Outdoor Friday Movie doubleheader at Paris Park Pool a big hit
Series to finish with ‘Star Wars,’ June 24 movie; full schedule available on website
After a two-week hiatus due to weather postponement and the PrairieFest concert, the 2016 Outdoor Friday Family Movie Series returned in grand fashion.
More than 500 people packed Paris Park Pool for a special doubleheader movie event June 10, by far the best turnout this year for one of the free public movies offered by various local sponsors.
“We’re thrilled that so many people showed up to watch this first-of-its-kind movie showing,” said Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson.
“We had a few technical difficulties at the beginning, but once everything was under way, it looked like everyone had a really great time. We hope to do it again!”
The aquatic-themed “swim-in” movie night kicked off about 7:30 p.m. with “Finding Nemo,” cosponsored by Newman's Quest and the Arkansas City High School KAY Club.
A long-awaited sequel, "Finding Dory," will debut in theaters later this week.
The classic Pixar cartoon was followed around 9:15 p.m. by the 1975 Steven Spielberg horror classic, “Jaws,” sponsored by the Arkansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Two more movies are planned June 17 and June 24, which will complete the spring schedule.
Both movies will begin promptly at 7 p.m. each Friday under the Wilson Park rotunda, 701 N. Summit St.
June 17’s showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is sponsored by Ark City Daily Bytes and will be preceded by a special airing of a trailer for a documentary about last year’s Etzanoa archaeological digs in eastern Arkansas City.
“Quivira: Conquistadors on the Plains” was produced by the Archaeology Channel, and will be shown in full at a time and date to be announced later this year.
In addition, there will be a Star Wars costume contest, with prizes awarded to the winners in two different age categories — those aged 12 years old or younger, and those 13 years old or older.
Popcorn, water and other concessions will be offered by Boy Scouts of America Troop 328.
The full schedule of movies for this spring can be found here.
Promotional materials such as posters will be made available to media upon request.
The 2015 Outdoor Summer Movie Series was a huge success in the debut season for the new V.J. Wilkins Memorial Stage at the rotunda, with particularly large crowds viewing “Big Hero 6” and “Frozen.”
A special fall showing of “Inside Out” drew more than 300 people to the rotunda last November, despite colder temperatures. City officials hope to show more movies this August and during Arkalalah.
The projection equipment, sound system and stage all were made possible by a grant received two years ago from the V.J. Wilkins Memorial Foundation, in order to promote the arts throughout the city.