was transformed into an outdoor movie theater last night for the first installment of the Foreign Language Films in the Park movie series.
The month long series, sponsored by and presented by Bellevue Parks and Community Services, features films in foreign languages every Thursday during the month of August from dusk to 11 p.m. at Crossroads Park.
Last night’s featured film was “Together,” written by Chen Kaige and Xue Xiao Lu Xue, and directed by Kaige. The film was in Mandarin but included English subtitles.
Crossroads residents Jun Ding and Jing Xu found out about the event on a Chinese bulletin board system site, and brought the whole family along to watch the show.
“My parents don’t speak English, so this is a good event,” said Xu.
Ding believes that Bellevue Parks should spend more money publicizing the event.
“Had we found out sooner, we would have told more people,” he said.
Though there weren’t too many people who came out to watch the film, organizers expect a larger crowd for the subsequent Thursdays.
Dot Long works for the city. She is the community service program coordinator at .
It started as an offshoot of the film series, she said. “This is the first night, but ones downtown have up to 3,000 people. It’s going to take a while to take off.”
The Crossroads Shopping Center approached the city with the idea for a foreign film series, and the city obliged.
The foreign films were selected based on the Crossroads area demographic, so the films being shown are in Mandarin, Spanish, Russian and Hindi.
Clara Askew resides in Crossroads and receives the Bellevue Parks newsletter which is how she found out about the outdoor film screening. Askew and her daughter Jessica brought their lawn chairs and blankets to watch the show.
“It brings the community together,” said Askew. “Because the community is so diverse.” The mother and daughter duo plan on attending every showing.
The event is free, and people can receive a complimentary bag of popcorn.
Before every showing, there are live international music performances. Last night, the Chinese Arts and Music Association provided the entertainment.
Below is a schedule of the upcoming showings and musical performances.
Aug. 9: “Up” in Spanish with English subtitles
Musical performance by Flamenco ‘Luz
Aug. 16: “The Ugly Duckling” in Russian with English subtitles
Musical performance by Marianna
Aug. 23: “Billu Barber” in Hindi with English subtitles
Musical performance by The Anindo Chatterjee Institute of Tabla
All of the films are rated PG and are family friendly.
In case of rain, Bellevue Parks will present the film at the Crossroads Community Center.
For more information, call the South Bellevue Community Center at 425-452-4240, visit the city's website, or the Crossroads Shopping Center website.