The Santa Monica Pier’s Front Porch Cinema series kicks off four Fridays of free-to-the-public movie screenings this week.

This year, the eclectic series was programmed for the first time by Film Independent, the outfit that puts on the Los Angeles Film Festival, movies at the County Museum of Art and, just up the beach in a big tent every winter, the Spirit Awards.

“The Santa Monica Pier Corporation talked to a number of organizations about what group might work best together in terms of sensibility and outreach and bringing new audiences to the pier,” says Film Independent’s associate director of programming, Doug Jones. “We all kind of combined our know-how. The Pier has the pier, (event stager) Eat/See/Hear is handling a lot of the technical production of it, and then Film Independent did the selection of the films, working with the Pier as well.”

Adam LeWinter ice climbing in Survey Canyon, Greenland. The series finishes Oct. 18 with the acclaimed documentary  Chasing Ice,  which captures a National
Adam LeWinter ice climbing in Survey Canyon, Greenland. The series finishes Oct. 18 with the acclaimed documentary Chasing Ice, which captures a National Geographic photographer s images of melting Nordic glaciers.

 

Jones chose the L.A. premiere of “Los Wild Ones,” a documentary about the local, independent rockabilly record label Wild Records to kick off things Friday. Beside the film, Wild owner Reb Kennedy will deejay cuts from his personal collection and the band Rhythm Shakers will perform live.

On Oct. 4, there’ll be a 40th anniversary screening of Oscar-winning picture “The Sting,” which was partially shot on the Pier. There’ll be live ragtime music, too.

“Snoopy Come Home,” a rare Peanuts cartoon from the 1970s, is the centerpiece for Oct. 11’s “Doggie Drive-in” family program. Organizations will provide plentiful water bowls and dog treats for film-watching pets, “everything to accommodate every member of the family, two-legged or four-legged,” as Jones puts it.

 

The series finishes Oct. 18 with the acclaimed documentary “Chasing Ice,” which captures a National Geographic photographer’s images of melting Nordic glaciers.

“The Pier has a long history of working with environmentally aware organizations, so we wanted to address that,” Jones says.

“It was very attractive to us to be able to return to Santa Monica for something that’s a little bit different, not the Spirit Awards,” adds Jones, who hopes to continue working with the Pier in the future.

 Los Wild Ones,  a documentary about the local, independent rockabilly record label Wild Records to kick off things Friday.
Los Wild Ones, a documentary about the local, independent rockabilly record label Wild Records to kick off things Friday.

“Something that’s very inclusive, I mean; it’s free outdoor screenings, anybody can come. It’s nice to not just be one of those guests that drops in once a year and says ‘Hi, how ya doin’?’ It’s nice to have a presence there and stay in touch with everyone.”

 

Gates open at 6 p.m. with screenings starting at 7:30 each night, and it’s first come, first served.