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Summer (Bike) Fun: Bike to the Movies!
Why should cars have all the fun?
That’s what the organizers of downtown Denver’s Bike-In Movie series were thinking when they created the initiative in 2011. Bike-In movie nights are cropping up in communities all across the country, especially during the warm summer months. Denver’s is just one of many that already exist.
The Bike-In Movie series was an outflow of the Civic Center Conservancy’s mission: to activate previously underused public space and steward the city’s historic Civic Center Park. The nonprofit wanted to give Denverites another reason to visit the park and spend time in the historic area. Bikes? Why not!
“Drive-in movies certainly had their heyday, but why should cars have all of the fun?” said Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, executive director of the Civic Center Conservancy. “The reality is that Denver is a very bike-friendly, multi-modal city – so we’re just encouraging and supporting behavior that already exists.”
Bikes on a beautiful summer night aren’t exactly a hard sell, she said.
“If you’re going to have a picnic dinner and movie under the stars, why not enjoy your transportation al fresco as well?” she said.
The number of people riding to the Bike-In series varies depending on the night and the weather, Eichenbaum Lent says. On the most-attended evening, they had 1,800 people come and about 10% of those came by bike.
This summer the series runs from July to August its theme is sports stories. Thanks to a solid sponsorship and partnership with Western Union, there are also pre-movie activities provided by one of Denver’s professional sports teams -- the Colorado Rapids soccer team, Colorado Avalanche hockey team and Denver Nuggets basketball team. As such, the three movies this year are Bent It Like Beckham, Miracle and Hoosiers.
The site of the movies, the historic Civic Center, is also home to another important bike event in the city: Bike to Work Day’s largest breakfast station.
The state’s governor and city’s mayor regularly welcome riders into the station every year on the third Friday of May.
To learn more about the Civic Center Conservancy and their Bike-In Movie series, visit civiccenterconservancy.org.