Central Church invites community to Outdoor Movie Nights

Next screening is ‘Beauty and the Beast’ July 24

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published July 17, 2015

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MADISON HEIGHTS — For four years now, Central Church in Madison Heights has been holding Outdoor Movie Nights, showing movies on a big inflatable screen under the stars. The films are appropriate for all ages, and there is no cost to see them.

They’ve been well-received so far, said Sam Anderson, lead pastor at Central Church.

“The response has grown every single year. We’ve gained a reputation of not being a bait and switch — we’re not trying to get people here and cram Jesus down their throats,” Anderson said. “We just want to get people together to have fun and watch a movie. Our main goal is to offer something free for families and neighbors to do together. We want to strengthen those community bonds.”

Central Church is located at 1525 E. 12 Mile Road in Madison Heights. The next movie is this Friday, July 24. The giant blow-up screen will show the animated Disney classic, “Beauty and the Beast.” Next month, on Aug. 28, a newer film, “Big Hero Six,” will be shown.

“Last month, we showed ‘The Lego Movie,’” Anderson said. “We try to do some movies that are newer and then some that are older — something the parents will remember.”

Other films in the past have included “Finding Nemo” and “The Lion King.”

Each event starts around 7 p.m. There are two bounce houses, one for the big kids and one for the small kids. There will also be a concession stand where everything costs a dollar: popcorn, pop, candy, snacks and more. There will also be a Kona Ice truck selling frozen treats. 

People can bring blankets and lawn chairs. There will also be games, and people are free to bring a ball to toss or kick around.

“We’ve got a huge field, so this is a way for people to get out and have a good time,” Anderson said. “We’re just trying to facilitate fun. We don’t have any agenda.”

Sarah Vandervest, the children’s pastor at Central Church, said events like this benefit the community as a whole.

“When we’re engaging families, we’re creating a stronger community. That’s why we do it,” Vandervest said. “It’s a fun event and all, but I really do believe it serves that purpose, because when you meet your neighbors, you care more about your community in general.

“There are a lot of young families around here, too, so part of what we’re doing is bringing them together,” she said. “A Disney movie could be a starting point for a common ground. And that’s what we all need.”

Central Church’s next Outdoor Movie Night will be this Friday, July 24, at 7 p.m., screening Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The screening is free. Concessions cost $1 each. Central Church is located at 525 E. 12 Mile Road in Madison Heights. For more information, call (248) 547-3555.

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