GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A dozen movies will grace a giant video wall in downtown Grand Rapids this summer during Movies in the Park 2017.
The 400-foot LED video wall — presented in partnership with Livespace – will replace the giant inflatable screen used in past years. Because of this, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. will be able to start its movie nights earlier, meaning every night is a double feature.
Pre-movie entertainment will begin at 6 p.m. in Ah-Nab-Awen Park; the movie screenings are free.
Organizers from Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. revealed the changes early Tuesday morning as well as this year’s movie lineup, which includes:
- June 2, 7 p.m.: “Zootopia” (PG, Spanish subtitles)
- June 2, 9:30 p.m.: “Star Trek” (PG-13, Spanish subtitles)
- June 16, 7 p.m.: “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” (PG, English subtitles)
- June 16, 9:30 p.m.: “Pan’s Labyrinth” (R, English subtitles)
- July 7, 7 p.m.: “Mrs. Doubtfire” (PG-13, Spanish subtitles)
- July 7, 9:30 p.m.: “Forrest Gump” (PG-13, Spanish subtitles)
- July 21, 7 p.m.: “Book of Life” (PG, English subtitles)
- July 21, 9:30 p.m.: “Jaws” (PG, English subtitles)
- Aug. 4, 7 p.m.: “Selena” (PG, Spanish subtitles)
- Aug. 4, 9:30 p.m.: “The Bodyguard” (R, Spanish subtitles)
- Aug. 18, 7 p.m.: “Remember the Titans” (PG, English subtitles)
- Aug. 18, 9:30 p.m.: “Pitch Perfect” (PG-13, English subtitles)
Other changes coming to this year’s Movies in the Park are aimed at making it a more inclusive experience. That includes Spanish subtitles during every other movie night for Spanish speaking visitors and people with hearing impairments. Gabriella de la Vega of WYCE’s El Mundo Musical will also join DJ Adrian Butler as event host and emcee.
“We really want to reach deeper into creating an event that is inclusive for all of Grand Rapids. So, (we) want to be able to do things for families, want to be able to celebrate the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of our community, and so I think our lineup reflects that,” said Kris Larson, president and CEO of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. plans to continue its partnership with Coalition for Tabacco Free Parks and the High Five Program for a cleaner, healthier event.
Last year, approximately 79 percent of waste generated during Movies in the Park was recycled or composted, according to Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Ultimately, organizers would like to make it a zero-waste event.
Visitors are encouraged to bring their own blankets, chairs, beer, wine and snacks to the event. Local food vendors will also be available.
Organizers warn the best seats go fast, so they encourage moviegoers to arrive early and plan ahead for parking. Free bicycle parking is also available at the park.
Guests under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
All showings are weather-dependent. Moviegoers should monitor Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.’s Facebook page for schedule updates.
Last year, the 2016 Movies in the Park series lured more than 23,000 people downtown, leading to an estimated $445,945 in consumer spending in the local economy, according to Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. The organization said every dollar invested in the event generated $24 in economic return for downtown Grand Rapids.