Outdoor movies are back at Stanley Park

The free event occurs every Tuesday in July and August after sunset

Upcoming movies at Stanley Park include Jurassic Park, Spice World, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dirty Dancing, and Grease. (Submitted)

Upcoming movies at Stanley Park include Jurassic Park, Spice World, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dirty Dancing, and Grease. (Submitted)

Evo Summer Cinema has returned after being on hold for the past two years due to pandemic restrictions. 

The popular event takes place every Tuesday at Second Beach in Stanley Park, where attendees can watch some of their favourite films on the big screen for free. 

“We get anywhere from 3,000 to 8,000 people a night, and it’s a great way to bring out your friends or family on a Tuesday night,” says Jake Dunbar, the managing director at Fresh Air Cinema. 

“It’s like a picnic. You just show up early, have a little time at the beach and then end the evening off with a movie,” Dunbar says.

The movies begin after sunset, but it is important to arrive early to get a good spot. 

“It’s first-come-first-serve seating. Just set up a blanket and some chairs. We’ll always have some food trucks and our Fresh Air Cinema concession will be available for drinks and popcorn,” he says. 

A limited VIP seating section is also available for those that wish to sit at the front. VIP tickets cost $23 each

“For the most part, people want the VIP seats, so you don’t have to worry about coming early,” Dunbar says.  

“There’s rarely something happening on a Tuesday night and it’s just fun. There’s just something about going to watch a movie in the fresh air under the stars.” 

Upcoming movies include Jurassic Park on July 26, Spice World on Aug. 2, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on Aug. 9, Dirty Dancing on Aug. 16, and Grease on Aug. 23. 

“From the lineup, we’re often not going for movies that are brand new. We’re going for movies that everyone in the audience has already seen before,” he says. 

“We’ve probably all seen Jurassic Park, but we haven’t seen Jurassic Park in a park with 5,000 other people. There’s just something fun about that. So, we’ll often pick movies from the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. Anything that’s a real staple classic that everyone loves.”

“I think after COVID-19 [restrictions] people are more hungry to go to events like this, and it also showed us that this event has some amazing staying power because we didn’t really do any special marketing,” he says. 

After the past couple years, Dunbar says a lot of people moved out of the city and expected they’d have to do a “marketing push,” but was pleasantly surprised and humbled to see the turn out for the movies in the park again. 

He says inflation and rare opportunities for free events in Vancouver may contribute to the popularity of the film event. 

“For a lot of families that want to go to Cineplex or something like that, it’s expensive. It’s like $100, and that’s before food, which is always double priced. I think there’s a financial factor, which is obviously a great advantage for folks to be able to come.”