Flicks on the Beach: Trading sunscreen for movie screens
Much like disco, nothing lasts forever. As developers give Coney Island a makeover, vendors, residents and visitors watch with emotions ranging from nervous trepidation to cautious anticipation.
Everyone, however, seems to agree that the new film series, Flicks on the Beach, which kicked off July 11 with “Saturday Night Fever,” is good for everybody.
“I think it’s great,” says Catalina Rodriquez, a 21-year-old Williamsburg resident who braved the trek for the 1977 coming-of-age story starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a Bay Ridge club rat who longs for something more.
Like Manero, Coney Island has visions of grandeur, which include new hotels and condos. And as construction continues, Coney Island community leaders are hoping Flicks on the Beach — which will be showing blockbusters like “Iron Man 2”?(Monday) and classic films like “Annie Hall” (Aug. 8) — will bring in new visitors and new revenue. Councilman Domenic Recchia was on hand at the screening to encourage visitors to have a good time and “spend some money.”
For the kick-off, more than 300 people gathered with beach blankets and coolers to enjoy the picturesque shots of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and a dancing Travolta.
They also got a look at independent director Charlie Ahearn’s latest short film “All City,” which he describes as an anthem for New York. “It’s even more than democratic,” says Ahearn of the screenings, which will feature independent shorts before each main attraction. “This is a New York experience.”