Last night I decided to go catch Iron Man, this week's "Film on the Pier" in Fells Point. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, the fine people at Su Casa and The Sound Garden present an outdoor movie on a 300 square-foot jumbo screen at the edge of Broadway Pier. Having lived in the area for a while, I was kind of ashamed that this was the first time I've gone to one of these movie screenings, because they really are a cool idea.
The movies start at 8:45 (have to wait until it's dark enough outside) and I guess mistake number one that we made was not showing up early enough. The flyer advises you to "arrive early for the best seating" and they mean it. We got there about 10 minutes before the movie was scheduled to start and got seats pretty far back. Because you're not in an amphitheater or anything, tons of people will block you if you're not sitting close enough.
Waiting for the show to start, the ambiance was certainly nice: watching the sun go down over the water, seeing the Tide Point and Domino Sugar signs come into full glow, hearing the motor of the Water Taxi occasionally whiz by, watching the cotton candy and popcorn men sell their products, and taking in the truly diverse crowd.
Once the movie started, it was closer to 9:00 and the place had filled up. The picture was definitely decent (they show the Blu-ray version) but it was pretty hard to hear where we were sitting. All of the action scenes were crystal clear, but more intimate scenes (like Tony Stark and Pepper Potts's flirty back-and-forth) was kind of a guessing game. Luckily I had seen Iron Man in the theaters so I was able to follow along.
The "Films on the Pier" are definitely a great idea in theory, just make sure you do it right: Show up early, I'd say at least half-an-hour before the movie starts; bring comfortable, high-seated chairs (camping chairs would be good); and definitely bring some wine and snacks to keep you content.
As far as the next couple of weeks, Quantum of Solace, Talladega Nights, and Slumdog Millionaire look like good highlights. But Twilight? Might want to stay away from that girl-crazy crowd.
[Image: courtesy of cdjoint.com]