Cinema under the stars
Monday Movie Nights on the Beach are Back
On the shoreline, under the stars, beachgoers will gather for a cinematic experience when Monday Movie Nights on the Beach return. The season’s premier showing is July 9 at 8 p.m., and the movie nights continue through the last Monday of August.
According to Hampton Beach Village District Marketing Director John Kane, the district has hosted the weekly event for about 12 years.
“Kids enjoy it because they can bring treats and lay out and make a pillow out of the sands,” Kane added. “We also have older people who enjoy coming because it reminds them of the drive-ins they enjoyed in the past.”
As many as 600 to 700 people flock to the beach for each showing.
“It’s extremely popular,” said Kane. “We have people show up 40 minutes early sometimes.”
The Hampton Beach Village District knows how to accommodate a large and eager audience. The district sets a table up well in advance so that guests who show up early know where the movie will be, and the film is projected with crowd size in mind, for maximum ease of viewing.
“The movie screen is very large,” said Kane. “It takes three people to set up the screen, it’s so big.”
The family-friendly nature of the event may be a contributing factor in its popularity.
“Monday Movie Nights on the Beach are always geared toward kids and families,” said Kane.
“It’s right next to the playground so kids see it and then people start coming and coming and coming.”
Kane credits State of New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration Document Processing Director Debra Bourbeau with choosing many of the flicks shown.
“I’d like to give a shout out to [Debra], who donates the movies,” said Kane. “Debra … has grandkids and knows what kids are watching.”
Guests seeking nostalgia will also be pleased to know that both old and new movies can make appearances. To see what will be playing, visitors can check Hampton Beach’s Facebook page the Thursday preceding each show. This is when the movie titles are revealed.
“We might have a popular movie [planned] and, if it rains, this gives us the leeway to play it the following week,” Kane said of why they don’t announce movies further ahead of time.
Kane recommends adults bring beach chairs and children bring towels for an optimal experience. He’s seen kids use the sand to create pillows for themselves. Kane also advises guests to bring whatever treats they’d like from home.
Visitors can also find what they need in the area, he said. Some nearby shops, including Surfside Market and Sweet Hannah’s, sell beach supplies, as well as snacks and desserts.
But guests don’t need to spend money to enjoy Monday Movie Nights on the Beach.
“Watching a movie on the beach under the stars — it can’t get any better,” said Kane. “And it’s free.”
The event accommodates those with handicaps; a ramp makes Monday Movie Nights on the Beach accessible for guests with wheelchairs.
For more on this and other upcoming Hampton Beach events and attractions, visit the Hampton Beach Village District’s Facebook page.
— Melissa Proulx