The Rapidian

Movies in the Park begins June 5 with E.T.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. will again what has become a signature downtown event at Ah Nab Awen Park for free this summer, with movies selected from a community-generated list of favorite films.
Movies in the Park

Movies in the Park /Courtesy of DGRI

Underwriting support from:

2015 Movies in the Park Schedule

/Courtesy of DGRI

Movies in the Park begins this Friday June 5 with E.T. at Ah-Nab-Awen Park. Started as a community idea in 2013, Movies in the Park has quickly become a signature event in downtown Grand Rapids.

"Film titles for Movies in the Park is crowd-sourced. The movies are selected from a running, community-generated list of favorite films. The community picks the movies," Andy Guy, Chief Outcomes Officer at Downtown Grand Rapids Incorporated (DGRI), says. "We're excited about the new movie titles this year and several new community partners, including Community Media Center, Franklin Partners, Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) and the Grand Rapids Symphony. And an entirely new and different slate of pre-movie fun and entertainment activities."

Movie pre-show events for this Friday include an organized E.T. bike ride by the Grand Rapids Vintage Bicycle Club, photo booth with E.T. by professional photographer Michael Buck, Grand Rapids Children's Museum's parachute play, Colliers tent program with giveaways and bike raffle as well as a drawing for the winner of a $75 Founders Brewing Co. gift card, giant E.T. and Colliers bicycle.

Guy says an exciting feature again at the end of this year's series will be the Voter’s Choice movie that will be shown as part of a double feature with The Lost Boys on August 21. The movie is chosen by public vote online

"Personally, I’m pulling for Ghostbusters," he says.

DGRI advises movie goers to arrive early for the best seats, as the park fills up quickly. They also encourage costumes and award prizes for best dressed attendees. Those under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult. The rule for seating is that those with blankets are in the front, chairs in the back, to ensure that everyone can see the movie. Those bringing their own wine or beer should bring an ID and check in with the ID check to get an identifying wristband.

Shows will be cancelled if it rains.

The 2014 series of six events attracted approximately 19,000 people and stimulated an estimated $440,000 in total consumer spending. For every $1 invested to produce the events last year, DGRI reports they leveraged approximately $13.00 in economic return to downtown and participating businesses.

The event is free and begins at dusk with pre-movie entertainment beginning at 7 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their own blankets, chair, beer, wine and snacks. Local food vendors like Love's Ice CreamDaddy Pete's BBQ and Gettin' Fresh
 and will also be on-site. 

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