RED BANK: THE PARK AWAKENS

rb movies park 071916 6rb snack bar 071916A combination of cool weather, a family-friendly film, virtual Pokémon characters popping up on cellphones all over the place, a newly opened ice cream stand and of course that gorgeous sunset drew hundreds to Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park for a movies-in-the-park screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Tuesday night. 

Parks and Rec Director Charlie Hoffmann said the crowd may have been the largest ever for the weekly summer series presented by Shore Flicks.

Up next in the series: “Zootopia,” followed on August 2 by “Jaws,” in connection with this summer’s 100th anniversary of the Monmouth County shark attacks that inspired the film. The rest of the schedule is here, and Hoffmann reminds attendees that canned food goods are accepted for donation to to Lunch Break and other local charities. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: GETTING ‘JURASSIC’ IN THE PARK

jurassic_world_still_6Stake out a place on the grass; bring a food drive donation and enjoy the ride, as free summer movies return to Riverside Gardens Park on July 5 with a screening of the blockbuster JURASSIC WORLD.

“Just picture perfect…a beautiful backdrop” is how T.J. Brustowicz of Shore Flicks described Riverside Gardens Park, the open-air setting for a summertime series of free feature film screenings (presented by Red Bank Parks and Recreation) that enters its ninth season this coming Tuesday, July 5.

Even with Brustowicz and his Shore Flicks crew bringing their pumped-up inflatable screens and beefed-up sound systems to beaches, parks and community centers all over Monmouth County, there’s no arguing that the sculpted terraces and waterfront walkways of Red Bank’s Gardens represent the Shore’s premier place to catch your favorite cinematic stars beneath the stars. From the super sight lines of the sloping lawn to those complimentary Navesink River sunsets — and even the busy energy from the nearby Front Street main drag — it’s an experience you’ll be hard pressed to match anywhere else. And, with the anticipated opening of the new Gracie and the Dudes Organic Ice Cream at the park’s (historically under-utilized) snack bar, the stage is set for a family friendly diversion that continues Tuesday evenings through August 23.

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ON THE GREEN: FREE FILMS UNDER THE STARS

NGL_16blindside5Quinton Aaron and Sandra Bullock star in a free Sunday night screening of ‘The Blind Side’ at Fair Haven Fields. Red Bank’s Movies in the Park lineup includes a July 21 airing of ‘Beetlejuice,’ below.

beetlejuiceIt’s still the best summer-movie deal under the setting sun and stars; a moveable feast of (basically) family-friendly, free flicks excitement that lights up the big inflatable screen and blockbuster sound system at parks and beaches all over Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Presented by Shore Flicks, it’s a cinematic slate that makes its seasonal return to the greater Red Bank Green this Sunday starting at Fair Haven Fields.

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RED BANK: BASIE ‘FX’ THE FUTURE OF FILM

Lambert-StampThe Sony Pictures Classics rockumentary LAMBERT AND STAMP is screened as part of statewide student film competition Project FX, with finalists in the High School and College categories showcased at the Count Basie this Sunday, April 19.

They hail from places like Middletown High School South, Christian Brothers Academy and Brookdale Community College — and for a few minutes at least, they’re peers on a par with such Jersey-bred filmmakers, movers and shakers as Kevin Smith, John Sayles, Danny De Vito — even Tom Edison and his Black Maria studio.

The revolution that placed pro-grade videography and editing tech into the hands of aspiring filmmakers everywhere — and the social media mechanism that allows neighborhood auteurs to have their work be viewed by mass audiences — is at the heart of Project FX, the Count Basie Theatre’s statewide film competition for students of New Jersey high schools and colleges.

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RED BANK: LET FREE-FILM RING

indepDown in front: Shore Flicks rolls into Riverside Gardens for the first in the free summer film series, as INDEPENDENCE DAY brings the sci-fi fireworks to the banks of the Navesink.

It’s got Will Smith one-punching an alien Squidward! Bill Pullman as a Mission-Accomplished president! Randy Quaid as an airborne Cousin Eddie, plus Harvey Fierstein, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, and the glory that is Brent Spiner as Dr. Okun. The space invaders realistically never stood a chance against that cast of scenery-devouring terrestrials — but the 1996 sci-fi epic Independence Day also ate up tons of discretionary dollars at the box office, and tonight you’ll be able to relive every exploding landmark (and every fallen punchline) for free, as Shore Flicks returns to Riverside Gardens for the first in a slate of Summer 2014 movies under the setting sun and stars.

The longest-running of the many outdoor screening series presented by T.J. Brustowicz all over Monmouth and Ocean counties, the Red Bank showings take place just after sundown over the Navesink — and attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items (for Lunch Break and other local charities) along with the folding chairs and beach towels.

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RED BANK FREE SUMMER MOVIES ANNOUNCED

Disney_s_Frozen_40633A FROZEN treat for summer: the blockbuster Disney animation is one of several new movies in the mix, as ShoreFlicks gets pumped up for a new summer season of free films on the inflatable screen, at Riverside Gardens.

There’s the local outdoor debut of two recent animated hits (including the film that could only be called the Last Word in Blockbusters). Comedy and adventure favorites dating from the Seventies to the Noughties — and another in a string of “Shark Week” sightings.

While the all-American drive-in movie has largely gone the way of cars with lights that can be turned off, the outdoor, beach-chairs-and-blankets movie is alive and well — and nowhere more so than Riverside Gardens, where Shore Flicks returns on July 1st with a just-announced slate of free Tuesday evening showings on the big inflatable screen. Arguably the most people-pleasing of area outdoor screening spaces, the downtown setting is described as “just picture perfect…a beautiful backdrop” by T.J. Brustowicz, owner of the company that’s been running the Red Bank series since the summer of 2008 — and whose schedule has since expanded to communities all over Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

“Even if you’ve seen a movie for years on TV, it’s always a treat to watch it on a large screen, with an audience,” says Brustowicz — and when all the stars align, there’s nothing quite like the bigger-than-ever screen and beefed-up sound system; the super sight lines from the sloping lawn and the snack-stand patio, even the nearby hustle and bustle of the Front Street main drag. Throw in those Navesink River sunsets, and you’ve got a family outing that’s simply priceless in every way — and redbankgreen has the exclusive coming attractions on this summer’s sked, right around the bend.

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