Outdoor Friday Movie Series begins home stretch with ‘Batman’
Lego movie planned for 7 p.m. in Wilson Park; Newkirk movie rescheduled
The 2017 Outdoor Friday Family Movie Series will enter its home stretch June 23 in Arkansas City with an animated film at the Wilson Park rotunda, 701 N. Summit St.
“The Lego Batman Movie,” which was just released in stores last week, will kick off the weekend at 7 p.m. This PG-rated film is sponsored by the Soroptimists of Arkansas City, who will provide concessions.
The film features Bruce Wayne dealing with his “gallery of rogues” as they plan to rule Gotham City, while also discovering he accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick.
The free movies series will continue at 7 p.m. July 7 at the rotunda with the holiday hit “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” sponsored by Mitch Reichle—Farm Bureau Financial Services.
This summer’s movie slate will wrap up at nightfall on July 21, which will be a sequel event to last year’s popular showing of “Finding Nemo” at Paris Park Pool, with free admission offered once more.
On June 15, the Outdoor Movie Series hit the road for the first time ever with a special showing on the Kay County Courthouse lawn in Newkirk, Oklahoma, but the film had to be cut short due to weather.
This special outreach event, sponsored by Newkirk Main Street, will be rescheduled for a later date.
The next two movie nights will begin promptly at 7 p.m. This year’s staggered “every other week” schedule allows for movies to be postponed until the following Friday in case of inclement weather.
A minimum of four movies are planned for this fall, including one in conjunction with the National Night Out kickoff party for the second straight year, for a total of 16 movies to be shown for free in 2017.
“We are so appreciative of the generous sponsors who make these wonderful events possible,” said City Manager Nick Hernandez.
“If you are interested in being a sponsor this fall or represent a nonprofit that would like to serve concessions, please call myself or Andrew Lawson at (620) 441-4415 to discuss your options.”
About the Outdoor Friday Family Movie Series
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.”
The projection equipment, sound system and stage all were made possible by a grant received three years ago from the V.J. Wilkins Memorial Foundation, in order to promote arts throughout the city.
A special fall showing of “Inside Out” drew more than 300 people to the rotunda in November 2015, despite colder temperatures. Plans were launched then for more autumn showings in 2016.
Various weather conditions impacted attendance often last spring and summer, but the season’s highlight undoubtedly was in June 2016, when more than 700 people packed Paris Park Pool for a special doubleheader, consisting of “Finding Nemo” and “Jaws,” during a free swim-in night at the pool.
During the last three years, the City of Arkansas City has shown a wide variety of movies, including:
- ’80s classics — “Back to the Future,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Ghostbusters,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “¡Three Amigos!”
- Classic Disney films — “The Fox and the Hound,” “The Jungle Book,” “Mary Poppins” and “Pete’s Dragon”
- Disney animated features — “Big Hero 6,” “Frozen,” “Zootopia” and “Moana”
- Disney live-action remakes — “Cinderella” and “Maleficent”
- Disney-Pixar animated collaborations — “Finding Nemo,” “The Good Dinosaur” and “Inside Out”
- Marvel Cinematic Universe films — “Doctor Strange”
- Other animated films — “The Lego Movie,” “The Lorax,” “Minions,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Sing”
- Star Wars movies — “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
- Summer blockbusters — “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park,” “Jurassic World,” “Monster Trucks” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”
The Outdoor Friday Family Movie Series only has been possible with the assistance of many generous donors, including:
- Civic and service clubs such as the Arkansas City High School KAY Club, the Kiwanis Club, and the Optimists and Soroptimists of Arkansas City;
- Local businesses such as Ark City Daily Bytes, Ark Valley Credit Union, Community National Bank & Trust, Elite Advertising, Grass Clippings, Mitch Reichle—Farm Bureau Financial Services, Munson Insurance, Plumber Bob’s, RCB Bank, Reedy Ford, Rogers Family Dentistry, The Stock Exchange Bank, Union State Bank, and WB Meats;
- Governmental entities such as the Arkansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Arkansas City Public Library, and City of Arkansas City;
- Nonprofit organizations such as the Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Fraternal Order of Police, Newkirk (Oklahoma) Main Street, Newman’s Quest and the Young Professionals of Cowley County.