Mince has been concepting this idea for six years, inspired by the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Rolling Road Show, which has screened films at their shooting locations. (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off under the famed “Save Ferris” water tower in Northbrook, Illinois, and Jaws on State Beach in Martha’s Vineyard, for example.) While the canal hasn’t been used as a backdrop for a legendary movie (not yet, at least), Mince still sees it as the city’s biggest swimming pool. And after the wild success of last year’s Yelp! Cabrewing on the Canal, when participants drifted down the canal enjoying food, beer, and live entertainment, he and Downtown Indy decided to take the plunge.
Yes, the water is uncontaminated, and the canal is only about 4 feet deep. But taking a dip isn’t permitted outside of sanctioned events like this one. Opportunities to cruise the canal are few and far between. For $20, you will receive a themed floaty to keep and a Sun King beer. If you’re not in the mood to make a splash (or if you’re under 21 years old), you can bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs to watch the movie for free in the green space just north of 10th Street.
When it came to choosing the featured flicks, the team focused on crowdpleasers that either revolve around water or have a local tie-in. As it turns out, the water category presented a challenge. “There aren’t that many that aren’t about creatures eating you, or are absolutely terrible,” Mince says. The inaugural lineup is Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl on
August 15 (update: due to weather concerns, the film has been moved to Friday, August 24) and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby on August 23, in recognition of the Brickyard 400 starting a few days later. The innertube for the second screening will look like a tire. See if you can do a doughnut on the water.