Free Outdoor Film Series Debuts at Staten Island Ballpark

By Nicholas Rizzi on July 19, 2012 8:03am 

The Rooftop Films Summer Series will host several free outdoor moving screenings at the Richmond County Ballpark, St. George, this month, the first time the series has come to Staten Island.
The Rooftop Films Summer Series will host several free outdoor moving screenings at the Richmond County Ballpark, St. George, this month, the first time the series has come to Staten Island.
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Sarah Palmer

STATEN ISLAND — A long running summer film series will make it's way to Staten Island for the first time this month.

The Rooftop Films Summer Series, which hosts outdoor movie showings across the city, will screen several films at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, St. George, the first time the film series has come to Staten Island.

The four films will be mainly baseball themed — making the minor league ballpark a fitting venue — and will run until August. It will also feature a screening of a documentary about a Graniteville public school choir.

Rooftop Films, which started showing mostly independent films 16 years ago on Manhattan rooftops, now takes its summer series to parks and other spots.

"We're very happy and proud to be in all five boroughs," said Alice Oxendine, outreach manager for Rooftop Films. "We wanted to expand to all five boroughs and just reach as many people as possible."

The company partnered with NYCgo and the Staten Island Yankees to bring the free outdoor movies to the Island, and community reaction has been positive so far about the showings, Oxendine said.

"It's been great, people are really excited that we're there," she said.

"Staten Island oftentimes feel neglected, we definitely don't want to neglect anyone in Staten Island."

The series will kick off in Staten Island on July 26 with a showing of "The Natural," the 1984 Oscar nominated baseball film starring Robert Redford. The series will also show classic movies "Field of Dreams" and "The Sandlot" at the St. George ballpark.

Aside from baseballs flicks, the series will also show the documentary "Once in a Lullaby" on August 14. The movie follows the PS 22 Choir, which garnered fame when their musical director started posting their rehearsals on YouTube.

It documents the fifth-graders' trip to Los Angeles to sing "Over the Rainbow" at last year's Academy Award ceremony.

Oxendine said the ballpark, aside from providing a perfect setting to watch baseball flicks, will be a convenient central location for islanders and other borough residents because of its close proximity to the Staten Island Ferry.

"It seemed like the perfect location," she said. "It's a very convenient and central location for everyone on the Island."

The series plans to return to Staten Island next year, Oxendine said.

"As long as we have the support of the community, and as long as people want to see films, we will definitely keep showing them," she said.

Doors for the movie showings will open at 7:30 p.m., films starting at 8:30 p.m. For the full schedule of Staten Island and other boroughs screenings in the series, visit the Rooftop Films website.

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