Erika O’Dowd began the Thursday evening event as an attempt to recreate an outdoor movie experience she first had in Manhattan’s Bryant Park.
“I wanted people, downtown workers frankly, [to not] go home,” she says.
The films are screened from May through October, and O’Dowd says during this time the evenings are always comfortable.
The weekly films are all classics and attract a varied audience.
“We get retirees, we get families –- it depends on the movie — but it’s really a representative cross-section of Tucson,” she says.
The series has been a fixture in downtown Tucson since 2000 and admission has always included free popcorn.
Jaime Gutierrez has been manning the projectionist duties for the last five years and says the people who attend the screenings have likely already seen the films. However, the event is an opportunity to interact with the community and enjoy the evening.
O’Dowd says for many people the film is simply an excuse to get out and experience an event with friends and neighbors.
“This really isn’t a movie theater,” she says. “I want this to be an event, I want this to be a thing that you come and do --it's not about sitting facing forward and being quite."