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City summer movie series promises variety

Aspasia Lyras-Bernacki likes to think outside of the box, and the lineup for the Youngstown Summer Movie Series reflects that.

“Youngstown is a very diverse,” she said. “You have college students. There’s business professionals living there, just a wide range of people. I really try to think of everybody and think of interesting movies — indie movies, thought-provoking movies, classics, cult movies. I just want to bring something different to the table.”

The series starts with a blockbuster from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 2019’s “Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Larson, and ends with another blockbuster, 2021’s “Godzilla vs. Kong.” In between will be the film series’ first R-rated film (Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”), a 1982 feature considered the first hip hop movie (“Wild Style”) and a movie by arthouse favorite Wes Anderson (2012’s “Moonrise Kingdom”).

“Do the Right Thing” deals with racial tensions in a New York neighborhood on a hot summer day.

“I wanted to do something thought-provoking, but I wanted to do it in a fun and interesting way,” Lyras-Bernacki said. “‘Do the Right Thing’ is a little edgy. I think with the landscape we’re in right now, it’s the perfect film to pick.”

Bernacki-Lyras contacted “Wild Style” director Charlie Ahearn to get permission to screen that film.

“That’s one I knew a lot of people haven’t seen,” she said. “I like to do a movie that has a lot of music, and this one is filled with music and graffiti artists.”

Most of the films will be shown on Mondays in Wean Park, but the series also includes the Jackie Robinson bio film “42,” which will be shown July 9 at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre to coincide with the dedication of the Robinson-George Shuba handshake statue that month.

The schedule also include the Pixar animated feature “Coco” and the 1993 comedy “Addams Family Values.”

Admission to the movies is free, and those attending are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets.

“We have popcorn, candy and pop to purchase, but we also encourage people to bring their own food,” she said.

Youngstown Summer Movie Series

Movies start at dusk in Wean Park, 201 S. Phelps St., Youngstown, unless specified otherwise. Admission is free. The series is presented in conjunction with JAC Live, the city of Youngstown and Penguin City Brewing Company:

June 21 — “Captain Marvel” (2019)

June 28 — “Coco” (2017)

July 5 — “Do the Right Thing” (1989)

July 9 — “42” (2013) at the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre at 9 p.m.

July 12 — “Wild Style” (1982)

July 26 — “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012)

Aug. 9 — “Addams Family Values” (1993)

Aug. 16 — “Godzilla vs. Kong” (2021)

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