Free outdoor movie series to entertain families this summer

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 26, 2013

ROCHESTER — The city’s ever-popular outdoor film series, Movies in the Moonlight, will return to downtown Rochester this summer, offering families a free night of fun under the stars.

Each Saturday night through Aug. 3, a different movie will be projected onto a large screen near the parking lot at the corner of East Third and Water, one block east of Main.

“We try to think of movies that will appeal to everyone,” DDA Events Coordinator Stephanie Hellebuyck said of the film selection each year.

Featured movies begin at dusk, around 9:15 p.m., and will be shown in light rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, Hellebuyck said, organizers would make the call on whether to cancel a movie just before the event.

“We try really hard to show them. … We won’t cancel them until that day, on the spot. If they are canceled, they won’t be re-scheduled,” she said.

Before each movie, starting at 8:30 p.m., attendees can enjoy a different pre-show activity, which will incorporate the theme of the film each week.

The DDA will show its first outdoor movie of the season — the 1971 musical “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” sponsored by Sanders in Rochester — July 13. The film, rated G, runs for 100 minutes and is an adaptation of the 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” by Roald Dahl. Before the movie, families can participate in a candy walk or enjoy ice cream from the Sanders ice cream cart.

The fun continues July 20, when “Brave,” presented by Goldfish Swim School in Rochester, is projected onto a large screen at dusk. The movie, rated PG, runs for 93 minutes. Before the movie, Scottish dancers will entertain audiences.

Dentists on Main will present the showing of “Hotel Transylvania” July 27. The movie, rated PG, runs for 91 minutes. Before the film, kids can participate in a mummy wrap activity with toilet paper.

The movie series will conclude Aug. 3 with “Avengers,” sponsored by Goldfish Swim School in Rochester. The movie, rated PG-13, runs for 143 minutes. Those who attend the movie are asked to dress like their favorite superhero.

Goldfish Swim School in Rochester, which opened last March, was happy to sponsor two of the movies this year, according to manager Chrissy Orlando.

“We really wanted to get out in the community and see the families that come to us, as well as sponsor a great event that the city hosts,” she said. “Rochester is a great community to work with.”

Movies in the Moonlight is one of the DDA’s most popular events, drawing anywhere from 500-1,000 people per movie, according to Hellebuyck.

Admission to the movie series is free, so organizers encourage attendees to arrive early for the best seating and to bring their own chairs or blankets to sit on. Moviegoers are also allowed to bring their own snacks — but no alcohol or glass containers are allowed. They can purchase popcorn, candy, hot dogs and soft drinks at the Rochester Lions Club concession wagon.

For more information, call the Rochester DDA at (248) 656-0060 or visit