SUNY Plaza Outdoor Movie Series Kicks Off Tonight

Free screenings of popular films will take place on 1st Fridays from May through October at SUNY Plaza in downtown Albany, beginning tonight with “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Albany, NY – The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) and the State University of New York (SUNY) are proud to present the return of the Bites Camera Action free outdoor summer movie series, kicking off tonight, May 6, with a screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The series will continue monthly through October in conjunction with Albany’s 1st Friday events on the lawn at SUNY Plaza, located at State Street & Broadway in downtown Albany. Movies will begin at dusk or approximately 8:30 PM; the lawn opens for seating at 7:30 PM. 

Attendees at tonight’s screening can enter to win great prizes, including a four-pack of tickets to tomorrow’s Albany Symphony “Music of John Williams” concert at the Palace Theatre, a $50 Downtown Albany Gift Card, and a variety of Star Wars merchandise. 

Ice cream will be available onsite in both cocktail and kid-friendly flavors from the Downtown business The Boozy Moo! Attendees are also encouraged to support nearby restaurants for “Bites” – a flyer with takeout and delivery information for open restaurants during the hours of the event will be provided to attendees each week. 

With film screening equipment generously donated for the series by Christ’s Church Albany and the Albany Police Department, Bites Camera Action will transform the SUNY Plaza lawn into an open-air movie theater. A collection of popular films, including both classic favorites and Oscar-winning new releases, will be screened as part of the series. This year’s selections were chosen by public vote from suggestions submitted through the Downtown Albany BID’s social media channels.

The upcoming schedule is as follows: 
June 3: Spider-Man: No Way Home (presented in conjunction with Serve Albany’s “Movies Under the Stars” series)
July 1: Back to the Future 
August 5: Space Jam (1996)
September 2: West Side Story (2021)
October 7: Encanto

All screenings are weather-dependent; updates for inclement weather will be made via the Downtown Albany BID social media channels, as well at downtownalbany.org/bca.

Downtown Albany BID Executive Director Georgette Steffens said: “We are thrilled to bring the Bites Camera Action movie series back to this beautiful location as part of the city-wide 1st Friday initiative. This collaboration with our partners at SUNY, Christ’s Church, and the City of Albany allows us to offer a wonderfully unique movie-going atmosphere that highlights Downtown’s incredible history and architecture. We encourage attendees to enjoy 1st Friday events at nearby venues before the screenings and to pair these films with great meals from local businesses.”

SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said: “The SUNY system administration is pleased to once again partner with the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District for Bites Camera Action. This free movie series is a way for members of the community to engage with one another outside the historic H. Carl McCall SUNY Building. We thank the Downtown Albany BID for hosting this summer series and always thinking about our local community first and foremost.”

Christ’s Church Albany Lead Pastor Jonathan Hentrich said: “It is such a good thing when neighbors can come together for fun activities! We love Albany, and are so excited to be a part of this neighborhood event!” 

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said: “It’s wonderful to have the free outdoor movie series Bites Camera Action back in downtown Albany this summer. Thanks to the Downtown BID, the Albany Police Department, Christ’s Church Albany and SUNY for making it possible to safely gather and enjoy this summer tradition. Complete the night by picking up dinner from one of the great Downtown restaurants and bringing it to the movie!” 

Free parking is available after 5:00 PM in on-street spaces. Find more details at www.parkalbany.com.

Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to view the movie, as these items will not be provided by the event organizers.

The Bites Camera Action series is presented by the Downtown Albany BID and SUNY, with support from partner organizations the City of Albany, Christ’s Church, the Palace Theatre and ParkAlbany. 

Find more information on Bites Camera Action at www.downtownalbany.org/bca

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