News Column

'Lego Movie' featured in free outdoor film series tonight

August 20, 2014

By Ray Lamont, Gloucester Daily Times, Mass.

Aug. 20--From the series opener "The Wizard of Oz," to Monday night's weather-rescheduled showing of E.T., The Extra Terrestrial," the city of Gloucester's free outdoor movie series has proven to be one of this summer's entertainment hits, offering family-friendly classic films from the past.

Tonight, the series will head into its final two weeks with a cinematic hit from the current year, when "The Lego Movie" is shown on the temporary big screen on the city's I-4, C-2 waterfront property at 65 Rogers St.

The screening of the animated film -- billed as a comedy adventure -- is the latest in a series that is sponsored by the city of Gloucester through its Community Development Department in partnership with the Cape Ann Community Cinema. It is the seventh in the eight-film series, which closes with a showing of another classic, "Jaws," next Wednesday night.

The films are all shown beginning at around 8 p.m., or at dusk -- and the films are not the only feature of the family-friendly evening.

The I-4, C-2 site will be closed to parking today at 4 p.m., and opens at 6 for residents and visitors to bring their lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a downtown night out. A number of vendors also add to the festive atmosphere of the site.

Times offer

One of those vendors on hand tonight will be the Times, which will be offering both its new total access and online subscriptions, as well as handing out free passes to Cape Ann Community Cinema for those who sign up to subscribe.

The Times will repeat the promotion at next Wednesday's showing of "Jaws."

Rob Newton, who operates the Cape Ann Community Cinema, said the series -- which many, including Mayor Carolyn Kirk, have hailed for answering residents' need for free family entertainment after dark -- has exceeded his expectations, drawing audiences of up to 700.

"I always get performance anxiety before any new concept, and I do go through all the scenarios in my mind," said Newton. "What if no one shows up? What if only 100 people come? What if something goes wrong? That's not just being paranoid. You've got to have a contingency for everything. But with this, as soon as you flip the switch, that screen inflates and the picture comes on, it's absolute bliss."

An 'Instant Classic'

Newton said the selection of 2014's "Lego Movie" for tonight's presentation is an appropriate fit for a series of family-oriented classics.

"The Lego Movie is just such a fun and joyful movie -- it is an instant classic," Newton said. "It's really all about childhood and imagination and fun. It's about how -- to plug the movie's tagline -- 'everything is awesome.'"

Times Editor Ray Lamont can be reached at 978-675-2705, or via email at


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Source: Gloucester Daily Times (MA)

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