Mayor’s Office of Media and entertainment, in partnership with NYC Parks, Kicks Off 150 free outdoor film screenings throughout the five boroughs; 10th Anniversary Screening of Mad Hot Ballroom in Washington Heights to Launch ‘Movies under the Stars’

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August 12, 2015

Mayor’s Office of Media and entertainment, in partnership with NYC Parks, Kicks Off 150 free outdoor film screenings throughout the five boroughs

10th Anniversary Screening of Mad Hot Ballroom in Washington Heights to Launch ‘Movies under the Stars’
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and NYC Parks have announced an expansion to the outdoor film series ‘Movies under the Stars’ that will bring free film screenings to New Yorkers in more parks throughout the five boroughs. This year, an additional 150 film screenings will take place at numerous City parks and playgrounds for the first time. Throughout the month of August, parks in the five boroughs will host family friendly screenings of classic New York films, like The Muppets Take Manhattan, Ghostbusters, and The Wiz, and new favorites, like Annie, Mad Hot Ballroom, and Enchanted. Additional screenings featuring documentaries, independent films, and short films showcasing New York communities will take place through September and October.

“We want all New Yorkers to experience the fun and novelty of watching a film outdoors right in their own neighborhood,” said Commissioner Cynthia López, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “The films and TV shows that shoot on location in New York City have not only left an indelible mark on our culture; they also employ thousands of New Yorkers behind the scenes and contribute billions of dollars to our local economy. By bringing ‘Movies under the Stars’ to more parks in all five boroughs, this is our opportunity to thank residents for hosting filming in their community and provide New Yorkers with increased access to cultural programming.”

“We are happy to bring outdoor movies to families and friends in each of the five boroughs and want them to best enjoy the experience,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “This year, ‘Movies under the Stars’ will expand to reach thousands of new viewers across the City. We encourage everyone to come watch films in NYC Parks.”

To kick off the expansion of ‘Movies under the Stars,’ a special anniversary screening of the independent documentary Mad Hot Ballroom will take place at J. Hood Wright Park on Wednesday, August 19. The award-winning Mad Hot Ballroom tells the story of New York City kids who reveal their fears and dreams and come of age while taking the audience on a most unusual journey of learning how to ballroom dance. The film’s director, Marilyn Agrelo, and producer, Amy Sewell, will be joined by some of the film’s young participants, who are now college graduates and working in an array of professions, to celebrate the film’s 10th anniversary. The organization that inspired Mad Hot Ballroom, Dancing Classrooms, is a social and emotional learning program that teaches children essential life skills through the practice of ballroom dance. Dancing Classrooms serves over 200 schools and 25,000 children a year in New York City.

The expansion of ‘Movies under the Stars’ is the result of a MOME/Parks Department partnership in which the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is supporting additional screenings and resources at an increased number of City parks and playgrounds. New parks receiving film screenings for the first time include:

– in Queens, Smokey Oval Park, Richmond Hill and A.R.R.O.W. Field House, Astoria;

– in Brooklyn, Mount Prospect Park, Crown Heights and Sternberg Playground, Williamsburg; and

– in Staten Island, Cedar Grove and Jennifer’s Playground, Mariner’s Harbor.

In Manhattan, among the parks that will host screenings for the first time are: Thomas Jefferson Park, East Harlem; Inwood Hill Park, Inwood; St. Catherine’s Park, Upper East Side; Sol Lain Playground, Lower East Side; Fort Washington Park; Washington Heights; and Matthew Sapolin Playground, Upper West Side.

Screenings will also take place in Thomas Greene Park, Park Slope, Brooklyn; Faber Pool and Park, North Shore, Staten Island; Owen Dolen Recreation Center, Westchester Square, the Bronx; St. James Park, Fordham, the Bronx; and in Manhattan, Morningside Park, Harlem/Morningside Heights; St. Nicholas Park, Hamilton Heights; and Highbridge Park, Washington Heights.

‘Movies under the Stars’ is NYC Parks’ annual summer movie series. Through this program, all New Yorkers are encouraged to pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and enjoy a movie in a neighborhood park! Movies are hosted in all five boroughs and begin at dusk.

Visit for a schedule of screenings and locations.

About the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment serves as the one stop shop for the entertainment industry, promoting the City of New York as a thriving center of creativity, issuing permits for productions filming on public property, and facilitating production throughout the five boroughs. Today, the City hosts record levels of episodic television series as well as hundreds of films each year. Last year, more than 240 films were shot in New York City, and during the 2014-2015 season, 46 episodic series were produced in the City. The City’s production industry employs 130,000 New Yorkers and contributes billions of dollars to the local economy.

About the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
NYC Parks is the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land—14 percent of New York City—including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 550 tennis courts, 66 public pools, 48 recreational facilities, 17 nature centers, 13 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 650,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

Press Contacts
Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
Connie Ress | [email protected] | 212-489-6710 ext 247
Marybeth Ihle | [email protected] | 212-489-6710 ext 248

Parks Department
Mario López | [email protected] | (212) 360-1311

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