COOKEVILLE – Friday nights in Cookeville are flickering to life this summer with free movies at Dogwood Park and the Cookeville Depot Museum.
The first series, After Dark Movies in the Park, presented by the City of Cookeville Department of Leisure Services and State Rep. Ryan Williams, begins June 2 with the 2016 Disney animated film “Moana,” which will be shown 30 minutes after dark at the Dogwood Performance Pavilion, 30 E. Broad St.
“The After Dark Movies in the Park series has quickly become a very popular start to the summer season with hundreds in attendance,” Chad McDonald, Cookeville Leisure Services cultural arts superintendent, said.
“The movies are shown in front of the pavilion stage in Dogwood Park, where many movie-goers utilize the permanent seating available in the amphitheater. Others choose to bring their own blankets, chairs and pillows. The conveniently located concession stand opens around 7 p.m. for all movies with show time at ‘dark-30’ (usually 7:45-8 p.m.). All movies are free to attend thanks to funding and support from Rep. Ryan Williams and his wife, Abby.”
The rest of the schedule is as follows: June 9: “Storks” (2016); June 16: “E.T.” (1982); June 23: “Secret Life of Pets” (2016); and June 30: “Independence Day” (1996).
Then on July 7, Summer Cinema at the Depot, presented by the Cookeville Depot Museum, kicks off at 8 p.m. at 116 W. Broad St. with the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” starring Gene Wilder.
“We offer free, classic movies shown outdoors on a large screen every Friday night in July,” Beth Thompson, Cookeville museums manager, said. “In its 10th year, Summer Cinema at the Depot has become a summertime tradition not to be missed by many area families.”
The classics continue July 14 with the 1941 film “Penny Serenade,” which stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunne; July 21 with 1987’s “The Princess Bride,” a romantic fantasy adventure comedy starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright; and July 28 with the 1953 science fiction horror film “It Came From Outer Space,” starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush and Charles Drake.
“You can bring a chair or stretch out on a blanket in the grass, have some of our fresh popcorn and drinks for only $1 each and then top it off with an ice cream cone from Cream City, which will be providing a 50-cents-off coupon with every bag of popcorn sold,” Thompson said. “It’s a perfect July evening under the stars.”
Another movie, “Star Wars: Rogue One” (2016), will be shown at Dogwood Park on Aug. 19, the Saturday before the highly anticipated total solar eclipse. It will begin 30 minutes after dark.
“We wanted to offer an event for folks who may be in town to experience the eclipse,” McDonald said. “What better way to kick off the weekend than a free movie in Dogwood Park?”
For more information about free summer movies, call Cookeville Leisure Services at 931-520-4FUN.