind each Monday evening in the beer garden at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery with an organic pint and a goofy movie. Movies are free to attend – and there’s free “organic, GMO-free popcorn” from the Nickelodeon. Movies start at 8 p.m. and the beer garden is dog-friendly to boot. Next week’s showing is the 80s classic “Ghostbusters.”
  • Movies on the Beach: Through August 13, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk hosts a big-screen showing on the beach every Wednesday at 9 p.m. The season began with the quintessential “The Lost Boys” and continues with a full slate of family-friendly fare. Once again, it’s free — bring chairs and snacks. Next Wednesday’s flick is “Beetlejuice.”

Have I missed any? Where are your favorite places to watch a movie outdoors?


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