Downtown Summer Cinema series closes with bang

Several hundred people turned out on Saturday night to enjoy a free screening of "The Big Lebowski". Photo: D.H. Parks

The finale of Center Street Summer Cinema, a free outdoor movie series launched this year by the Downtown Berkeley Association and sponsored by Berkeleyside, was deemed a success.

An estimated 500 people turned out to see The Big Lebowski, a quintessential Berkeley movie if ever there was one, which was shown on the side of the future Berkeley Art Museum in the Bank of America parking lot.

Before the feature, participants enjoyed free entertainment from Oakland’s Fire Collective and Laura Weinbach of Foxtails Brigade on violin. Several Center Street restaurants, including Sportivo, Oasis and Alborz, put tables outside on the closed-off street, and business was brisk. And the popcorn and snack stand overseen by Five Restaurant executive chef Banks White no less, also drew a steady stream of customers.

“Due to the success of Center Street Summer Cinema, the Downtown Berkeley Association hopes to continue and maybe expand the program next year,” said the organization’s Executive Director John Caner.

While there was plenty of room in the Bank of America lot on Saturday for people to set up chairs and/or blankets, at least one person decided to watch the film while perched in a tree (tree-sitting, after all, being something of a Berkeley area of expertise).

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  • John Holland

    Thanks for the awesome movie choices, and also thank you to the merchants and restaurants!

  • Anonymous

    How many bathrobes were spotted?

  • EBGuy

    Yes, how about some pics of the costume contest winners.  On second thought, maybe not…

  • It was thankfully very dark when the contest took place.

  • It sounds like that movie really tied the neighborhood together….

  • Bruce Love

    I see what you did there.   But Disqus doesn’t have a button for polite groan.