Outdoor Friday Movie Series resumes March 17 at Wilson Park
10+ movies planned for March through July; full schedule announced soon
The 2017 Outdoor Friday Family Movie Series will kick off March 17 in Arkansas City with a Disney feature under the Wilson Park rotunda, 701 N. Summit St.
At least nine movies are planned every other Friday night through June 23, including a special “Star Wars” doubleheader. Also, a sequel to last year’s super-popular showing of “Finding Nemo” at Paris Park Pool is planned for July 21.
All movie nights will begin promptly at 7 p.m. This year’s staggered “every other week” schedule will allow for movies to be postponed until the following Friday in case of inclement weather.
And later this year, the movie series will hit the road for the first time with a special outreach event in Newkirk, Oklahoma. The date, time, location and title of the movie showing are yet to be determined.
A minimum of four movies are planned for this fall, including 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.
The full schedule of movies for this spring will be announced later. Promotional materials such as posters will be made available to media and sponsors at that time.
“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 year, please call myself or Andrew Lawson at 441-4415 to discuss pricing 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 two 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” and “Zootopia”
- Disney live-action remakes — “Cinderella” and “Maleficent”
- Disney-Pixar animated collaborations — “Finding Nemo,” “The Good Dinosaur” and “Inside Out”
- Other animated films — “The Lego Movie” and “Minions”
- Summer blockbusters — “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park,” “Jurassic World,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” 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, Kiwanis Club, and Optimists of Arkansas City;
- Local businesses such as Ark City Daily Bytes, Ark Valley Credit Union, Community National Bank & Trust, Elite Advertising, Grass Clippings, 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 Fraternal Order of Police, Newman’s Quest and the Young Professionals of Cowley County.