June 14, 2023 By Michael Dorgan
Summer is here and that means one thing: free outdoor movies on the Long Island City waterfront!
A series of outdoor movie nights will kick off at the Hunters Point waterfront on June 22, with the cult classic “Back to the Future” (1985) starting off the 2023 season.
The free movies, known as CinemaLIC, will be displayed on a state-of-the-art, 30-foot inflatable screen at Hunters Point South Park. The Manhattan skyline will once again provide a spectacular backdrop.
Now in its ninth year, CinemaLIC will feature five separate screenings in this year’s season.
Movie lovers will get to enjoy “Back to the Future” on the first night featuring Michael J. Fox as high school student Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as maverick scientist “Doc” Brown. In the film, McFly is accidentally sent back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean automobile built by the eccentric Brown.
The comedy-adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” (2023) will be shown on July 13, with the critically-acclaimed “Top Gun: Maverick” (2022) being screened on July 22.
“Top Gun: Maverick” features Tom Cruise as top Navy aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the action-packed movie and many critics have praised it as being better than its predecessor.
“Soul” (2020), a computer-animated fantasy comedy-drama, will be screened on Aug. 10 with the series concluding on Sept. 8 with the Disney animated classic “Aladdin” (1992).
The films are all free to view and the park will be open to the public. All movies begin shortly after sunset.
The movie series is being organized by the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy (HPPC), a volunteer group that oversees events and helps with the upkeep of the park.
Rob Basch, president of the HPPC, said the waterfront park offers one of the best outdoor movie experiences in the city given its spacious setting and stunning views.
He said that hundreds of attendees flock to each screening and around 1,300 residents watched last year’s screening of Ecnanto on the waterfront.
“The conservancy is very excited to once again bring a series of family-friendly films to the LIC Waterfront,” Basch said. “There is nothing better than spending a summer evening at the best theater anywhere. We look forward to seeing everyone soon.”
This year’s sponsors include real estate firm Nestseekers, the Gotham Organization, Weill Cornell Medicine Primary Care Long Island City, and Shibley Day Camp Center, which is based in Long Island.
Basch said that food and beverages will be available to purchase at Frank Ottomanelli’s by the Water, the park’s outdoor café. Frank Ottomanelli’s by the Water is also sponsoring the series.
No alcoholic beverages are permitted to be brought into the park or consumed outside of the designated picnic area next to Ottomanelli’s, Basch said.
The screening dates are listed below:
June 22: “Back to the Future”
July 13: “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”
July 22: “Top Gun: Maverick”
Aug. 10: “Soul”
Sept. 8: “Aladdin”