Cinema Northampton Brings the Big Screen to the Big Outdoors
Catch that Fave From Your Childhood & Your Child on the Big Outdoor Screen!
Old classics come to the big screen this summer thanks to Cinema Northampton, a community film series made possible by a collaboration between a handful of local organizations. Bringing outdoor movies during the summer months and indoor movies once its cold out, the Cinema Northampton series brings together cinephiles of all ages – offering older folks a chance to watch a favorite film from childhood, and providing an opportunity to share the classics with children.
Created through the pooled resources and expertise of Northampton Community Television, the Forbes Library, the Northampton Arts Council, the Academy of Music, and Northampton’s Parks and Recreation Department, Cinema Northampton is unique amongst summer film and performance series in the Pioneer Valley. As evening is often the most enjoyable part of the day during the hottest parts of the summer in western Massachusetts, films will be screened outdoors in the evening on the lawn at Forbes Library. Families can bring blankets and comfortable seating, bug spray, and snacks or food to buy treats from local vendors who will be on hand to share their wares.
The films scheduled to be shown – both outside during the summer and indoors once it gets chilly – are classics, their educational value may not be immediately obvious. Jaws, for example, seems at first glance to be little more than a thriller. Its shark-centric plot, however, might lend itself to a study of real shark attacks that have happened around the world and the reasons for why they took place. Rather than instilling fear, the film can be fun for educated viewers – offering lots of opportunities to identify and analyze some of the shark stereotypes that the movie shares. Similarly, The Goonies may not seem to have a lot of depth to it (though the goofy adventure story is plenty entertaining), but viewing the film could spark a discussion about the importance of home and children’s relationship with the place (or places) that they call their home. Families can exercise curiosity and creativity in surprising way to enhance the educational value of each of the films!
As each outdoor film will be screened beginning at sundown, showtimes vary throughout the summer. Beginning in October, films will move indoors to the Academy of Music, where showings are scheduled through December. While all of the films in the series are appropriate for children of some age, not all films are appropriate for children of all ages. Families are encouraged to research each film before attending a showing so as to determine for themselves whether a film is a good fit.