The Party Scene of Screen on the Green

We all screem for Screen on the Green

I love the view
Nice backdrop, eh?
Its summertime in DC again, and that can only mean one thing: the start of this year’s Screen on the Green performances. Sponsored by big companies, but done with style and grace only found here, classic movies are shown for free on the National Mall.

In its fifth year, Screen on the Green has grown to be an event for those in the know. With blankets spread out in the shadow of the Capitol, the pre-movie party rivals any serious picnic affair with all kinds of chatter and snacks produced and consumed to the sound of wine corks popping and cell phones ringing.

Then, when the main event begins, there is a final burst of insanity before the movie. See, starting with the first Screen on the Green, and now done every time with abandon, audience members jump up to the sound of the HBO movie introduction clip (yes, the one that starts with an over flight of houses & then up into stars that finally make the HBO symbol) and start busting a groove.

This year, along with yours truly up there doing the Funky White Boy, others have started bringing life-sized dolls, like Gumby and Bullwinkle, to add to the festivities, only stopping when the good Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd cartoon kicks in. After that, it’s the main event, with my favorite this year being ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’.

While I’d read the play when I was wandering through Africa, there were two different endings to choose from, the original by Tennessee Williams and a second written for its Broadway debut. I’d not seen either performed, so I was excited to see which one the movie picked for its ending; the original sad or refined happy one.

It turns out that the old-school movie took its own turn at the end, moving far from the original or the Broadway versions, and made a whole new ending. Now I don’t know that I like the new way it ends, but then again, seeing it on the National Mall made it feel a whole lot better.

No matter what you watch, and this week’s film is gonna be 2001: A Space Odyssey, it will all be better when you get to see it on the big screen, the big Screen on the Green in Washington, DC.