Going out sans booze

Skip the bar head to the park for a movie

Despite popular perception there is more to nightlife in Calgary than going to the bar and getting drunk. I know I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true.

At least two groups are offering a free outdoor movie alternative this summer that will get you into a park to watch a flick rather than under a table at the local drinking establishment.

Truck Contemporary Art in Calgary has decided to turn its Contemporary Art Mobile Public Exhibition Rig (CAMPER) into a travelling projection room for its Bike-In Cinema beaming movies out of the back of the vehicle onto a screen set up in various parks around the city.

“Each one of them we’re partnering with a different organization” says Randy Niessen programming co-ordinator for Truck.

After a rain-induced postponement at the end of June the gallery’s first screening will take place in Shouldice Park on July 7 with the documentary Beyond This Place presented with the Calgary Underground Film Festival. The film tells the story of a strained father-son relationship and their attempt at getting to know each other on a long bike journey.

On July 14 the CAMPER will be in Stanley Park for a collection of shorts by Saskatchewan filmmakers as well as a redo on the Quickdraw-partnered animation screening originally scheduled for June 23.

Niessen says people are welcome to find their own way to the screenings but there will also be bike groups leaving from a central location to the park adding to the communal bike-friendly atmosphere. On July 7 the group will meet at Central Memorial Park at 9:30 p.m. On July 14 the ride is organized by Bike Bike and will meet at the gazebo in Tompkins Park on 17th Avenue S.W. at 9 p.m.

“It’s trying to kind of reach a different audience too. To bring together our followers and whatever kind of stakeholders that Quickdraw and CSIF (Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers) has and then Bike Bike has their own kind of crowd.”

Truck isn’t the only movie game in town this summer though. YYC Mobile Movies which started with a $1000 seed grant from Awesome Calgary last August has screened movies on the side of the Simmons Building in the East Village Dade Art Gallery and the Sunalta Community Association.

“When I went to university in Victoria it was something that some people put on every month” says Matthew Hamel the man behind the movies. “They didn’t ask permission but rather adopted the ‘leave no trace’ approach. It was something I really appreciated and wanted to bring to Calgary. We of course ask permission.”

The latest screening The Goonies took place at the end of June and next up is The Maltese Falcon (no date just yet). Those hoping to catch a mobile movie should check out the Facebook page or get on Twitter and look up @YYCMobileMovies.

Who knows if he gets enough followers Hamel might achieve his goal of screening a classic black-and-white movie at the Prince’s Island mainstage.