It was a midsummer night’s dream and treat.
OK, so it wasn’t Shakespeare, but to my mind it was a modern-day classic.
It was an adorable movie (Paddington 2) shown at Barrie’s New Meridian Place under the stars.
I know I am completely late to this party known as the Lawn Chair Luminata Waterfront Series which has been going on for 11 years in Barrie’s downtown.
Hey, better late than never, right?
The Barrie Film Festival along with the Downtown Barrie BIA and many sponsors shows free movies each Wednesday through the summer.
It was great to see the downtown so vibrant on a weekday evening. All the restaurant patios were packed. There were lots of motorists and pedestrians seemingly at a slower pace than earlier in the day.
It was also my first visit to the new Meridian Place which I would describe as a performing arts open-air venue.
I loved the red poppies etched into the sides of the concrete levels leading up to the cenotaph.
While the movie was the centrepiece there was a lot of other things to take in.
There was the grandpa tossing the ball over to the right with his grandson. Some kids over to the left were playing Frisbee. Across the street was a classic car show – the beautiful vehicles gleaming in the sun not far from the sparkling water of Lake Simcoe. I watched some families taking their dogs for a little tour. Even the seagulls were happily perched on the lamplights waiting for some dropped popcorn. Strangers were exchanging pleasantries as everyone found their perfect vantage point.
I loved how the organizer welcomed the crowd and the casual atmosphere saying, “We love how you have made this into your own living rooms.”
That is exactly what it felt like.
Who knew we would need to be bundled up in hoodies and blankets on a mid-July night?? It made it all more cozy.
People brought their own snacks (a privilege not allowed in an indoor theatre). If you didn’t bring your own, there were food and snack trucks nearby.
The incredible inflatable screen fits under the bandshell overhang perfectly. Surprisingly, both the view and sound were perfect. I didn’t even notice ambient noise. I was drawn into the movie completely.
I found myself thinking this is what a perfect Canadian summer night must look like. Neighbours coming together in one central spot for some family friendly fun. It just felt good.
To quote Paddington Bear, “Aunt Lucy says if we’re kind and nice, the world will be right.”
At the end of the show everyone even applauded!
If you want to check it out for yourself, these movies are coming up.
Elf on July 25, The Rescuers Aug. 1, Jumanji Aug. 8, Wonder is showing Aug. 15, Coco is on Aug. 22 and Spider-Man: Homecoming wraps up the series.
Thanks to all the volunteers involved for making this possible. They will accept non-perishable food donations for the Barrie Food Bank.
Please excuse me now as I have a strange hankering for a marmalade sandwich.