Movie Night under the Stars comes to Clairemont

A New Tradition in the Making: Clairemont Movie Nights under the Stars

I recently sat down with Ernie Navarro, a Clairemont native, and owner of Sundown Outdoor Movies for a Q & A about this new community event he has organized:

CO: What is Clairemont Movie Nights under the Stars?

EN: Clairemont Movie Nights under the Stars Spring Series is a series of outdoor movies that will be hosted by most of the elementary schools in Clairemont. The Spring Series and The summer series will be held at Madison and Clairemont High schools. The Clairemont Movie Nights Under the Stars will be an annual event for all Clairemont residents to experience and enjoy. The movie night shows will be on Friday evenings starting March 4th, 2016 at Alcott Elementary.

CO: Where are the movies being shown?

EN: The movies will be shown on Friday nights at: Alcott, Whitman, Hawthorne, Sequoia, Toler, Lafayette and Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary Schools. We also will have movies at CPMA and John Muir schools. The schools have been a large part of the community since it was started by in the fifties. This is a fine way to reconnect with our schools in Clairemont.

CO: How much are tickets, are the movies open to the public?  

EN: The movies are free to the public. Come hungry and ready to enjoy a night under the stars. The local community is certainly invited and a big reason to have the movie nights. The movies are intended to be an opportunity for a family fun night, and are open to the public. This is a great opportunity to have families in our community  to come see what is happening in our schools. There have been some wonderful changes at our two local high schools Clairemont & Madison which I think the parents and future students will really find interesting.

CO: Who benefits from these movie nights? 

EN: The schools that are hosting these movies are certainly benefactors of the movie nights. The movie events are a fundraising opportunity for each school to raise funds for needed programs, services, field trips, etc. But mainly the true benefits are in the community of Clairemont to experience our local schools and make them again a part of our life.

All the sponsors are supporting the schools by offsetting the cost of the movie events with their financial support. Each of the sponsoring companies is based locally in Clairemont. Companies such as: ROBO3D, Jersey Mikes, Banner Bank, Clairemont Times, Clairemont Hills Kiwanis, Dr. Gary Dixon Chiropractic Services as well as others who are coming on board on a regular basis.

CO: So this is a community event to be held on a regular basis?

EN: Yes, both the Spring and Summer Series will be annual events just like the Clairemont Day by the Bay event. The Day at the Bay has seen a tremendous connection to the community and we expect the same success with this movie series. The summer series will be a larger regional venue. Our vision is that this will become Clairemont’s premier summer nights, outdoor events hosting great food, live performances and of course the feature Movie Nights under the Stars.

CO: When is all this starting?

EN: Kick off to the Spring Series will be at Alcott Elementary 4680 Hidalgo Avenue on Friday March 4th, 2016. Pre-movie events (food sales, music, etc…) start at 5:30pm, Show time is 6:30pm Come join us along with Councilmember Lorie Zapf and Councilmember Chris Cate, San Diego Unified School District Board members and the community to kick off the Movie Nights under the Stars Spring Series.

Starting March 4th, we will run one movie each week on Fridays with a few nights off for holidays. Built around the Clairemont Day at the Bay event with all 19 schools on April 16th. The schools will take turns around the community with a few schools having more than one movie night.

CO: So people just show up? Do they bring their own chairs? 

EN: Yes – Everyone is invited, the movie night is Free!! Bring your comfy chairs, blankets, and most of all, come hungry!!!

CO: Will the schools be selling snacks? 

EN: Yes, each school will be selling an assortment of foods and snacks. Many of the schools will have family fun activities to make the evening fun for all. There may be themes as well as the schools use the movie nights to promote literacy or other school programs.

CO: How big is the movie screen? 

EN: Depending on the size of the venue (amount of attendees) the Big Screen sizes are 12′, or 15′. The summer series regional movies will be on the 36′ Big Screen. The screens have proven to be more than needed for the expected groups coming out to watch comfortably and with a wonderful view.

CO: Safe to say these will all be family oriented rate G movies? 

EN: Following district rules, the movies will either be G or PG but always family oriented. The movies are intended for families so the schools are selecting movies that are appropriate.

CO: Is there a schedule of movies or dates and times?

EN: We already have several movies requested by the schools and will be completing a calendar with full intent of using this to market the movie nights as a whole and individually very soon.

CO: Since movies are being shown at the schools, will parking be available? 

EN: The schools have been having movie nights for years for their student population and parking has not been an issue at all. We also will be having teachers and staff available on site to keep control and the San Diego Police will be doing drive bys to help with keeping the movie goers safe.  Plus since the schools are right in the heart of the neighborhoods we also hope people will walk or bike on over to the event!

CO: If people want to find out more information or if local businesses would like to be sponsors how can they reach you?

EN: So yes as we move forward we’ll have more specifics in the meantime regarding movies and locations and yes if local businesses would like to be involved of course, it is a great opportunity to support the schools and the community.  I can be reached at (619) 786-3250 or you can visit and our Facebook Page: Sundown Outdoor Movies

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