USS Intrepid Sails Into Summer With Free Film Series

The USS Intrepid, New York's Air, Sea and Space Museum launched full steam ahead into summer with the premiere of its flight deck film series turning the massive ship into a thousand seat outdoor theater.

The Museum of Air, Sea and Space entrance and the poster display of upcoming film tributes.

The summer films are dedicated to the Museum’s three areas of display: Air, Sea and Space. It recently began with tribute to the Navel fly boys in the 1986 classic Top Gun directed by Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. The super heavy testosterone action flick introduces major talent including Anthony Edwards later of ER fame, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer and Tim Robbins.

Historical One Intrepid Square in New York's Midtown Manhattan.

Beginning the evening’s presentation, a fifteen minute documentary on the storied history of The Intrepid told of war and peace time duty to her country. The Intrepid has a legendary chronicle of war time readiness with its birth immediately following the devastating attacks on Pearl Harbor that destroyed, almost in its entirety, the Navel fleet in WWII.

USS Coast Guard Cutters and Army Helicopters line the deck.

Throughout the years, following its decorated war duty during the Pacific theater where her crew shot down three hundred one Japanese aircraft, help sink one hundred twenty-two ships and endured three hits by the notorious Japanese kamikaze pilots, the aircraft carrier stormed the seas and proved sturdy and ready for the next tour of duty which took her to South East Asia and the Vietnam War. The war ship can house a crew of over three thousand and as recently as September 11, 2001 received orders to return to active duty as she housed seven hundred fifty federal investigators sent to assist the investigation into the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

The paneled deck holds up to one thousand Manhattan movie goers.

Fleet Week, the most famous event housed on The Intrepid, brings thousands of sailors from ports around the world into New York Harbor for one fabulous week of sightseeing, adventure and fun in the Big Apple. For the locals, the annual starched whites are as much a fun and adventurous treat as the city that never sleeps is to boys (and girls).

US Military Might stands on display as a reminder of power and readiness.

The week features a variety of events that include Broadway talent, crew competitions, military demonstrations and navy band performances. Fleet Week is always the week before Memorial Day and is recognized as officially beginning when the big ships sail down the Hudson River. The display of military power is viewable from the esplanade and all river facing apartments on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The sunset view from the deck of The Intrepid.

Moored in New York Harbor at Pier 86 the aircraft carrier, with nine hundred twelve feet from bow to stern, displays a variety of retired military might from the United States Coast Guard Cutters, Army Helicopters and F-14 Air Force Tomcats. Alongside the newly restored museum rests the former USS Growler, the world’s only nuclear submarine open to the public. One Intrepid Square is home to the expanding Museum space that includes The Intrepid an interactive indoor theater, gift shops and a food court.

The Flight Deck of The Intrepid.

The Intrepid is available for Operation Slumber, a sleep over designed for youth groups with chaperones; birthday parties, educational programs, a six week science summer camp for kids along with many other youth and adult oriented programs that offer a brief glimpse into the celebrated history of America’s war time commitment to freedom; a commitment sorely lacking in our contemporary post WWII generations.

Night time takes over in Midtown.

The two additional elements represented by the Museum, Sea and Air, round out the summer film series, with the 1975 Steven Spielberg classic Jaws on  July 17, starring Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw, both of whom have passed away, along with Richard Dryfuss and a cameo by director Steven Spielberg.

US Coast Guard Cutters with the tall building in the back ground.

The Intrepid ends the flight deck film series with Ron Howard’s classic Apollo 13, on August 21, another heavy testosterone tribute to the military and the fledging space flight program, starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris and Kathleen Quinlan.  

The Flight Deck Film Series offers a rare experience for all.

The Intrepid flight deck sits six stories high allowing for great views of the sunset shimmering against the windowed walls of Manhattan’s tall buildings and offers a breeze off the Hudson River to cool the mind and calm the spirit. The deck is paneled for seating and any type of portable chairs are allowed and encouraged along with the picnic style atmosphere.

Manhattan's city lights are reason enough to attend the event.

Bring your own movie treats from pizza, salsa and chips to fruit, cheese and baguettes and even traditional popcorn. If you arrive hungry and stressed from the day Domino’s can deliver right to the flight deck entrance of The Intrepid.  No alcoholic beverages, doors open at 7:30PM; movies begin at 8:30PM. All seating is first come, first serve.

For more information on The Intrepid:

All Photos by Janet Walker courtesy of Pulse Point Productions, Inc:

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