Press Releases

Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, in Partnership with NYC Parks, Kicks off 150 Free Outdoor Film Screenings Throughout the Five Boroughs

Movies under the Stars
'Movies under the Stars' expands to 150 additional screenings throughout the five boroughs. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pickney, NYC Parks.

August 19, 2015 - This year, through a partnership between the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and NYC Parks, an additional 150 film screenings are taking place at numerous City parks and playgrounds in all five boroughs. The expansion to the outdoor film series ‘Movies under the Stars’ brings free film screenings to New Yorkers in more parks, many of which are hosting screenings 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.”

Movies under the Stars
'Movies under the Stars' kicked off at J. Wright Hood Park in Washington Heights. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinkney, NYC Parks.

 'Movies under the Stars' kicked off at J. Wright Hood Park in Washington Heights.
Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinkney, NYC Parks.

To kick off the expansion of ‘Movies under the Stars,’ a special anniversary screening of the independent documentary Mad Hot Ballroom took 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, were 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.

Movies under the Stars
Screenings are taking place throughout the five boroughs. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinkney, NYC Parks.

 Screenings are taking place  throughout the five boroughs.
Photo courtesy of Malcolm Pinkney, NYC Parks.
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.