Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer Movie Series at Pizzaiolo

L:August's film posters; R:a particularly fun scene from '9to5'
Outdoor movie screenings are synonymous with summertime.
There are few greater joys in the Jun-July-August months than sitting outside on a hot and balmy summer night, watching an old classic movie projected onto a white wall or makeshift screen. The reward of the oppressive heat of the day comes in the form of a delayed sunset and warm summer night.
But wait, we’re in the Bay Area, so scratch all that!
Instead, we have overcast mornings, occasionally gorgeous, temperate days and often foggy, misty nights. Yes, even in East Bay.
Upon moving here, everyone assured us East Bay was immune to the cloudy days, particularly in the summertime. I don’t know if it’s been an out-of-the-ordinary summer or if we are big-time LA-weather babies, (or a little of both) but these overcast skies and misty evenings are almost more than we can handle.
Setting up the screen at Pizzaiolo
Summer is all about sweltering heat, short shorts and shorter dresses and those hot summer nights.
Despite less than desired temperatures, DH and I still made our way to quite a few Summertime Movie Screenings, most of which taking place at Pizzaiolo in Oakland.
Pizzaiolo's impressive outdoor pantry
The Drew Classic: margherita w egg & anchovies
Pizzaiolo occupies a large part of my heart for several reasons.
First, it shares the name of the beloved pizza place Anush and I patronized every Saturday afternoon of our second year in Florence, Italy. Second, it was the first place DH and I ate at the night we found our apartment here in Oakland. And lastly, every time we eat at Pizzaiolo, the staff treats us better than anywhere, every time. At the risk of sounding like some God-awful Olive Garden advert, it always feels like we’re family or friends of the wait staff. On top of all that nostalgia, the pizza is best I’ve eaten, outside of Italy. Period.
Pizzaiolo's outdoor patio
Every summer Pizzaiolo does a Summer Movie Series with a different theme each month. This is not your conventional summer movie series, but rather a wild, wonderful mix of super classics and obscure cult favorites.
Little Shop of Horrors

June’s theme of Horrible Bosses featured ‘Network’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and ‘Trading Places’.
gorgeous Anita, dancing in West Side Story

The Warriors
July’s Hot New York Nights included my two all-time favorites, 'West Side Story' and 'The Warriors'.
Pam Grier in Foxy Brown
seriously badass bitches of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
August’s Bad Ass Bitches series was by far the most varied and valiant. From the sultry ‘Foxy Brown’ and Russ Meyer’s ‘Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’ onto the lesbian thriller out of Hong Kong, ‘Naked Killer’ and  ‘The Rose Tattoo’, a Tennessee Williams adaptation.
The ever-classic ‘9to5’ was the perfect finale flick to complete the ‘Bad Ass Bitches’ series and round out Pizzaiolo’s Summer Movie Series. Dolly Parton, Lilly Tomlin and Jane Fonda banding together to give their boss hell? What could be more badass than that!?
Concession stand menu
And in fact, DH and I had never seen the backyard patio packed full of badass bitches! We attempted to reserve one of the few patio tables but naturally they’d been booked for months in advance. Dolly fans are serious! Luckily there is an old school concession stand serving beer, wine and delicious, decadent, pine nut-spiked meatball subs. DH was able to order a pizza from the bar and eat it on the bleacher seats. The concession stand even had homemade oreos...amazing!

a match made in heaven!
that's a happy man

an amazing homemade oreo for dessert!
These Summer Movie Series, along with the whole general attitude at Pizziaolo, do an incredible lot to build community one pizza or one movie at a time. Here's to hoping next year's series is a little sunnier!

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