“This is several hours of outdoor fun, where children can play and adults can socialize, … friends and family can enjoy being with one another and watch three hugely popular movies,” said event chair Ernestine Morgan.
Friday’s offering — to be shown via large inflatable screen — will be followed by screenings of “Despicable Me 2” Sept. 5 and “How to Train Your Dragon 2” Sept. 26, all on the terraced lawn of the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church’s Hitson Activities Center. Movies by Moonlight nights draw on average nearly 5,000 area residents each year. Coordinators, promoting the events’ community atmosphere, are looking to surpass that number this go-round. “This is the 10th anniversary and we have a big effort to reach a broader audience from throughout the community,” Morgan said. “Many families return year after year. It is exciting to meet new friends within the area and see all the children playing together.”
Food trucks, concessions and children’s activities round out the Movies by Moonlight showings — each centered around a movie carefully selected in accordance with fun-for-the-whole-family mantra. “A committee reviews movies that are available for viewing,” said Jan Paul, Leadership’s director of development and community events. “We consider our target audience — a wide variety of demographics and ages who enjoy family-friendly movies that support community values.”
Families are encouraged to arrive at 6 p.m. for pre-movie activities. Attendees can either purchase dinners or bring their own picnic baskets, along with blankets and coolers.
“We have had moviegoers say, ‘We loved this [and] can’t believe we didn’t come before. … We will be back next year,’ or, ‘We go every year — [Movies by Moonlight] is on my calendar,’” Morgan said.
A special guest has also signed on to make an appearance at all three scheduled screenings this year. Atlanta Hawks mascot Harry the Hawk will be on hand to interact with attendees prior to show time.
IF YOU GO:
o What: Movies by Moonlight
o When: Aug. 22, Sept. 5 and Sept. 26 (pre-screening activities start at 6 p.m.)
o Where: Sandy Springs United Methodist Church's Hitson Activities Center lawn
o Admission: free
o Information: www.leadershipsandysprings.org