It’s almost unfair how much Central Park has going for it. You can watch Broadway actors play baseball at Heckscher Fields, take in some of the best theater in the city at Shakespeare in the Park, wander a recently opened to the public nature preserve and salute Alexander Hamilton’s statue. And during August, the Central Park Conservancy adds another must-do event with Central Park movie nights.
The Central Park Conservancy Film Festival has been screening films in the park since 2003, always highlighting iconic New York-centric films and filmmakers. Among the selections for 2018 are two movies tied to museum exhibits currently open in the city.
First, there’s the all-too-timely accidental nuclear war film Dr. Strangelove directed and co-written by the Bronx’s own Stanley Kubrick, whose career-making photographs as a young journalist are on display at the Museum of the City of New York. On a lighter note, The Muppets Take Manhattan nods to the permanent Jim Henson exhibit that opened last summer at the Museum of the Moving Image.
Unlike other outdoor film festivals in New York City, Central Park movie nights happen all in one week. Think of it as a marathon session to immerse yourself in everything New York, for better or worse.
Here’s the schedule for Central Park movie nights 2018
Central Park movie nights are free and take place on Frisbee Hill, located between Sheeps Meadow and the 72nd Street. The lawn (and the lovely slabs of Manhattan schist) open for seating at 6:30 p.m., when pre-show entertainment and music kick off the night.
Movies begin at dusk (about 8 p.m.) and will be canceled in the event of rain or other bad weather. Keep an eye on the Conservancy’s Twitter account @centralparknyc for any last-minute updates.
Tuesday, Aug. 14 — Hair (1979)
Wednesday, Aug. 15 — Crooklyn (1994)
Thursday, Aug: 16 — Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Friday, Aug. 17 — The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)