Pierce Farm Center hosts free weekly starlit cinema and farmer’s market

Woodland Hills locals cozied up at Pierce College’s farm to catch a free outdoor movie and peruse a weekly farmer’s market Friday, May 9.

The third night of the Farm Center’s Certified Farmer’s Market and Movies on the Farm featured an under-the-stars showing of “E.T the Extra-Terrestrial” and offered a place for independent merchants to set up shop on-campus.

Kelly Alexander, 22, who was selling Dolce Monachelli’s Italian bundt cakes, drove from Orange County after getting an invite from Agriculture Department Chair Leland Shapiro.

“This was a big mission for us,” Alexander said. “I think it would be a good market because there’s a lot of activities, you know? It just needs to be promoted.”

The farm keeps its rides up and running for the events, and ride operator Sydney Stecker, 17, said the nighttime cinemas attract a crowd.

“The movie that we’ve doing, it brings a lot more people,” Stecker said.

Cedrick Austin, 19, took a detour with some friends to check out the festivities.

“We came to see E.T. tonight. It was so crazy,” Austin said. “We were just driving by on the Orange Line, happened to see a huge sign out front.”

Leia Marino was selling cookies freshly baked by CaveGirl Cupboard. She said she anticipates business to pick up as the summer rolls in.

“There’s more traffic tonight than any other night,” Marino said.

Adam Chase, 26, who lives a block from the intersection of De Soto Avenue and Victory Boulevard where the event took place, said he keeps an eye out for the farm’s goings-on.

“Most of the time we walk,” Chase said. “You can literally stand at the front and see how it’s gonna go.”

Nathan Mardigian, 29, who co-owns Nuvo Olive Oil, gave a run-down of his company’s organic extra virgin offerings from his booth.

“There’s three different intensities, then we make a Meyer lemon and a blood orange,” Mardigian said. “A good olive oil should be fruity, pungent and bitter. A balance of all three.”

The Certified Farmer’s Market and Movies on the Farm event is scheduled every Friday from 5 – 10 p.m. through September 19. It’s free to get in and next week will feature the 2009 football flick “The Blind Side.”

The full list of summer night features and more information can be found at www.piercefarmcenter.com