Starting this month area residents can enjoy a unique night at the movies in Denison.
“First Friday Films” is a new film series presented by the Donna Reed Foundation, playing must-see films on the first Friday of each month at 7 p.m.
The series will kick off with a screening of the Stephen Spielberg produced adventure film, The Goonies (1985), this Friday, August 2.
After E.T. and Ghostbusters are shown in September and October, the rest of the series will continue in November with the 1962 classic To Kill a Mockingbird, and the classic holiday comedy National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) in December.
The film series may continue longer if the five-month trial run proves to be a successful fundraiser for the Donna Reed Foundation, which continues to accrue maintenance costs for the 100-year-old Donna Reed Theatre (formerly The Ritz).
“We’re continually trying to innovate ways to utilize the community treasure that is the theatre,” said Kristian Day, marketing director for the Foundation. “We anticipate these popular titles will draw crowds, which should be a lot of fun for the audience.”
Day said the experience of watching a classic film uninterrupted on the big screen has an appeal that has proven successful in other communities.
The Chamber & Development Council assisted with organizing the series and Executive Director Evan Blakley believes the event will be good for local commerce.
“When we give people a fun reason to go out locally, it usually snowballs into other things that are good– a dinner out, maybe some shopping,” said Blakley. “Maybe it gives some residents another reason to stay in town all weekend instead of spending local dollars in the city.”
Some showings will even offer special after-movie deals to moviegoers, further encouraging local shopping.
The series spun out of a discussion between Day, Blakley and Ken Kahl, who is helping sponsor the event through his company, Crawford County Abstract, along with Bonner Law and Bonner Photographic. Because purchasing the rights to screen blockbuster titles can be somewhat pricey, the Foundation reached out to find sponsors that would see the appeal of such a fun event and the allure of their marketing on the big screen (a local business’ slideshow or commercial will play right before each film). Potential sponsors for future films may contact volunteer Brandi Mefferd of Crawford County Abstract at 712-263-5626.