The city where I live, Portland, Oregon, is known for being rainy. Like, ten months out of the year. So when July and August arrive the town goes a little crazy.

It's as if no one's ever seen sun before. The citizens madly scurry about like hyperkinetic beavers, painting their houses, filling potholes, constructing new buildings, and generally creating noise and congestion everywhere. Not a weekend goes by without some major thoroughfare being shut down for a parade, a walk to benefit a popular disease, a "fun run" (two words that just don't go together in my mind), a street fair, or a multicultural hoe-down featuring local blues bands and patchouli-scented hippies on bicycles.

In other words, summer here sucks.

There's one shining exception, though: Summer means free movies. It's become quite the vogue, in Portland and elsewhere, to project films out-of-doors, and each year my city is awash in free open-air screenings. Theater attendance may be down, but it would seem that people still love to watch a free movie with their butt crammed into a lawn chair.

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular nights for outdoor flicks. This can lead to scheduling conflicts, especially if you have a fetish for family-friendly fare. Last year, for example, Bee Movie was shown at Holly Farm Park on the same night that The Goonies -- a perennial local favorite, because it was shot here in Oregon -- was playing downtown in Pioneer Courthouse Square, with the suburbs offering (oh dear lord, no) Daddy Day Camp. If you're scouting out free flicks to take in with your kids, the best way to choose one is to simply figure out what's closest to your house. Unless it's Daddy Day Camp, in which case you'd have more fun staying home, locked in your dark basement, smacking yourself in the head with a rock.

Other nights, the choices are a little tougher. The Wizard of Oz or Shane? Hairspray or The Princess Bride? Dirty Dancing or Enchanted?
tags fandom
categories Movies, Cinematical