Movies in the Park: Vertigo

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Hello all,

This weekend I was able to attend the first screening of this Fall’s Movies In The Park hosted by Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix.  The film was Alfred Hitchcock’s mesmerizing masterpiece, Vertigo, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak.  Here are some photos from the event,  and my thoughts on the screening!

The park filled up fairly quickly, Sabrina and I got there about 45 minutes before showtime and there wasn’t very much lawn space to choose from.  Our places in the grass weren’t bad, though, we sat near the front off to the right, but not so far off that our view was distorted.

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There really wasn’t a bad seat in the house, in fact, some people who weren’t aware of the event just wandered over and sat anywhere.  An older couple was walking by and saw that Vertigo was playing, sat on a bench to the right of us, and stayed for the entire viewing.

With the screening being outside, I anticipated some darkness to the picture quality.  The nighttime scenes were nearly all-black, and at some points were unwatchable.  If you hadn’t seen the film before, you wouldn’t know what was going on.  Unfortunately the darkest scenes in this film are in the beginning and end.  Other than than that, it was a lot of fun to relax on the grass and watch a movie.

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The crowd was great.  Everyone was courteous and respectful of each other’s space, and people even left their belongings for a while to grab food.  People came with their grandparents, sisters, brothers, spouses, and I think the couple next to us were on a first date.  A mother and daughter, who sat in front of us, asked us to take their picture in front of the big screen (it was their “girls’ night out”).  Everyone was fully engaged in the movie.  The entire audience gasped then immediately became silent when one of the more shocking twists in the film played before them.

Here are some tips if you plan to attend one of these screenings:
Come Prepared.  Bring a blanket, pillows, chairs, or anything that will help you feel comfortable sitting in the grass for two hours.  A few people around us brought mosquito repellent as well.
Be Early.  As I said, we were 45 minutes early and the place wasn’t full, but close enough.  I would recommend to arrive at least an hour early if you want the best seating options.  Some people even came early, set their blankets, left, then returned at showtime.
Bring Snacks.  If you plan on arriving early, bring dinner, or some snacks to last you through the screening.
Showtime.  Sometimes the picture is very dark, so know that going in, especially if you’ve never seen the movie you’re about to watch.

The event was a lot of fun.  I do plan on going again as the series continues, I just haven’t decided on which films to see.  It’s a great time to catch a movie outside on a Fall evening, in the incredible Arizona weather.

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