Arts and Entertainment

Movie nights atop Bremerton J.C. Penney debut July 11

Ron Sher and Co. plan to host movie nights atop the old J.C. Penney building each weekend this month, starting with ‘Top Gun’ July 11.

The glow of city lights in downtown Bremerton envelope the old J.C. Penney building at night.

But it seems almost a lonely glow.

There are sounds in the city — a small ruckus from a few bars down the street, and the occasional car passing by — but you can almost hear the crickets.

Renton-based developers, Ron Sher and Company who bought the old J.C. Penney store turned multi-level parking garage located a few blocks up from the ferry dock, want to bring back the excitement.

So they’re enlisting the services of the Pacific Northwest’s top provider of outdoor cinema, Epic Events, and screening Bremer-themed cinema like “Young Frankenstein,” “Master and Commander” and of course, “Top Gun” every weekend this month. They’re making it event, asking Boston’s Deli to deliver pizza and reserving 50 parking spaces for pre-1970s model classic cars.

And it’s free.

Folks are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, for seating and snuggling.

“It’s a crazy idea, but we thought it’d be fun,” said Karen True, an associate of Sher, the executive director of a group that supported his development of Bellevue’s Crossroads Mall complex into a beloved town commons, part of that city’s attraction early in its boom.

“We’ve got big plans for that building,” True went on, talking about the Penney building on Burwell Street. “It’s going to be great fun, but we want to get the community to start thinking now, that there might be cool things to do in downtown Bremerton.”

It’s been reported that they don’t plan to start construction on the planned retail center/apartment complex/gathering place until at least 2009, after construction of Bremerton’s downtown traffic tunnel is completed.

The first movie atop the old JC Penney building will be next Friday, hosted in conjunction with something already “happening” in downtown B-town — Concerts on the Boardwalk which kicks off its 2008 season that night at 6 p.m. at the Louis Mentor Boardwalk, featuring Jr. Cadillac.

“Top Gun” starts around dusk.

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