Enjoy poolside Monday movie nights!
By Renée LiButti
Attention cinema buffs! Here’s a weekly event you won’t want to miss: Dive In Movies at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Whether you’re a fan of old films or newer releases, adventures or dramas, comedies or romances – there’s something showing every Monday night this summer that’s sure to please.
Even though temperatures are sizzling hot, motion picture screens in Vegas aren’t confined to the indoors. The Cosmopolitan holds Dive In Movies at its fourth-floor, multi-level Boulevard Pool complex. Overlooking the beautiful Strip skyline in all directions, with views of the half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas and the curved LED screens along the façade of the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, this is a truly unusual venue for watching a Hollywood flick under the stars. The amount of visual stimuli is unsurpassed!
And can you imagine how cool it’d be to swim, bob or just dip your toes in the pool while a movie is playing?
I can vouch for that. My husband and I went last week to see the 1942 classic film “Casablanca,” starring Humphrey Bogart as the cynical American expat Rick and Ingrid Bergman as his one-time love Ilsa. I’ve heard much about the epic romance set in Morocco during World War II, but had never watched a full-length presentation of it.
Doors for the Dive In Movies open at 7 p.m., with the film beginning promptly at 8 p.m. There is no admission charge and all ages are welcome.
You’ll want to get there as early as possible so you can lay claim to one of the comfy royal blue lounge chairs or daybeds that encircle the Boulevard Pool. Many of them have been placed in the shallow sections, making it easy to stick your feet into the water. The policy is first come, first choice.
As we entered the oasis-like space, a gracefully curving bar and towering faux palm trees caught our eyes. We arrived shortly after 7:30 p.m. and managed to snag seats on one of the raised levels surrounding the pool. We also got to see the sky change color as the sun went down. Another highlight of our night!
A little removed from the crowd, we still had a direct view of the screen – or rather, The Cosmopolitan’s marquee. Films are broadcast on the 65-foot-tall sign that consists of four LED display panels. It works in conjunction with the same sound system used during concerts at the resort to provide you with the ultimate audio and visual experience – one that people walking on the Strip can see and hear as well.
“The picture and sound quality are surprisingly good for an outdoor venue,” said Andy Blanchard, my other half.
To me, being at the Dive In Movies felt something like a nostalgic reminder of drive-in theaters – except instead of kicking back in the car, you’re able chill out with a swim. It’s a unique way for guests to relax and be entertained at the same time.
And like any other cinema, bags of popcorn, hot dogs and sausages are on hand for $3 to $7. Along with beer, wine and cocktails, a specialty drink is crafted especially for the screening. That night it was “A Beautiful Friendship” ($12) – courtesy of the famous line Rick speaks at the end of the movie: “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Plus, you can purchase a picnic basket with a selection of food for $50. Designed for two people, its contents include an artisan cheese plate, sourdough baguette, Parma ham and tomato jam on brioche, fresh fruit and hummus with grilled pitas and organic carrots. It also comes with two cocktails. (Note: Personal coolers are not allowed.)
In addition to the film, the Boulevard Pool offers a lively, large-size Jacuzzi, along with billiards and foosball tables in an area dubbed “The Yard.” This means there are numerous ways for everyone to enjoy themselves.
The Cosmopolitan launched Dive In Movies in 2011 by way of Facebook and Twitter posts. About 100 people attended the first showing. Since then, the event – now one facet of the wide-ranging activities that make up the BLVD Social Club – has gained a loyal following. Visitors and residents alike look forward to poolside cinema on Monday nights. Films are scheduled to run through Sept. 24.
“I think it’s unforgettable for guests, being able to sit in a pool and see the lights of the Las Vegas Strip at the same time you’re watching a movie,” added Blanchard, about being immersed in the one-of-a-kind environment.
Of course, there are countless options for seeing “Casablanca” these days. You can buy or rent a DVD and Blu-ray disc. You can subscribe to a service like Netflix and then download or stream it to the device of your choice – from a gaming system like PS3, Wii or Xbox to a mobile phone, handheld device, computer or TV.
But at the Dive In Movies, you’ll be in a remarkable venue that adds a little magic to the film-going experience. So come early and claim a lounge chair – you can leave your shades and suntan lotion behind!