Free movies and family fun

Downtown and Old Town Auburn will be hosting four movie nights this summer
By: Bridget Jones Journal staff writer
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Auburn Movie Night will offer families a fun, free experience this summer. Councilman Dr. Bill Kirby said the event is another exciting way to get the community to come together in Old Town and Downtown Auburn. “My personal goal has always been to try to get more events in the evening, family events, where people can mill around,” Kirby said. “I want to do more things to get people into town.” The movie nights will all take place on Wednesdays. Planned dates are June 23 and July 28 in Downtown near Central Square, as well as July 7 and Aug. 11 in Old Town near the post office, according to Kirby. The city is providing a projector and screen, and all movie nights will be free, Kirby said. The 2008 showing of the movie “Phenomenon” in Old Town is what first sparked the idea for movie night, said Linda Robinson of the Old Town Business Association. Robinson said she and Kirby had been working on the concept of movie night for about a year with the thought of showing newly released films. Then the city told them it could cost thousands of dollars to rent each new movie. Slightly older movies with a PG-13 or lower rating like “101 Dalmatians” and “National Treasure” are now being considered, Robinson said. The Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center’s film commission will choose an initial list of about 20 movies, and the movie night committee will choose the four final movies, according to Kirby. Janice Wycoff, a representative of the arts center, said the organization was happy to help promote family-friendly movie nights. “I believe that any time families can come together in a town such as Auburn to participate in something so genuine and fun loving, that’s a good thing for Auburn,” Wycoff said. “It’s very easy for the town to come together and do something like this. It’s a perfect fit for Auburn.” Paul Ogden, arts center president, said movie night fits really well with the organization’s goal of promoting art appreciation in Auburn. “We’re trying to bring people Downtown and this is an event that, in the summertime, would bring in more of a family atmosphere,” Ogden said. Each movie will cost about $250-$350 to rent and will be sponsored by an organization or member of the community, Kirby said. “When it comes to finding the sponsors, something like this is going to be very easy,” said Bruce Cosgrove, chief executive officer of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. Cosgrove said the drive for putting on this kind of event already exists in the community. “We’ve got the equipment here,” Cosgrove said. “We have local people who are interested and motivated. We as a chamber believe this is good for the community, it’s good for local business.” The committee is also hoping to make free popcorn available and get local restaurants involved in selling light snacks, but community members can also bring their own food, Kirby said. Cosgrove said Auburn Movie Night is not only a chance for residents to have fun with their families, but also a chance to support Downtown and Old Town activities. “It just helps build community pride, and it’s fun,” he said. “I think our community … will get a kick out of coming Downtown or into Old Town and just enjoying a wholesome family movie under the stars.” Reach Bridget Jones at