Cinema... with the stars

Moviegoers enjoy SCI's first outdoor movie, Space Jam!

Moviegoers enjoy SCI's first outdoor movie, Space Jam!

By: Kim Blythe, Promotions and Events Coordinator

Have you heard about Cinema Under the Stars? This summer, SCI is experiencing a season of space exploration! As SCI's Promotions and Events Coordinator, I wanted to do a space-themed summer event, and I thought it would be fun to draw on my history in film to bring some outdoor movie excitement to Des Moines!

I have been at SCI for almost two years. My journey to SCI comes by way of eight years in Los Angeles, California, where I worked as a publicist for the theatrical release of major motion pictures.

Movies have always played a significant role in my adult life, so it was a natural fit for me when it came to creating an outdoor summer movie experience for guests at SCI.

Outdoor movies were a big part of summer fun when I lived in LA. Whether it was experiencing a movie on the big screen that you were too young to see in an actual theater or a just seeing film that you can quote every line, but this time, it’s outdoors under the starry sky - there's nothing like it.

If you asked anyone in LA the absolute best place to experience an outdoor movie in the city, there's no question that their answer would be the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Wait, hold the phone – a cemetery?

Yes, you read that right. The best place to go to an outdoor movie in Los Angeles was in a historic cemetery, the final resting place to people like gangster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, director Cecil B. DeMille, actress Estelle Getty and musician Johnny Ramone.

Hundreds of people (even some in costume) would flock to this historic cemetery with picnic baskets and blankets in hand to see everything from Grease to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. No, we didn’t sit amongst the tombstones to watch the movie, it was projected on - wait for it - the side of a mausoleum.

Sometimes actors from the film would even show up to introduce it... very "Hollywood." I have to admit that watching a movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery was a surreal experience - but there was nothing else like it.

Cinema Under the Stars may not happen in a cemetery - not many outdoor movies nights do - but it’s a cool way to experience a movie that you haven’t seen before or one you may just want to watch again on the big screen!

With SCI’s season of space exploration fully underway, our team looked to the stars when choosing films for the inaugural Cinema Under The Stars. This Friday, August 17, we will be screening the two-time Academy Award winning film, Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks.

Drinks and food are available beginning at 7 pm, and the movie begins at dusk. Find more information at

Category: General SCI