Patrons enjoy a recent screening of “Mary Poppins” at the National Conference Center’s Screen on the Green.
Photo Courtesy/National Conference Center
Laying on a blanket beneath the stars. Watching a movie on a large screen outside with the whole family. It is today’s pop-up version of the old drive-in movie concept, and has become a big trend in Loudoun this summer.
By hosting the free movies, local developments are hopeful they can create some buzz and bring people to their businesses, as well as offer a connection to the community.
Loudoun Station, in Ashburn began “Movies Under the Stars” this summer to introduce families to their location, according to spokesman David D’Onofrio.
“With so much coming here, we wanted to showcase Loudoun Station as a great place to be,” D’Onofrio said.
So far, according to D’Onofrio, the turnout has been great with as many as 600 people attending a show. One of Loudoun Station’s future tenants, The Zone, offers games before the movie, and there are food trucks and popcorn available as well.
The National Conference Center in Leesburg decided to do outdoor movies this year on Friday nights as a way to give back to the community, according to spokesman Phil Saims. “Having 60 acres, trees and a beautiful backdrop – the National Conference Center is a great place for the family to connect,” Saims said.
The National Conference Center brings in food trucks to each event and has partnered with Sunset Hills Winery of Purcellville to offer wine tastings. There is a bar available for beverages, as patrons are not allowed to bring alcohol from home.
In addition to their summer outdoor concerts, the Village at Leesburg also began outdoor movies this summer.
“We are very pleased with the turnout,” said Karen Cobb, spokesperson for the Village at Leesburg.
“We decided to offer the outdoor movies because we felt it would be perfect for families to come and enjoy our restaurants and do a little shopping and then enjoy a movie or concert,” Cobb said.
Cobb said she sees the outdoor movies as an alternative to the drive-in movie theaters, which do not exist in the area anymore. “This is the next best thing. How fun to be able to sit outside in the cool of the evening with your kids under the stars watching a movie,” Cobb said.
There are plenty of places for viewing an outdoor movie in Loudoun, here are some options:
Loudoun Station – Saturdays at 7 p.m. Aug. 2, “TMNT,” Aug. 9., “The Nut Job,” Aug. 16, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” 43805 Central Station Drive, Ashburn. http://www.loudounstation.com.
Ida Lee Movies in the Park. Friday, Aug. 15. 9 p.m. 60 Ida Lee Drive, Leesburg.
Village at Leesburg. 8:30 p.m. Aug. 6, Movie TBD, Aug. 20, “Frozen.” 1600 Village Market Blvd., Leesburg. http://www.villageatleesburg.com.
National Conference Center Screen on the Green. 8:30 p.m. Aug. 1, “Babe,” Aug. 8, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” Aug. 15, “The Goonies.” 18908 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg. http://www.conferencecenter.com .