‘The Jungle Book’ featured in August at New Kensington's outdoor film series

BBQ and drive-in movie free to the community
Jungle book banner
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Mowgali, Baloo and Bagheera are the stars as Penn State New Kensington’s Summer BBQ and Drive-in Movie series concludes under the stars with “The Jungle Book” on Wednesday, Aug. 10, in the campus’ Athletics Center parking lot. The BBQ begins at 7 p.m., and the Disney flick start at dusk. The family oriented, PG-rated show is free to the public.

Based on Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories of the same name, the film is a live-action/computer-generated imagery remake of the 1967 animated film, which featured the voices of Phil Harris as Baloo, Sabastian Cabot as Bagheera and Bruce Reitherman as Mowgali. In the updated version, Bill Murray and Ben Kinsley provide the voices for Baloo and Bagheera, respectively, and 12-year-old Neel Sethi is Mowgali, the human who interacts with the animated characters.

The BBQ is $5. Campus students enrolled in summer or fall 2016 classes are entitled to a free BBQ.

My family and I enjoy going to the outdoor movie night at Penn State New Kensington. This event provides us with an opportunity to get out of the house and participate in an outside activity. We appreciate Penn State for organizing a free event for all those in the community to participate. It is nice to see others having good time. Not to mention the BBQ the chefs prepare, thank you! We will be back in August!

—Amber Hensel, Lower Burrell

For the July movie, “Zootopia,” more than 150 community residents brought chairs and blankets to the campus. According to Lauren Blum, assistant director of student affairs, it was a largest audience of the three-year-old drive-in series.

“The cars and people just kept pouring in for Zootopia,” Blum said.  “You never know when setting up an outdoor event how the crowd will be, and this one was fantastic for a hot July day which turned into a wonderful July night.”

Blum has organized the annual event since its inception in 2014 with “The Lego Movie.” Last year, “Home,” “Big Hero Six,” and “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” were the screen gems. The series has become a family get-together for area residents in the summertime, in keeping with Chancellor Kevin Snider’s plan to leverage the campus’ assets to create a bigger impact in the community.

“I started this series as a way to give our students something to attend during the summer months,” Blum said. “I never guessed that we would have such a wonderful crowd from the community. These movie nights have turned into staple community events that I can see continuing on for years to come.”

Alyssa Pistininzi of New Kensington attended the July flick with her husband and two daughters, Aubrey, 7, and Maeby, 4. They enjoyed the ambiance of the melding of the campus and drive-in movies. The Pistininzis will return or the showing of “The Jungle Book.”

“We had a fantastic time with great food, great people and a great movie combining to make a great memory,” Pistinizi said. “It was a wonderful, nostalgic way to spend a beautiful summer night. My girls can't wait for the event in August."

On movie night, the sun will set at 8:24 p.m. and twilight, which is the scattered light in the sky when the sun is below the horizon, takes over for its 30 minutes of glory out of the sun. Twilight eventually surrenders to dusk, which is the beginning of nightfall, at 8:54 p.m. For the lay person, the difference between twilight and dusk is outdoor reading ability. Twilight allows for the reading of the Valley News Dispatch edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review without man-made illumination. Dusk requires a flashlight to keep abreast of the local news.

The weather should be pleasant by show time. The historical average temperature for Aug. 10 in the New Kensington area is 83 degrees during the day and 62 degrees at night. Another blanket or two might come in handy to ward off the chill, especially for young children. However, the hot and humid dog days of summer are always ripe for a stray thunderstorm or two. If the asphalt jungle of the parking lot turns into a rain forest, then Mowgali and friends will relocate to the wooden jungle of the basketball court. The big screen will move inside the Athletics Center, and the audience will be able to camp out on the floor.

For more information on the event, contact Blum at 724-334-6063 or [email protected]


Bill Woodard

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

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