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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 28, 2017

Movies return to Washington’s Central Park

By David Hotle, Golden Triangle News Service | May 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, IOWA (GTNS) – This year an elf, Harry Potter and a whale will inhabit Central Park in Washington on the first Friday of the summer months as Main Street Washington brings back the Movies on Main Street monthly features this summer.

Main Street Washington director Sarah Grunewaldt said three movies are scheduled to be shown in Central Park. The movie marathon begins June 2 with the 1993 film “Free Willy,” about a boy and his killer whale.

The movies continue July 7 and focus on Christmas in July with the 2003 comedy “Elf.”

The movies finish up on Aug. 4 with the 2001 feature “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first movie of the franchise about a youth in a school for budding wizards.

“This year we had a couple of great sponsors who sponsored specific movies and they picked the movies,” Grunewaldt said. “Plus, we had a list of movies from last year that came in second or third, so we made sure to pick some of those.”

Holding movies in the park began two years ago using funds left over from Washington’s 175th anniversary celebration. Grunewaldt said the former manager of HyVee had also asked about holding a movie night in the store’s parking lot. Grunewaldt said the movies should instead be held in the park.

She also stressed the movies chosen to show in the park are older movies as a way of not conflicting with the movies being shown at the State Theatre.

Last year, Grunewaldt said, saw great turnouts to the movies, with the park being filled during the three showings. She said the weather was perfect and none of the films had been rained out.

“There is always a risk when you are picking specific dates and times in advance that you will get really hot or really cold or rain or thunderstorms,” she said. “We had great weather, great attendance, and I hope to see that trend continue.”

The movies are free and open to the public. Grunewaldt also said there would be free popcorn provided during the movies. She said the concession stand would also be located near the fountain.

“It is a fun event for families,” she said. “We always show great movies that are family friendly. Beyond that it is free. If you choose to buy a concession item from us, you are supporting the effort and continuing to show movies during the summer.”

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