Movies in the Square 2011

Movies in the Square, outdoor movies, City Hall, Market Square, Kingston, OntarioTwo weeks ago, Danielle and I embarked on one of our regular summer pilgrimages, taking in our first double feature of the season at our local drive-in.  In past years I have professed my unwavering love for our glorious drive-in, as well as admitted that I am an absolute sucker for sub-par summer blockbuster movies.  Rarely does the drive-in pair two good movies on a given night, while our first outing of the season was no different.  It should go without saying that Fast Five put us to sleep, but then again, falling asleep behind the wheel is a big part of the drive-in experience.  If you’ve never been to the drive-in, or it’s been ages since your last visit, I implore you to consider getting your fix of crappy summer blockbusters at our always affordable drive-in.

So you don’t have a car, or you’re looking a different type of outdoor movie-going experience?  Downtown Kingston has you covered, as the 2011 schedule of upcoming movies in Market Square has just been revealed. Similar to last year’s lineup, there is a decent selection of family-friendly flicks, classics and recent Hollywood blockbusters. A complete rundown is as follows:

  • June 3: Bend it Like Beckham
  • June 23: Despicable Me
  • June 30: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (circa 1971)
  • July 7: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • July 21: Iron Man
  • July 28: Rudy
  • August 4: Father of the Bride
  • August 11: An Affair to Remember
  • August 18: Toy Story
  • August 25: Driving Miss Daisy
  • September 1: Night at the Museum

It you’re planning on taking in a Movie in the Square, keep in mind that you have to supply whatever you need to make for the perfect viewing experience.  This includes, but is not limited, to lawn chairs, coolers packed with drinks, other munchies, blankets, pillows, bug spray and well, you get the idea.  The Screening Room will also be on site with a few traditional treats such as freshly popped popcorn, which in my books is an absolute must for movie watching.  Having said that, with White Mountain and Mia Gelato just around the corner, there are some pretty tempting frozen treats within range of Movies in the Square.

What movies, in the Square and otherwise, are you most excited about seeing this summer?

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

18 thoughts on “Movies in the Square 2011

  • I know that they have to have some that appeal to a mass audience, but of all the movies in all the world, this is the best they could do? Apart from that, I am not sure what to add to what I said last year, which was something to the effect that whoever programs this has no knowledge of film or how to curate an event like this. This kind of thing really adds to the impression that Kingston punches a bit below its weight in cultural terms.

    • I fully see where you're coming from here, but in defence of those organizing Movies in the Square, if it isn't broke, why fix it? Movies in the Square is typically well attended, which, like it or not, is partially the result of what's being screened. Sure it would be great if they expanded the screenings to show festival selections, more classics etc… but that just doesn't seem to be what the audience wants. With that being said, what movies would you propose to be included in Movies in the Square?

    • Can you be more specific? What is it that they are doing wrong in your opinion? Every time I attend or just walk by, the square is packed so they're clearly doing something right. Keep in mind too that sometimes rights to films limits what is available.

      • It's just a dull mainstream line-up – at least it seems that way to me – and some just purely bad films – have you seen Rudy? A straight to DVD hagiography of Rudolph Giuliani. It almost defines the word 'awful'.

        For me, one of the criteria sbould surely be, what works on a really big screen outside. The only one that would do this on the list this year is Close Encounters. But there's hardly any potential for surprise here. And there's appears to no discernable thought put into what films to show.

        Apparently other people disagree, so I'll just go watch obscure Japanese art films on my own in the dark… ;)

          • Ha ha ha… that's hilarious, thanks. I guess that would be a crowd pleaser over this side of the pond.

          • The original Rudy is likely not better. Perhaps a bio-flick is exactly the kind of film we need to show at this thing.

          • Harvey! You've never seen Rudy? And I thought I knew you…

            Remember guys, these movies are supposed to appeal to families. Documentaries aren't really all that appealing to kids (as much as I love them) and these other films, although they're older and apparently have "no potential for surprise", I think they're perfect for that very reason. Most kids have never seen Close Encounters, heck I've never seen it. Same with Driving Miss Daisy, one I've always wanted to see, and I'm thrilled that they're letting the kids know that there was a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before Johnny Depp.

            With video stores closing and new movies being more accessible online and on demand, I don't know how many kids are seeing these oldies anymore. I'll definitely head out to see the ones I've missed.

          • The family thing is fine.

            But what I would like is a more clearly adult set of films, perhaps later in the evening / night, which would be a bit more interesting / edgy / and thought about. I suggested last year having an 'after dark' series of zombie films or suchlike… but there's all kinds of things you could do with some imagination.

          • I agree, that would be really cool. But I'm guessing noise by-laws would get in the way, which is really too bad because not only would that be great, but I would love to see more live music outdoors after dark too.

          • Absolutely… are there really that many people living so close by that would be terribly put out by this? Sometimes Ontario's interfering presbyterian inheritance is so irritating!

    • that list of films are next to free or a very low price to screen publicly so it's a good grab for the city / and yes I'm told it is Rudy (1993) but family friendly with a good storyline on how a young student facing all odds overcomes obstacles and reaches his goal (no pun intended) … I believe United Way Volunteers will be back accepting donations for the local charities they support

  • On a more worrying note, you guys may have missed the tiny listing in the Homes section of the Whig-Standard on Saturday for the lease for the Screening Room. Yes, it's for sale. Only 50,000, mind you. There are enough well-off people in this town that we could buy it and make it and run it as a collective – I have actually been involved in something like this before, so I am not joking here. Anyone want to own a cinema?

    • This is fantastic news for folks who would want to own a theatre (me), but I can't help but feel sad that we may be losing one of the community’s best kept secrets. I wonder what the finances are like? Seriously though, only $50 to lease the space…does that include all of their equipment, popcorn maker etc…?

      • It apparently does, although there are abotu $2500 in monthly costs (rent, taxes etc.). I am serious about getting people together to buy it. We don't have to lose this at all, and if we as the community organize ourselves and put some money where our mouths are, the community could even gain not lose.

        • Its listed on kijiji. 200k gross, can't see future prospects being too bright

          • Well, it's that kind of defeatist attitude that means places like this do close.

            And it's upt to people who care to make sure it doesn't.

      • $50k Harvey to purchase The Screening Room, Don Wyld a local realtor is handling the transaction / it does make it look like the property is for lease/sale but your rent cheques go to Springer

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