It’s back. Washington’s “Screen on the Green” film festival, wherein city dwellers and tourists alike watch classic movies on the National Mall with the Capitol Dome in the background, gets under way one week from today with a new location on the Mall.
Because of ongoing renovations, the location has been moved from the area between Seventh and Fourth streets Northwest to Seventh and 12th streets Northwest.
The first Screen on the Green ran in 1999, with a slate of “Casablanca,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Citizen Kane,” “King Kong” and “Rebel Without a Cause.” In 2009, the festival almost ran aground because of lack of funding. But the thought of not being able to sweat through summer flicks was too much for Washingtonians, and wide-scale protests led to its reinstatement.
In 2010, when funding again looked dicey, Jesse Rauch and Lauren Miller, who sparked Facebook protest groups the year before, partnered with the DC Film Alliance to create a Save Screen on the Green campaign.
That eventually morphed into Friends of Screen on the Green, a nonprofit that aims to make sure the festival has enough cash to keep folks dancing to that old-school HBO theme music — one of the more fun and quirky rituals that precedes each screening.
In addition to the new location, there is a scheduling curveball this year. Screenings have always been on Mondays, but because of all that construction on the Mall, there’s a Wednesday show during week two. Here’s the rundown:
July 16: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
July 25: “It Happened One Night”
July 30: “From Here to Eternity”
Aug. 6: “Psycho”