It's that time of year again, when summer hits San Francisco and the Neighborhood Theater Foundation sets up their outdoor projection screens for the entertainment and delight of picnicking, outdoor tippling film buffs across town.
Every year we look forward to packing an extra jacket and a light picnic of finger foods so we can enjoy a cocktail or three after dark in parks around town. The SFNTF has another packed schedule of screenings this summer, so without further ado, we present your 2014 Film Night in the Park Schedule with film-appropriate drink pairings. Who knows, maybe we'll even get another couple warm nights this year.
2014 Film Night in the Park Schedule (All showtimes begin roughly 30 minutes after sunset.)
Saturday, June 14th: Ghostbusters in Dolores Park
Kick off the season with something classic, punchy and a little bit terrifying by making your own homemade Ecto Cooler. Add white rum and soda water to create some real wrath of god stuff out of those seemingly sweet childhood memories. Don't forget the marshmallows.
Saturday, July 12th: Frozen in Union Square
This is a perfect movie to show in San Francisco in July, when everyone has had a good month to trot out that fake Mark Twain quote. You're better than that. You've brought layers, packed a thermos of hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps and you're prepared to sing your heart out to every line of "Let It Go."
Saturday, August 2nd: Clueless in Dolores Park
Are you even old enough to drink? You're a virgin who can't drive. Have a sparkling lemonade with a splash of vodka in a red solo cup. Or, if you're a Paul Rudd, granola breath type: bring that fancy microbrew your older friend from college told you about. Don't forget a deck of cards for a round of Suck & Blow.
Saturday, August 23rd: Bullitt in Union Square
Bring some martini glasses and shake up a round of Steve McQueens — a variation on the Manhattan invented at Madrone on Divisadero containing: Bulleit bourbon, Punt e Mes in place of the vermouth, a dash of barrel-aged bitters and a brandied cherry for garnish. Rattle your cocktail shaker as though you were in the back seat of McQueen's '67 Mustang, sliding around the hills of San Francisco.
Saturday, September 6th: The Grand Budapest Hotel in Washington Square Park
Wes Anderson's latest film weaves together three different timelines in the fictitious alpine European Republic of Zubrowka. If you're as particular with your drinking as Anderson is with his set design, pair the film with something sweet and highly alcoholic. Hungarians like their eaux de vie, so sip on a pear brandy from St. George's or Old World Spirits. Alternatively, you can go the lazy route and bring a six-pack of Czech Pilsners.
Saturday, September 27th: American Hustle in Dolores Park
Unlike Richie's plot to bring down half the politicians in New Jersey, you don't need to overcomplicate things. Just drink whiskey and Miller High Life and try not to get into any girl fights in the Dolores Park bathroom line.
For more information, check the SF Neighborhood Theater Foundation's new site.