Outdoor movies have a rich history in the United States.
Whether you are going to a drive-in movie or a community park, the outdoor movie is a wonderful experience for all.
History of Outdoor Movies
The original concept of watching outdoor movies comes from “open-air” cinema. According to The Airscreen Company, the oldest and longest-running open-air cinema is “Sun Pictures,” operating since 1916 in Australia.
Open-air cinemas during the silent film era involved a piano player providing a live soundtrack outside while people watched the film projected on the screen. These fun, “get out of the house” kind of events evolved into what became drive-in movie theaters.
Since the 1930s, drive-in movies allowed people to enjoy a movie from inside their parked car. Today, most drive-in movie theaters have closed, but there are still a number of places still thriving.
In fact, Claire Trageser with Travel and Leisure listed Wellfleet Drive-In Theater on Cape Cod as one of the drive-ins that are still very popular for those that want to experience the outdoor movie concept!
Movies in the Park
Outdoor movie in the park events has become popular as local community events, especially during the summer months. Lakeland PBS posted this YouTube video, identifying one of their local outdoor movie events.
These events bring people out from all walks of life. They’re usually community-oriented and offered free to the public.
In fact, when you attend, you’ll see families in lawn chairs and blankets, kids playing on nearby playgrounds, people laughing and just enjoying time with family, friends, and neighbors.
These events have become more common all over the country because of how much people enjoy them!
Successful Movies in the Park Events
Some of the most successful places that have incorporated a “Movie in the Park” night have made it accessible to all citizens. Showing popular movies that appeal to families and/or mass audiences is also important.
Little Rock, Arkansas has incorporated a very successful outdoor movie series in their River Market District. They offer free admission to their events, allow people to bring their own food, and they also provide security through the Little Rock Police Department.
Events like this have been very successful at bringing people together and creating unity for the community.