Outdoor Movies – A Vancouver Tradition?

Hey all!

After three years since I moved back to Vancouver, I finally went to my first summer outdoor movie event!

My friend Connie asked if I wanted to go to their Lion King showing. It was a Disney movie, so how could I say no? 😛

Those gaps you see between groups of people and blankets? Yeah, they disappear as it gets later.

We arrived at Stanley Park at around eight o’clock, and the designated field used for movie watching was already more than half full! We laid out our blankets and tried to take up more space around us as our friend were running late. Of course, with these events, it was really hard to actually reserve a spot, so we soon found people cutting into our space. However, we did manage to squeeze in our three other friends who later arrived. I went and bought an overpriced burger from one of the food trucks nearby (Triple O’s), and got back to our blanket-claimed territory just as the movie started.

The two food trucks. I am surprised there are not more… Triple O’s were so overwhelmed you had to wait in line for 20 minutes

The Lion King!

The great thing about these movies is that they wait for the sun to set before they play it– or else no one would really be able to see the movie, which was projected onto a huge inflatable screen. So you get total silence from this crowd of several hundred, sitting under the stars on a cool summer night, all enjoying as the movie unraveled itself. It was a different experience.

I loved that whenever an amazing scene ended (e.g Simba running back to Pride Rock to claim his destiny), the audience would cheer and clap. It just really added to the atmosphere. What was even cooler was that it would always start with a small group of people cheering, then you hear the cheer ripple outwards until the whole field was cheering.

Tips for outdoor movie watching?:
-bring your own food
-if you are saving spots for a friend, bring a big towel/blanket, or else no one will take you seriously
-before you sit down, make sure there isn’t a speaker in your line of sight, or you will have to live with that throughout the movie
-bring a flashlight if you are leaving early/a lot later than the crowd (if you go to the Stanley Park venue) because it gets really dark
-get there early if you want good seats. However, we went pretty late (approximately 1 hour before it started) and we got a seat two-thirds of the field away from the screen and it was still a pretty decent seat since the screen is quite large and there are a quite a lot of speakers surrounding the field.
-do not sit in the middle of the field if you have to leave early. It really sucks when Timon and Pumbaa are in the middle of their Hakuna Matata song and you see this huge blanket/pillow-ladended person trying to carefully (and very slowly) make their way out of the field.
-cheer and clap 🙂 Help make some noise!–When appropriate of course…but we did hear someone shout the following when the scene played

I had a really positive experience altogether, and I would really encourage you go out and watch one of the many movies that they still have yet to show! I mean not only is it fun, but it is also free! What are you waiting for?!

More info here.



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