THE CITY DARK at Frosty Drew

Frosty Drew Observatory presents the Rhode Island premier of THE CITY DARK – a new feature documentary about light pollution and the disappearing night sky from the co-creator of King Corn. “What do we lose, when we lose the night?” — the film leads viewers on a quest to understand how light pollution is affecting people and the planet.

Film Trailer:
Film review: from The New York Times

When:            Friday, January 21, at 7p.m.
Where:         The Clark Library, 7 Pinehurst Drive, Richmond

The showing at Clark Library will be limited to 40 persons, so please act soon and pre-register to attend this exciting and important event. Please send an email to, or call Jim at 539-9004. The Richmond Conservation Commission made this great poster for the event. Print or email the PDF to promote this event.


After moving to New York City from rural Maine, filmmaker Ian Cheney asks a simple question, “Do we need the stars?” Exploring the threat of killer asteroids in Hawaii, tracking hatching turtles along the Florida coast, and rescuing injured birds on Chicago streets, Cheney unravels the myriad implications of a globe glittering with lights – including increased breast cancer rates from exposure to light at night, and a generation of kids without a glimpse of the universe above. Featuring stunning astrophotography and a cast of eclectic scientists, philosophers, historians and lighting designers, THE CITY DARK is the definitive story of light pollution and the disappearing stars.


  • Neil deGrasse Tyson – Astrophysicist, Hayden Planetarium
  • Don Pettit – Astronaut, NASA
  • Ann Druyan – Co-writer, Cosmos
  • Jack Newton – Astrophotographer
  • Chris Impey – Cosmologist, University of Arizona
  • Jeffrey Kuhn – Astronomer, University of Hawai’i
  • Roger Ekirch – Historian, Virginia Tech
  • Jane Brox – Author, Brilliant
  • Bill Sharpe – Historian, Barnard College
  • Susan Elbin – Ornithologist
  • Dr. Steven Lockley – Professor, Harvard University
  • Dr. Richard Stevens – Epidemiologist, University of CT
  • Dr. George Brainard – Neurologist, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. David Blask – Cellular Biologist, Tulane University
  • Jon Shane – Criminologist
  • Herve Descottes – Lighting Designer

– Awards –

  • Best Score/Music – SXSW Film Festival (Music by The Fisherman Three and Ben Fries)
  • Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature  – Environmental Film Festival at Yale
  • Best Professional Documentary – Real to Reel Film Festival
  • Best Documentary – Hardacre Film Festival
  • Audience Award – Kandy International Film Festival in Sri Lanka
  • Best in Show – Rappahannock Independent Film Festival in Fredericksburg, VA
  • Official Selection – SXSW, Mountainfilm in Telluride, Geek Film Festival, Indianapolis Film Festival, Woods Hole Film Festival, Maui International Film Festival, Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival, Independent Film Festival Boston, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

THE CITY DARK was brought to Charlestown in a cooperative effort of Frosty Drew and the Charlestown Planning Commission to bring attention to Charlestown’s dark skies and to build public support for their protection.

The Planning Commission has written a dark sky ordinance and hopes to inspire other neighboring communities to do the same.

 “The dark skies above Charlestown was the principle reason for siting Frosty Drew Observatory in the Ninigret Park in 1989. Dark skies are almost nonexistent in the eastern United States. Reconnaissance photos show a light band from Florida well into Maine along the seacoast unbroken except for a single stretch centered on Charlestown Rhode Island. To find similarly dark skies elsewhere in New England you need to travel to the most rural northern regions of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine”  (from the Frosty Drew website)

Here’s more information about THE CITY DARK