Modern movie theatres seek to blow our minds with loud music, ever so in pursuit of bringing the action closer to our retinas via 3D or virtual reality – in that, we’ve also forgotten the simplicity of watching a movie free of any digital magic.
As such, the Oak Bay Parks, Recreation and Culture department brings Oak Bay residents something special Aug. 18 at Windsor Park: Outdoor Movie Night, featuring the beloved 1982 sci-fi classic: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Now there’s something to phone home about.
Presented on a massive screen, everyone is invited to come down to the park and enjoy the show with friends, family and neighbours, for free.
“We wanted to do something as part of arts and culture week that would attract a really broad audience, be accessible, it’s free, and just something that is really fun and community oriented,” said arts and culture programmer Glenna Garramone, who had noticed other municipalities have been doing outdoor movies for some time now, most with great success.
“So we looked into it and decided to go for it and make it happen, so we’re really excited about it.”
Choosing the movie wasn’t easy. Garramone picked out four classic films that would capture anyone’s imagination, young or old, and that were suitable for all ages. But only one would be chosen for the honour.
“I wanted something that would be fun and exciting for people whether they’re five years old or 35 years or 65 years old,” she said. “The unanimous vote was for E.T. … I think everyone has a soft spot for that movie and the character.”
Garramone had E.T. on her mind since watching popular sci-fi film series such as Stranger Things, which take a few notes from Spielberg’s classic.
“It was interesting to see filmmakers who are making film series currently who are influenced by E.T. and the aesthetic and cinematography of that film,” she said it’ll be a neat experiment to see how youth of today, used to modern CGI, will perceive more traditional cinematography. “Our children nowadays are used to seeing technology and CGI and that sort of thing, so I’m curious how they’ll respond to an old fashioned little puppet on the screen.”
At this point, Outdoor Movie Night is more of a pilot project, so depending on how things go this time around, it could happen again.
“If it’s really successful, people are really excited and well attended and we get lots of positive feedback, of course it’s something we’ll try to offer again in the future. I think it would be a nice addition to the summer concerts in the park.”
The showing starts at 8:30 p.m. in Windsor Park on Aug. 18. People are encouraged to bring a blanket, sweaters and snacks, and come early to find a good spot.