Downtown Schenectady will be site of live music and movies


SCHENECTADY – As some traditional Schenectady events have shifted this summer, a new series combining live music and movies is slated to kick off next month.

Called Downtown Schenectady Starlight Cinema, it will take place each Wednesday in August in front of Schenectady City Hall. Each night will feature a live performance by Running the River or The E-Block Band, followed by the screening of a recently released movie.

It’s presented by the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC) and Schenectady County.

“The idea is we have more and more people coming to downtown right now and … we wanted to have some type of entertainment option for them to stay in downtown a little bit longer,” said Amy Sonder, the promotions coordinator at DSIC. “We also wanted to give our residents who are here all the time something exciting to do because everyone, as we’ve seen, [is] just itching to get outside and do things. So we thought an outdoor cinema would be a great way to do that.”

Organizers plan to set up a large screen across the street from City Hall to screen the films and create an amphitheater-style setup for the bands, which will play directly in front of the screen. Attendees can bring chairs and blankets to sit on the steps of City Hall or the grass in front of it.

Since large-scale events like Schenectady County SummerNight won’t be held this year, this series gives families a place to gather and see live music and catch a movie they might not have seen yet.

“You don’t just have to go to a bar or a restaurant because those are great spots but if it’s late at night and you have a family with you, you may be less inclined to go to one of those venues or you may not even be allowed in. So this [is] giving you some great bands … to listen to for two hours for free and then have a movie on top of it,” Sonder said.

Live music starts at 6 p.m. and the movies will start at dusk. The rain location is the Schenectady Armory. There will be food vendors like Mike’s Hot Dogs food truck and Bittersweet candy.

“We’re really hoping that this kicks off more smaller-scale events down there. We don’t want Schenectady to just be one or two things. There’s something going on all the time,” Sonder said.

Here’s a look at the schedule:
Aug. 4
Music: Running the River
Movie: “Raya and the Last Dragon”

Aug. 11
Music: The E-Block Band
Movie: “Bill & Ted Face the Music”

Aug. 18
Music: Running the River
Movie: “Trolls World Tour”

Aug. 25
Music: The E-Block Band
Movie: “Wonder Woman 1984”
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Categories: Entertainment, News, Schenectady County

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