At Topaz Park last Monday, Back to the Future wasn't just the title of the feature presentation.
It also aptly described this outdoor movie experience - a blast from the past with a futuristic twist.
While the Fresh Air Films event recaptured the magic of drive-in movies, cars were nowhere to be found on the field.
An estimated 250 movie buffs, many arriving by foot, bus, bicycle and skateboard, sat in lawn chairs, on picnic blankets or on the grass for a modern variation that defined the term "a night out at the movies" at its most literal.
"What's not to love about free movies in the park?" said Kimberley Budd, surrounded by friends and her sister Morgan Russell, who is visiting from Toronto.
"It's lovely and not humid and this park is gorgeous," added Russell.
Aside from free admission, the other benefits of moviegoing al fresco were obvious.
One texting red-haired chap - and we're talking licorice-red - was happy he could use his smartphone, guilt-free.
"And you can forage!" joked Chris Daly, who shared a smorgasbord of treats including a giant bowl of popcorn, ketchup potato chips, bite-sized marshmallow bananas, Sour Keys, M&Ms and soft drinks with his picnic partners.
And here's something you can't bring to the multiplex - your fourlegged friends. Before the movie started on a giant inflatable scene at 9 p.m., the antics of dogs ranging from a yellow lab puppy to a frisky border collie provided free entertainment. Some patrons played touch football, others - mostly kids - tossed around frisbees they won after trying their hand at a spinning wheel at a booth operated by FortisBC, which sponsored the event.
"It's great that we can sit down with our dogs on our laps to keep us warm," laughed Bree McIntyre, who with two others in her party brought along their adorable shih tzu cross companions - Cody, Penny and Marley.
A bonus was that the event was for a good cause. Donations, sales of 50/50 tickets and a portion of the proceeds from the food sales at the mobile Puerto Vallarta Amigos Mexican snack bar benefited the Canadian Red Cross.
"All the funds stay in the community and help us provide assistance to anyone affected by a small or large-scale disaster," said Renata Hindle, noting its disaster management program provides blankets, food, water and accommodation help to victims.
"It's for clients [affected] by disaster who are now vulnerable, and moving them to an area where they have some stability and more control over their lives."
The series, which continues Monday at 8: 30 p.m. with Top Gun, is one of many outdoor screenings this summer.
Victoria Film Festival's annual Free B Film Festival wraps with a showing of War Games Saturday night in Beacon Hill Park, and Mayfair Shopping Centre's drive-in movie series concludes Wednesday night with a screening of Goonies.
Another popular freebie is Esquimalt's annual outdoor movie night. This year's film, ET, unspools Saturday at sunset in Bullen Park.
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