Outdoor movie series begins at LIC waterfront park

By Bill Parry

The Skyline Cinema Waterfront Series returns to Hunters Point South Park in Long Island City with one for the kids Saturday. To celebrate the end of the long, cold winter the Hunters Point Park Conservancy is screening the most popular animated movie of all time, “Frozen,” to kick off its monthly cinema in the park series.

“The weather is supposed to be clear but a little chilly,” Conservancy President Rob Basch said. “Every kid in LIC is going to be there, so I hope they bring warm clothes.” No chairs are allowed at the event to avoid damage to the turf, but blankets and sleeping bags are encouraged.

More than 200 attended the park’s first screening in September.

“It was a great crowd for ‘Julia and Julie’ and the event was well received, so we decided to show six movies, once a month,” Basch said.

The Hunters Point Park Conservancy teamed with the real estate firm Nest Seekers to show the movie on a 26-foot inflatable screen situated along the East River. The Manhattan skyline provides a dramatic backdrop featuring the Empire State Building on one side of the screen and the Chrysler Building on the other.

“Our long-term goal is to grow this into a more permanent structure and home,” Nest Seekers’ Adam Lupo said. “We’re also launching a website for the event at cinemalic.com that shows this year’s movie schedule and other info.”

The movie starts around 8 p.m., is free and open to the public. LIC Landing by Coffeed will be open, serving burgers, sandwiches and drinks.

“The Long Island City waterfront is a treasure and an outdoor movie is a great way to bring the community together and enrich the quality of life for all,” Basch said.

The conservancy assists the management and staff of Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park in the maintenance and upkeep of the parks. The group also organizes special events and activities like concerts and parties.

Basch spent the last six months fighting to bring free Wi-Fi to the park.

“We’ve met with the mayor’s aides at City Hall to discuss broad band and that led us to the Parks Department,” he said. “The work is underway and we’re told we’ll have service up and running by the end of the month.”

Parks made a $10 million investment to connect parks and other public spaces across the five boroughs.

Subscribers to Time Warner Cable will be able to access the wireless for free, while non-subscribers can gain access with a day pass for 99 cents. Attendance at the park has grown steadily since its opening in 2013.

It is expected to grow even more this spring when the massive Hunters Point South housing complex opens.

“To me it’s a no-brainer to have free Wi-Fi access in the park, especially with all the affordable housing opening at the park,” Basch said.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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