Alamo Square joins other city parks in hosting movie night 

Famed setting to screen ‘Casablanca’ on Thursday; more possibly to come

The green grass of Alamo Square will be the home of Humphrey Bogart for an evening this week.

A group of Western Addition art enthusiasts have received permission from The City’s Recreation and Park Department to install a projection screen in the park for an evening viewing of the movie "Casablanca." The movie will be shown on Thursday, Oct. 5 from 7 to 10 p.m.

"This neighborhood has gone through a lot of changes and this is part of the process of us defining who we are," said Emmett Gilman, the president of the Alamo Square Neighborhood Association.

A lot of the specific details, including whether the group shows another movie instead of the 1942 classic and how the event will be set up are still being discussed, according to Gilman. The possibility of having local spoken word artists perform during the event is also being considered. Recreation and Park Department Spokeswoman Rose Marie Dennis said the screen would be set up on the Steiner and Hayes streets side of the park because it is the flattest area of the hilly public space.

"The people in this neighborhood are really into arts and culture and that’s the history of the area too," Gilman said. "It has a rich musical history (and) we sort of want to bring the old and new together and give props to the art because that’s something most everyone can appreciate it."

There are several other parks in The City that routinely have free movie nights, including Dolores Park and Washington Square, but this is the first such event in Alamo Square, according to Dennis. The City is happy to see it happen, she said.

"In a lot of areas it seems to be a nice, free way to use the park," she said. "[And] we are more than happy to assist with neighbors who want to do this because we know it’s their first time out.

Gilman said neighbors have been supportive of the idea and if everything goes well he is hopeful that ongoing free movie nights in Alamo Square will return to the park.

sfarooq@examiner.com

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