For decades, Baton Rouge Gallery’s Movies and Music on the Lawn film series has been a gem of the Capital City’s arts culture. So it was a heavy hit when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the series during the summer of 2020.
“We are beyond excited to bring Movies and Music back,” says Jason Andreasen, president and CEO of Baton Rouge Gallery. “For us to not have it for an entire summer was kind of painful.”
For those unfamiliar with the series, this is what it looks like: A classic, silent-era film is screened on a giant projector on the lawn of Baton Rouge Gallery at BREC’s City Park while a Louisiana band performs an original, never-before-heard score alongside the screening. Viewers recline on blankets or cozy into lawn chairs, soaking in the artistic spectacle before them and chowing down on free popcorn—a stalwart concession at Movies and Music.
The first screening of the 2021 series will be this Saturday, June 26, and will feature the 1927 film The Red Mill, an iconic romantic comedy starring one of the preeminent celebrities of silent-era Hollywood, Marion Davies. Accompanying the movie will be local indie-rock band Ria Rosa.
And, to add to the excitement of Movies and Music’s return, the gallery is trying out something new for the 2021 series: the Sept. 18 screening—The Kid Brother with music by Minos the Saint—will be free to the public as part of the rescheduled Ebb & Flow Festival.
The return of this series marks a significant milestone in the Baton Rouge arts community’s path to recovering from pandemic-induced doldrums. And Movies and Music isn’t alone in that; Baton Rouge Gallery’s “First Wednesdays,” the monthly reception parties introducing new work in the gallery space, will also return starting in July.
“Movies and Music is the first of many public events to return to the gallery,” Andreasen says.