Stake out your place on the grassy slope; bring a lawn chair, a food drive donation…and come in costume as your favorite GREASE character…when free summer movies return to Riverside Gardens Park on July 11.
Don’t look now, but tomorrow night, July 11, marks the start of the tenth season since the folks at Red Bank Parks and Recreation got into the movie business, with the free summertime schedule of Movies in Riverside Gardens Park. And, unlike a lot of casual family-fun activities under the sun and stars, this might be an occasion worth dressing up for.
In other words, get those classic poodle skirts and leather jackets down from the attic — because when John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John light up the big inflatable Shore Flicks screen at approximately 8:30 p.m. in the smash 1978 musical Grease, the Parks and Rec people will be looking for a few good Dannys, Sandys, Rizzos and Kenickies, with a costume competition that promises prizes (and a whole lot of post-prom bragging rights).
The cos-play fun doesn’t end there, as the July 18 presentation of 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story offers an opportunity to attend as your favorite Star Wars character, conceivably from any time or place in the entire ever-expanding SW universe.
The Tuesday evening movies continue with a screening of the 80s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (July 25), plus a freebie festival of animated favorites: Finding Dory (August 1), Sing (August 8), Minions (August 15), and Hotel Transylvania (August 22). And while no, none of the later film events feature an official costume contest, certainly no one is going to stop you from dressing up as Mr. Rooney, Destiny the whale, Scarlet Overkill, or Count Dracula.
As has been the case from the start, the biggest star of the show promises to be the open-air setting of Riverside Gardens itself; an experience bolstered by the super sight lines of the sloping lawn, the spectacular colors of those complimentary Navesink River sunsets, the cool treats purveyed by the on-premises Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream, and even the busy energy from the nearby Front Street main drag — a package that Shore Flicks honcho T.J. Brustowicz has called “just picture perfect.”
Continuing another long-held tradition, attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items (to be donated to Lunch Break and other local charities) along with those folding chairs and beach towels. Call Parks and Rec at (732)530-2782, or follow Shore Flicks on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute information on weather-related cancellations or other schedule changes — along with details on other outdoor movie events at locations around Monmouth County.