The Central Park Film Festival returns with a week of FREE screenings of family-friendly films, all with a connection to New York City. This year there also are screenings in Marcus Garvey Park, as part of the Central Park Conservancy’s commitment to support other NYC parks.
The Central Park Film Festival is August 22nd to 27th. Here’s the schedule:
Marcus Garvey Park – (Fifth Avenue at 124th Street)
Monday, August 22 – School of Rock (PG-13 – 2003) –
- Jack Black plays a heavy metal guitarist who, after intercepting a call for his substitute-teacher roomie, finds himself in front of a class of elite elementary school students. He makes it his goal to preach to them the gospel of The Who, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC, in order to compete in a battle-of-the-bands competition for a cash prize. School of Rock has been turned into a musical, now on Broadway.
Tuesday, August 23 – The Last Dragon (PG-13 – 1985) –
- Taimak stars as an African American martial-arts whiz, so devoted to his hobby that he dresses and behaves in what he thinks is true Chinese fashion. Taimak falls in love with sexy veejay Vanity. Gangsters intrude on both their lives when crook Julius J. Carry III tries to promote his talentless protegee into rock stardom.
The rest of the week’s schedule is in Central Park.
Wednesday, August 24 – I Am Legend (PG-13 – 2007) –
- Will Smith stars as the last man on Earth, a scientist who struggles to survive against the infected survivors of a plague which he is immune to for some inexplicable reason, other than without it there would be no plot. The entire population of New York City has been transformed into carnivorous bloodsuckers that fear the light and live solely to spread their contagion. It’s been three years since civilization came to an end, and the loneliness has taken a devastating toll on Neville as he attempts to find a way to reverse the effects of the viru
Thursday, August 25 – Tootsie (PG – 1982) –
- Starring Dustin Hoffman, Hope Lange, the late Sydney Pollack and Bill Murray in a classic comedy of the 1980s. Michael Dorsey, a brilliant but troublesome New York actor, is so obnoxious that he cannot find work. When he hears of an opening on a popular soap opera, he applies for the job even though the job is for a woman. Posing as “Miss Dorothy Michaels,” Michael wins the part and becomes a widely-known actress, but there are complications when he falls for his costar.
Friday, August 26 – Desperately Seeking Susan (PG-13 – 1982)
- In this new wave comedy set in New York’s hip ’80s downtown scene, Rosanna Arquette stars as Roberta, a New Jersey housewife whose favorite classified ads trace the romance of Jim, a struggling musician, and Susan, a SoHo vamp who’s just narrowly escaped being murdered. Roberta ends up losing her memory and convinces herself that she’s the elusive, adventurous Susan. Soon, Roberta finds herself being romanced by a handsome young man, and pursued separately by her husband, Jim, Susan, and a murderous mobster. Cast includes Madonna.
Saturday, August 27 – Stuart Little (PG – 1999)
- E.B. White’s classic children’s story is brought to the screen in this fantasy, which combines computer-animated characters with a cast of live actors. Mrs. Little, Mr. Little, and their son George live in a brownstone near New York’s Central Park. They have decided to adopt a younger brother for George, but at the orphanage they are greeted by a mouse named Stuart, who talks, walks upright, and wears clothes. The Littles are so taken with Stuart that they decide to adopt him, much to the dismay of Snowbell their house cat.
Gates open at 6:30 pm, movies begin at 8:00 pm, and guest DJs keep the crowd company while they gather.
Films will screen rain or shine, so let’s hope for shine. All films are open captioned. Bring a picnic and a blanket. Be courteous to your neighbors – turn off mobile phones and keep chatter to a minimum.
To ensure that everyone can enjoy the films, the following items are not permitted, so leave them home:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Glass bottles
- Video cameras
- Tape recorders
Films at Marcus Garvey Park are presented in partnership with Historic Harlem Parks.
Films in Central Park are shown in the landscape north of Sheep Meadow, beside the cafe (mid-Park at 69th Street). Enter the Park at 72nd Street.
All screenings begin at 8:00 pm, rain or shine, with gates open to the public at 6:30 pm. Bring a picnic and blanket, and be courteous to your neighbors on the grass. All movies are closed captioned.
The Central Park Film Festival is presented by Bloomberg with support from WABC-TV.
Full disclosure: NYC on the Cheap editor Evelyn Kanter used to be the consumer reporter on WABC-TV Eyewitness News.
About Central Park Conservancy
The mission of Central Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization founded in 1980, is to restore, manage, and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public, for the enjoyment of all. Central Park Conservancy raises 75% of the annual budget essential to keeping Central Park beautiful.