Sunday, July 27, 2014

Behind the Scenes: The Running of the Lawn

Behind the Scenes is a weekly Sunday series that covers the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presented by Bank of America. From food to films and traditions to (Airstream) trailers, we'll share secrets behind the Film Fest. Stick with us for all 10 weeks; by the end you'll be an expert!  

As you know, the lawn officially opens to the public at 5pm (it rests all day before so it stays soft and green). If the evening's weather is predicted to be especially beautiful, or if the film we're screening is particularly popular, moviegoers start lining up around the lawn's perimeter as early as 3pm, awaiting the announcement that the lawn is officially open. Here's the anatomy of the "lawn running."

Under the watchful eye of the lawn captains, toes and belongings are kept from creeping onto the lawn until the stroke of 5. We wait until 5pm to open because we want to give people who work full-time in nearby office buildings the chance to still get a good spot, even if they're in the office until 5pm. And of course, the delayed opening protects the lawn.

Then at 5, the lawn opens. With a cheer, everyone rushes onto the lawn and settles down on a blanket. Lawn captains dodge out of the way so they don't get trampled!
This panorama shows the view from the ground as moviegoers pick out their spots. Film Fest veterans know not to bring plastic or tarps to sit on, as those materials trap heat and burn holes in the grass; our lawn captains will ask anyone sitting on those materials to please put them away.    
The view from above is even better. From our executive offices, you can see the lawn turn into one big quilt.
The lawn truly fills up. This photo is from opening day of this year's Film Festival, in which we screened Saturday Night Fever. 

Join us this week as we screen Key Largo (1948), the claustrophobic suspense tale of a WWII vet forced into a confrontation with a ruthless gangster and his gang. It all plays out at a seedy Florida hotel during hurricane season. 

HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Mondays, June 16 through August 18
Lawn opens at 5pm
Films start 30 minutes after sunset

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