Little Italy Open Air Film Fest
(Cinema al Fresco)
“They came over and asked if I would put a projector in my bedroom. I said, ‘If it’s good for the neighborhood, fine, go ahead.’ Anything you can do for the neighborhood, you do.”
~ John Pente (1910 – 2010)
Little Italy resident for 100 years
One of Little Italy’s most popular events, sponsored by Original Little Italy Restaurant Association, the Open Air Film Fest has thrived since 1999. Movies are projected onto the outside wall of Ciao Bella Restaurant in the Da Mimmo Ristorante parking lot from a "centennial" home across the street. Movie-goers arrive early to set up chairs (not provided), listen to live Italian music, stroll the neighborhood and/or eat at one of Little Italy's many restaurants.
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HISTORY OF FILM FEST: The late "Mr. John" Pente wholeheartedly supported the Film Fest for 11 years before he died at age 100 after living in 'The Neighborhood' his entire life. Mr. John had allowed a movie projector to be set up in his third floor bedroom window to project films onto a big screen across Stiles Street. After he died, Mr. John's nephew, the late Ray Lancelotta, purchased the house and the Film Fest continued. When Ray died in 2014, his children allowed the movies to continue as well. Today, the house belongs to a new owner who has graciously agreed to continue the Film Fest tradition.
This mural on Pratt & High Streets, sponsored by Peroni Beer, is a tribute to the neighborhood's Film Festival and is the work of artist Marshall Adams. It includes an inset honoring the late "Mr. John" Pente and his dog, Gina, the resident who wholeheartedly supported the showing of Film Fest movies from the third floor bedroom window of his home.