Free Movies Return to NV
According to the old saying, the best things in life are free. That includes the free movies every summer in North Vernon.
The eighth annual Family Film Festival starts Wednesday at the Park Theatre Civic Centre. Nine feature-length movies will be presented each Wednesday from June 6 through Aug. 1. Admission for the showings, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each Wednesday, is absolutely free. Doors open an hour before each movie.
“The kids love the free movies and so do their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles,” said Hulda Reichenbach of the Park Theatre. “This really has been a great undertaking and we enjoy doing it.”
Thanks to this year’s 102 sponsors, the nonprofit Park Theatre is able to present the Family Film Festival movies for free to the public.
“We have to pay the film companies and booking agent, along with delivery and pick-up charges and booking fees,” Reichenbach said. “Because of businesses, organizations, individuals, families and clubs that pay for sponsorships, we don’t have to charge admission. We appreciate all our sponsors so much. They are wonderful to support these movies.”
Many families are on a limited budget, so the free admission is greatly appreciated.
“When we first started (in 2005), we only showed the movies once each Wednesday as the film companies advised,” Reichenbach said. “We had to turn away so many children and people. Patti (Yount, Hulda’s daughter and a Park Theatre volunteer) said we needed to show the movie twice, so that next year we started doing that.
“We still pack in the audience for both movie times, but we don’t have to disappoint people by turning them away,” she added.
The downtown landmark also depends on volunteers to run the concession stand.
“The money we get from selling concessions help us meet our operating expenses,” Reichenbach said.
During the Family Film Festival shows, the theater is offering a Kiddie Combo refreshment package of a drink, small popcorn and bite-size candy for $2.
“That’s a pretty good bargain and the sponsors help keep that price down,” Reichenbach said. “We have those Kiddie Combos ready ahead of time to speed things up. We sell a lot of them.”
Seating is limited to 300 for each showing of the movies. Tickets are available in advance.
“If someone wants to make sure they can get in for a movie, they should get their tickets ahead of time,” Reichenbach said.
Tickets are available during box office hours of 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are also available whenever the Park Theatre is open.
Reichenbach said the movies in this year’s festival are all high-caliber entertainment.
“We some very good movies that are not all that old,” she said. “Most we have shown before (during the regular weekend movie screenings), but one, ‘Puss in Boots,’ haven’t had before.”
The schedule: “Hop,” June 6; “Kung Fu Panda 2,” June 13; “Zookeeper,” June 20; “The Smurfs,” June 27; “Happy Feet Two,” July 4; “Puss in Boots,” July 11; “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,” July 18; “Arthur Christmas,” July 25; and a surprise movie to be announced, Aug. 1.
For more information, contact the Park Theatre at 346-0330 or 346-4329, or go online at park-theatre.com.