This summer, it seems like every neighborhood is getting in on the outdoor movie action, from hipster hotspots like the U Street and the Capitol Riverfront to suburban outposts like Bethesda, Rosslyn, and beyond. While there’s no shortage of screenings waiting for you to bring your lawn chair, carrots, hummus, and surreptitious wine, one of this summer’s offerings stands out— Union Market’s Drive-In summer series .
For the next four Fridays Union Market is projecting an eclectic mix of films on their three-story wall—Forgetting Sarah Marshall on July 18th, followed by Wes Anderson’s classic The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Finding Nemo, and James Bond reboot Casino Royal. According to the organizers, the theme is Summer Escapes. “All of the movies feature some of our favorite exotic destinations,” they write, “including Hawaii, the Mediterranean Coast, Australia and Monaco.” That might be a stretch, but what the series lacks in thematic cohesion, it makes up for in extras.
What sets ‘em apart? For starters, Suburbia, the cocktail purveyor appropriately housed in a 1950s Airstream, will be on hand to sling slushees, piña coladas, beers, and more. The market’s usual vendors, meanwhile, will be selling themed food and snacks. Lastly, the retro drive-in concept elevates the whole experience above your typical outdoor movie, where you can sometimes spend more time jockeying for blanket space than enjoying the film.
Since it’s a drive-in, you can park for $10 and listen on your car radio, but you can also walk in and sit in the picnic area for free. Be aware: both parking and seating are first-come, first-served, and the gate closes at 8:15 p.m. We suggest snagging your tickets ahead of time if you want to park, and to get there early regardless, but especially if you’re arriving on foot or by bicycle. Doors open at 6 p.m., and they’re promising “fun pre-show activities.” The films start at 8:30 p.m.
This isn’t Union Market’s only foray into film this summer. Angelika Film Center, which is slated to open above the market’s main building late next year, is popping-up at 550 Penn St in the meantime.