ITHACA, N.Y. –– After unveiling their new outdoor restaurant and bar location on the south lawn of South Hill Business Campus, Serendipity Catering is now adding another feature to the space –– partnering with Cinemapolis to present “Movies on the Backlot.”

“Cinemapolis is a perfect addition to the Backlot. This series will only enhance our space where the whole family can feel comfortable and safe while enjoying great food, drink and now –– movies,” Serendipity owner Stephanie Holzbaur said.

Coronavirus shuttered Cinemapolis back in March and they are still awaiting guidelines from the governor’s office on when and how they can safely re-open. In the meantime, they’ve been offering a “virtual cinema” –– showing first-run releases from various independent studios online.

This new series “Movies on the Backlot” is just another way the theater is staying connected with their patrons.

“When Stephanie approached me with the idea for an outdoor screening series, I jumped at the opportunity to show movies again,” Cinemapolis Executive Director, Brett Bossard said.

“Movies on the Backlot” kicks off Friday, Sept. 4 with a 9 p.m. screening of the Wes Anderson classic, The Grand Budapest Hotel. There will be a repeat screening on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 9 p.m.

Capacity will be very limited, so early arrival is advised.

Serendipity’s Backlot features socially distanced tables and seating, as well as an online ordering menu and payment for contact-less transactions. Guests will be able to leave tips and purchase Cinemapolis merchandise via the contactless ordering system.

The menu features a broad selection of tastes and cuisines, drawing upon Serendipity’s own local farm as well as several local vendors and distributors for its offerings. The menu also includes options for kids, as well as house-made dog treats.

The food menu is complemented by a wide beverage menu featuring local beer, wine and a variety of mixed drinks.

For the Movies on the Backlot series, the Serendipity crew is excited to offer up popcorn with a signature Cinemapolis option –– nutritional yeast.

Weather permitting, these outdoor screenings will continue on Friday and Saturday evenings for the next several weeks. Updates on upcoming titles and other special offers will be available on Cinemapolis’ website and on the Facebook pages for Cinemapolis and The Backlot.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at