Screens on the Bricks, Green

photo from yelp, SOTG in Piedmont

The other week they released the Screen on the Green lineup for this summer. While I’m thrilled that it’s back at Piedmont Park, I’m sorely disappointed by the movie selection. A really, really unscientific survey of “Best Movie at Screen on the Green” came up with Mommie Dearest, Ferris Bueller, Willie Wonka, and Back to the Future. And though I (and the three people I surveyed) didn’t see them, I assume Carwash and Grease were entertaining shows – big fan of audience participation here.

I assume licensing plays a role here, as it’s now run by Peachtree TV rather than Turner Classic, and I assume they’re going for a younger audience … but come on, Nick Cage?? And a movie you showed last year? The kids will love the Wiz! And they ought to be exposed to things like the Birds (though I can’t find it online, I really thought they showed the Birds once) and Psycho (shown at “Movie on the Meadow” last week). Nightmares notwithstanding.

Funny enough, it looks like in metblogs comments of years past, I’ve soapboxed about this, but ya’ll can stand by for me to do it again. While I love playing in downtown Atlanta and have enjoyed watching its rather dramatic rebirth over the last ten years, SOTG at Centennial just didn’t do it for me. I don’t like being searched to enter a park so that vendors can charge me six bucks a beer. Plus the flat (and tree-ey) layout meant I couldn’t see a lot of the time.

And I always thought the best thing about Screen on the Green in years past was that it was one of the few events in Atlanta that attracted a crowd that comes kind of close to reflecting the diversity of skin and hair colors, ages, income status, family situations, sexual orientations, and what-have-you that call this city home. We would squeeze our towels and pizza boxes on wet grass between 20-something black lesbians, Ansley families with tow-head three year olds, teenagers posing and posturing for each other, fab midtown couples in their 50s, college students, and big families who drove in from the north and south burbs. That sense was a little lost in Centennial. Not sure exactly why, but I hope it comes back.

So am I wrong in snapping to judgment here? Is it more a matter of the experience than the movie itself? Should I focus on the fact that Jurassic Park is awesome and terrifying and family friendly all at once? Or on the fact that Flicks on Fifth’s lineup, though not particularly classic or diverse, features some decent-looking popular movies that I haven’t seen yet?

3 Comments so far

  1. abby on May 2nd, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

    You can go vote (for Jurassic Park, preferably) for the “viewer’s choice” movie –

  2. Rashid Z. Muhammad (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2010 @ 9:29 am

    I personally dread the event leaving Downtown.

    Obviously I carry a major bias (I am a VP in the Downtown Neighborhood Association), but here is my reasoning:

    – Centennial Park is way more accessible via public transit with a MARTA station 2 blocks away at Phillips Arena. I felt SOTG was MORE diverse at Centennial and attributed this as a reason.

    – The Luckie-Marietta District Downtown is much more flush in event-caliber non-street parking. With Parkatlanta on the scene, all of the illegal parking that generally goes down near Piedmont during SOTG will be harshly enforced.

    – There is much more to do (for the entire family) around Centennial Park before and after the show.

    – I think visibility was a problem at Centennial Park because it seemed like they were using a MUCH smaller screen than they would use at Piedmont. This was very annoying.

    I know there are downsides to being Downtown – panhandling for one – but it seems like the upsides outweigh the costs. But again that is my personal and heavily biased assessment.

  3. abby on May 4th, 2010 @ 9:01 am

    Well, shit, that was easy – I’m sold. I do love seeing the evolution of downtown, and enjoy it when there’s something free to do around there.

    Though I still don’t like the movies. Save dated ones about dinosaurs. DINOSAURS, guys!

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