Family classic films return to Auburn

Nine nights scheduled for movie viewings
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Local residents can once again watch classic tales under the stars in the streets and parks of Auburn this summer. Auburn Movie Night is returning for nine installments, and the dates have already been chosen, said Mayor Bill Kirby, who helps organize the event. Kirby said he hopes the events will be as popular this summer as they were last summer. “They were really successful last year,” Kirby said. “We had four of them in the city, two of them in the parks. I think they were wildly popular toward the end. We had an average in Downtown and Old Town of 150-200 people (a night).” The movie nights are free again this year. Kirby said the most popular night took place at Regional Park with 300 people in attendance. “We just had people flood the place, so we were very happy with that,” he said. “And I think we are just going to build on that.” The Downtown viewing nights correspond with Auburn’s Wednesday Night Live event, which is expected to return again this summer as well. Auburn Movie Night planners hope after the market people will naturally flow down to Central Square to watch the films, Kirby said. “I think it’s just a really successful, inexpensive way for people to have fun in the city of Auburn,” Kirby said. The organizing committee hasn’t chosen specific films yet and is looking for ideas, Kirby said. So far the list of possibilities includes Airplane, American Graffiti, Grease, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Hook, The Neverending Story, Towering Inferno and more, Kirby said. Kirby said the events couldn’t include Disney movies, because Disney doesn’t allow outdoor movie showings during certain months of the year. “There are about 30 movies (on the list so far), and we can only show nine of them,” said Sheryl Petersen, recreation services manager for the Auburn Area Recreation and Parks District. “But they are all PG and G rated movies that we are selecting from because we truly want this to be a family affair.” Petersen said last year’s movie nights in the parks attracted all ages. “We are looking for some really fun festive evenings in the park,” Petersen said. “We will be having two of the movies on family swim nights. So, we will have dollar days for families in the pool, and then at 8:30 (p.m.) the pool closes and people can walk over and watch the movie.” Auburn resident Elizabeth Stone, who moved to the area in September, said she would definitely take her 7-year-old daughter, Emma, to Auburn Movie Night. “I think it’s a great idea for the community and kids,” Stone said. “It brings the community together and the kids together with their friends. I think it teaches our children social skills, also.” Nevada City resident Ron Simoni, a retired fire fighter, said he thinks the events would also be a great time for local law enforcement and fire crews to demonstrate small lessons like Stop, Drop and Roll. “It gets us out of the fire station and it gets us in better communication with the kids,” Simoni said. Stone said events that offer socialization inspired her to come to the city. “It’s one of the reasons I moved to Auburn,” Stone said. Kirby said free popcorn will be available. Viewers should bring chairs and can bring their own food or dine at local restaurants before the movies start. Kirby said he has other ideas for how to add more fun to the evenings including possibly having live music an hour before the movies start. Kirby said he has particularly fond memories from last year’s movie nights. “The biggest thing for me was I rented a popcorn machine and gave away free popcorn, and kids would run up to me with a dollar and would want popcorn,” Kirby said. “I’d say, ‘There is only one thing you have to do to get popcorn,’ and they would say, ‘What’s that?’ I’d say, ‘Say the magic word,’ and they would get the biggest smile on their faces and say, ‘Please.’” Reach Bridget Jones at ------------------------------------------------------ Auburn Movie Night June 15: Central Square June 22: Family Swim Night at Recreation Park June 29: Old Town July 6: Central Square July 13: Old Town July 20: Family Swim Night at Recreation Park July 27: Central Square August 3: Old Town August 10: Regional Park For information or to suggest movie ideas: E-mail Mayor Bill Kirby at