Two places in New Paltz to see movies under the stars this summer

The Town of New Paltz Office of Parks and Recreation and The Arts Community are joining forces to produce a free film series at The Field of Dreams park pavilion on the third Saturday of each month. Pictured left to right: Chuck Bordino, Amy Harrington, Toni Hokanson, Giancarlo Lorusso, Heidi Eklund and Wayne Pyle. (Lauren Thomas)

Water Street Market has been showing free outdoor movies in its courtyard every summer Monday night for a decade now. The season is up and running already, with the last film slated for Monday, August 27. And this year, the third Saturday of each month will also bring an opportunity to view a free movie under the stars in New Paltz, at the Field of Dreams park pavilion, where the first of three Saturday night movie screenings this summer will be Saturday, June 16.

A returning favorite

Free Outdoor Movie Night at Water Street Market begins every Monday at sundown — approximately 8:30 p.m. — with the films projected on a 10- by 14-foot screen in the courtyard opposite the Antiques Barn. But many people arrive earlier, staking out a spot to place their folding chairs or laying a blanket brought from home to sit on. Limited seating at the Market is also available.


Local voiceover talent Carl Welden will once again do the honors as emcee, manning the sound system and setting the pre-movie mood with music related to the film about to be screened. Free popcorn is offered to moviegoers, and many people bring a picnic to enjoy before the show starts, or get take-out from one of the Market eateries that stay open late on movie nights to accommodate the crowd: Jar’d Wine Pub, Kosiner Brothers Fry Shack & Hot Dog Cart, The Parish Restaurant and Mudd Puddle.

The movies shown in the series reflect a variety of genres and run the gamut from thought-provoking to just plain fun. There are classic films, children’s movies, musicals, indies, documentaries and even cult classics. Most are rated “G,” “PG” or “PG-13.”

The series kicked off this year with Steve Martin’s The Jerk followed by Run, Lola Run, a German thriller from the ‘90s. The remaining line-up for the summer includes Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? on June 18, Jurassic Park on June 25, The Great Outdoors with John Candy and Dan Aykroyd on July 2, My Neighbor Totoro on July 9, Funny Farm with Chevy Chase on July 16, Captain Fantastic (rated R) on July 23, Disney’s Mary Poppins on July 30, Big with Tom Hanks on August 6, Fantastic Mr. Fox on August 13, “A Night of New Paltz Shorts” on August 20 — short films by local filmmakers — and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (rated R) on August 27 to close out the summer; the last film of the year is always an “edge-of-the-seat” experience.

Free Outdoor Movie Night is organized by Water Street Market events coordinator Theresa Fall (also proprietor of Jar’d and co-owner of The Parish Restaurant). The movies are free for audience members, but the tab for licensing fees and other associated expenses is picked up by the market’s owner, Harry Lipstein. Sponsoring free events like movie nights and the chili challenges and chalk festivals held at Water Street Market is all part of what Lipstein intended for the property from the beginning, Fall says, a “piazza-type courtyard” where people could come together.

Lipstein is also the force behind the DENIZEN (black box) Theatre currently under construction on Water Street. A raffle to win free subscriptions for the inaugural season (expected to begin this fall) will be held at every Monday movie night. The subscription is valued at $60 and entitles the recipient to a free ticket for each play in the three-show season.

The newcomer

The Field of Dreams park pavilion on Libertyville Road (across from the Ulster County Fairgrounds) will host a free outdoor movie screening on the third Saturday of each month this summer. Each film will be preceded by an additional form of entertainment related to the movie. The series kicks off this Saturday, June 16 with – appropriately enough – the baseball classic Field of Dreams. Before the movie, a pick-up baseball game will be held from 7:30-8:30 p.m., open to all area youth ages 12 and under. Some equipment will be available, but players should bring their own glove, helmet and bat.

The movie will start after the game, shown on a large screen set up under the eaves of the pavilion, with the audience gathered on folding chairs and blankets brought from home. Bringing a picnic is encouraged, but alcohol is not permitted in town parks.

The second film in the series, on Saturday, July 21, is planned as a “date night” event, with Dirty Dancing the featured film at 9 p.m., preceded by a live concert from 7-9 p.m. of Motown-inspired music by Hudson Valley-based band, “Soul City Groove.”

The final film of the summer, on Saturday, August 18, will be family-friendly: Pixar Animation Studio’s Cars. For the drive-in movie-themed night, attendees are asked to bring cardboard boxes pre-decorated as “cars” for the kids to sit in to watch the film.

The summer movie series was organized by New Paltz-based actor and voiceover artist, Wayne Pyle, in cooperation with Town of New Paltz Parks and Recreation and The Arts Community, a local nonprofit that supports accessibility to the arts. Pyle also consulted with Giancarlo Lorusso, one of the organizers of last summer’s outdoor movie series at Newburgh’s waterfront outside Washington’s Headquarters. New Paltz Parks and Rec department head Chuck Bordino is organizing the pick-up baseball game on the 16th.

The inspiration to launch the film series came about in part because of Pyle’s love of movies, and his wish to help promote the burgeoning filmmaking industry in the Hudson Valley, which he says has become a real jobs-provider and boost to the local economy.

But it also had to do with the choice of venue, and Pyle’s appreciation for the site. “The pavilion at the Field of Dreams is so well-designed and constructed, and the park is so beautiful, but a lot of people don’t seem to know about it,” he says. “I wanted people to come out and use the site in a way it hasn’t been used before; to bring the community together in this really beautiful place under the stars with the Gunks in the backdrop.”

The town is providing use of the park, with sponsorship sought to pay for licensing rights to show the movies and pay for all the associated expenses. Sponsorship is made through The Arts Community, its nonprofit status making donations tax-deductible. The first movie night in June will be sponsored by New Paltz’s Hudson Valley Casting, LLC on Main St., a business owned by Pyle’s wife, Heidi Eklund.

If the weather brings light rain, the events will still go on under the pavilion. For more information, visit

Free outdoor concerts at Water Street Market

Water Street Market also hosts a free outdoor concert every week of live, family-friendly music in the courtyard, with local acts playing every Tuesday evening (a new night) from 6:30-8 p.m. The next concert on Tuesday, June 19 will feature “The Trapps,” with “Me and My Ex” performing the following Tuesday, June 26, followed by “Cheap Date” on July 3, “Mr. Roper” on July 10, “Ashes” on July 17, “Haden Minifie” on July 24, “Siulia and the Sultans” on July 31, “Ratboy/Ratboy Jr.” on August 7, “In the Kitchen” on August 14, “The Big Blue Band” on August 21, “The Sweet Clementines” on August 28, “Jamie Thomas” on September 4, “Vickie Russell” on September 11, “Taylor Davis” on September 18 and “Country Hell” on September 25.

Water Street Market is located at 10 Main Street. For more info, visit

There are 2 comments

  1. 2 Sisters

    Also be sure to check out the outdoor movies at Hasbrouck House in Stone Ridge. The restored luxury hotel and grounds have an amazing outdoor bar + grill and feature films on Fridays or Satrudays, check their schedule.

    Not far is Westwind Orchard and Cider Tasting Room in Accord. They’ve opened an absolutely spectacular tasting room, have the best pizza outside NYC (and press coverage on it) and they offer a relaxed farm with outside movies and live music – check their schedule.

  2. Dave N.

    The Outdoor Theater Will Be Nice in December, Jan, Feb. Bring Some Outdoor Heaters and Enjoy a Show When The Temp is 15′ (f) and Its Snowing.

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