You guys-great news. Starting, tonight Adams Morgan has a fully fledged edition to our OUTDOOR MOVIE GUIDE 2014. The Adams Morgan Movie Nights, which kicks off this evening at the Marie Reed School, is a the result of a collaborative effort between Kristen Barden, (President of the Adams Morgan Partnership BID) Josh Tuch (a short term project coordinator who was with the BID this spring) and Nathan Ackerman (local creative director, film/tv producer.) and is part a bigger effort to bring more cultural events to the community….like PorchFest this fall when the front porches of houses in Adams Morgan will once again become performance spaces for local musicians.
We sat down with Nathan to ask some crucial questions to maximize your enjoyment of the series, so read on. Free pro tip: bring tissues to UP tonight.
Why Adams Morgan?
The Adams Morgan Partnership BID and Marie Reed Elementary School partnered to bring an outdoor movie series to Adams Morgan because it didn’t have one — even though there is a long history of supporting the arts and has a film history with which a lot of people aren’t aware. Supposedly Adams Morgan was the first neighborhood in the District outside of downtown to show first run movies – and some of the biggest of their day (Death of a Salesman and Lawrence of Arabia) had their DC premiers at Adams Morgan theaters like the Ambassador and the Ontario. Location scouts are drawn to the architecture and the crew from HBO’s Veep was just shooting on 18th Street. So Adams Morgan is no stranger to the film world – It just didn’t have a place to watch films outside under the stars.
Another factor that pushed the idea into action, was seeing the soccer field at Marie Reed go deluxe last year. Any excuse about not having the perfect place to host Adams Morgan Movie Nights vanished – 18th and California has a kind of natural ampitheater now with seating built into the hillside. And who wouldn’t want to throw a blanket down on that cushy million dollar fake grass?
Also, because Adams Morgan is very accessible by Metro Rail, Metro bus and the Circulator Bus, we thought a film series here would be accessible to people beyond Adams Morgan. And it was a way to expand the range of things to do in Adams Morgan – part of a larger effort that includes events like PorchFest this fall when the front porches of homes throughout Adams Morgan become performance spaces for local musicians for a day.
What makes a perfect outdoor movie night picnic?
Enough food so that your friends can move in on the spread without fear of backlash. Homemade creations are best but fresh baguettes, cheese and olives from Harris Teeter will suffice if you add sweets from Sugar Daddy’s or Hans Pedr’ Kaffe. If you’re not feeling communal, Amsterdam Falafel is a few blocks from the field and you can drip delicious hummus and tahini on your fellow moviegoers on the way to your blanket. They’ll love that. In a bind, you could do a lot worse than a bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado sandwich and a bag of chips from So’s Your Mom at 1831 Columbia. Just get there by 7:45.
How did you choose the movies you chose?
The first one – Up – was chosen by the public. More on that below.
The other two were narrowed down from a list of about 20 submitted by the Academy of Random Friends. We needed to cover a category we made up called “local story/classic” and All The President’s Men did that. Then we wanted to do something school related since without Marie Reed this would not be happening. That was my excuse to get Rushmore in.
WHY NOT MORE OF THEM?
It’s all about the benjamins. Or lack thereof. Hopefully more exposure like this means more sponsors and more movies next year. Good hearted and well heeled BYT readers can donate at adamsmorganmovienights.com. Put us in your will.
Oh, another factor was stiff competition for the use of the awesome new field – and when kickballers get pissed off it gets ugly. We didn’t want that.
Who is the perfect date/group of people to bring to each of these movie nights?
People who believe in supporting community events.
People who bring homemade things and ask people they don’t know if they’d like some.
People who have vast social networks of film buffs.
People who don’t talk during movies.
What else do we need to know?
Not only are the movies selected great (see above) the screen printed swag bags are rumored to have Tryst cookies and other goodies in them will be handed out to the first 100 people who show up. Can you say: “um, highly collectable”? Meeps, Violet, and The Press teamed up to make those happen.
Who do you hope shows up local hero wise?
Barack Obama. If you add the Senate years, he’s been here A WHILE. So we can call him a local, right? Sorry Chicago.
What do you think of people who don’t cry during UP?
Haven’t seen it yet, but from what I hear, it means they are heartless and can’t be trusted. Up is the one film in the series chosen by the people in a Prince of Petworth, sorry, PoP, poll. When the millionth person told us it was awesome and we had to include it, we made it one of three choices the public could choose from. I was pulling for the Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Without thinking too much – what is your favorite song on the Rushmore soundtrack?
I’m a total music junkie, so the music is really as important as the images to me. A bad soundtrack can kill a decent film. When I saw Rushmore and heard that incredible song that sounds like the Kinks but isn’t I had to track it down. It turned out to be “Making Time” by an English band called The Creation. So good. I may have spent some work hours on ebay looking for that 45. Listen here
All The President’s Men aside, what are some of your favorite DC set movies?
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And I definitely feel some nostagia for St. Elmo’s Fire.
What are some of your other favorite things to do in DC during the summer/what is a perfect DC summer day?
Meridian Hill Park with friends. Rooftop drinks at Jack Rose. BYT pool parties and art events rank high too.
Are you going to be back next year?
Oh yes. Adams Morgan Movie Nights will have a sequel.