By Angelica Acevedo
As summer engulfs New York City, a myriad of activities to enjoy is emerging throughout the boroughs. Some of these activities won’t even cost you a dime, such as the “Movies Under the Stars” program.
Every year from April to July, NYC Media and Entertainment and NYC Parks collaborate to host a series of movie screenings throughout the five boroughs.
Just last year they screened over 300 films in 60 percent of parks that weren’t previously included in the program, according to NYC Media and Entertainment.
The films screening this year range from classics like “Back to the Future,” to modern Oscar winners like “Hidden Figures,” to family-friendly flicks such as “101 Dalmations.”
A screening of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” at Bulova Park in East Elmhurst was a big hit June 24.
About 40 people — a combination of families and friends — sat on their chairs and laid on their blankets in front of a high-definition wide screen.
The breezy night proved to be an ideal setup for the event, as the surround system entranced everyone watching the action-packed movie.
Vielka Ramirez attended the event with one of her kids and said she likes to take advantage of the screenings throughout Queens.
“It’s local, and the fact that it’s free is the best part,” Ramirez said. “It’s awesome and it’s great for the kids.”
Some of these screenings are sponsored by City Council members. In Queens, Council members Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) and Peter Koo (D-Flushing) have sponsored movie screenings in borough parks.
Constantinides, who sponsored the “Ninja Turtles” screening in Bulova Park, said that he is proud to be a part of the program.
“The Movies Under the Stars series allows all Astorians to watch hit movies with their families while enjoying the outdoors,” Constantinides said. “The series gives families the opportunity to spend time in their local playgrounds in a different setting than usual, at dusk under the stars.”
Peter Koo sponsored the screening of “Hidden Figures” in Flushing’s Kissena Corridor Park last Friday.
“I host movie nights in the summer because they are great opportunities for the community to come together and enjoy our local parks and the warm weather in a relaxed, family-friendly environment,” Koo said.
Whether you’re looking for an inexpensive way to entertain your kids, or just want a relaxed night out with friends, “Movies Under the Stars” is the way to go.
This weekend there will be a screening of “Spiderman” at O’Donohue Park on Friday, “The Secret Life of Pets” at Paul Raimonda Playground on Saturday, “Doctor Strange” at Maurice Park on Sunday, and “Sing” at Park House in Yellowstone Park on Monday. For more information about screenings and locations, visit nyc.gov/