Movie-goers at the inaugural Summer Cinema event. Photo (with a Georges Seurat effect): Ira Serkes

The night was less than balmy, but that didn’t deter around 250 people making their way to Center Street Saturday evening for the first of four Summer Cinema free outdoor screenings.

Some participants brought their own chairs and blankets, others rented fold-up chairs at the booth of the organizers, the Downtown Berkeley Association. Radiant Brand’s Steven Donaldson was spotted carrying in a whole selection of seating possibilities, including a wooden chair wrenched from the ground in his garden.

An artist from the Firehouse Collective performs with a flaming hula-hoop. Photo Tracey Taylor

Pre-movie entertainment at Center Street Summer Cinema, which was sponsored by Berkeleyside among others, included the excellent Mark Rosenthal on Caribbean steel drums and an impressive performance by Pirate-clad artists from the Fire Arts Collective.

Mark Rosenthal played the Caribbean drums to entertain movie goers before the screening. Photo Tracey Taylor

A couple of restaurants, including Sportivo, set out chairs and tables outside on the closed-off street while some movie-goers opted to buy take-out from local eateries and enjoy it while watching the cartoons that preceded the sundown screening of The Princess Bride.

Young winners of the movie night's pirate costume contest. Photo Tracey Taylor

Several members of Berkeley’s Ambassadors’ program were on hand to keep a friendly eye on proceedings and ensure the evening went smoothly.

Bar Ristorante Sportivo took advantage of a closed street to serve customers al fresco. Photo Tracey Taylor

The movie series continues next Saturday with a showing of Pixar’s Up. As at the inaugural event, prizes will be awarded for best costumes and the evening kicks off at 6:00pm with Steve Laciak on Brazilian guitar.

Raiders of the Lost Ark shows on August 20 and The Big Lebowski on August 27. Full information can be found here. 

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...