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Outdoor movies offer free family fun
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Movies in the Park
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”:
Saturday, Polo Club soccer fields, 5890 Polo Club Drive, Cumming
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”: Aug. 21, Polo Club soccer fields, 5890 Polo Club Drive, Cumming
Movie to be determined: Aug. 21, Rock Creek Sports Complex, 445 Martin Rd., Dawsonville
More info: Pre-movie events begin two hours before films, which start at sundown

Local mother Jenni Hilton said there are some good indoor movie deals, but there’s nothing like a summer movie under the stars.

“It’s like camping out,” she said of the annual Northside Hospital-Forsyth Movies in the Park. “It’s something special.”

Southern Outdoor Cinemas will hold two movie nights, one Saturday and one Aug. 21, both at the Polo Club soccer fields. A third movie will be held at the Rock Creek Sports Complex in Dawsonville, and the title is yet to be determined.

The free events provide games and activities for children beginning about 7 p.m., followed by a feature family film at sundown.

This Saturday, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” will be shown, while “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” will hit the inflatable screen in August.

With school starting soon, the popular movies were chosen since they both deal with going back to school, said event organizer Paul Murray.

Before movie time, free bounce houses, some craft activities and face painters will fill the field.

Food and carnival games will be available for a price, though most of the proceeds will be donated to charity, Murray said.

“It’s a really fun atmosphere,” he said. “It’s a great time leading up to the event. The movie is just the icing on the cake.”

The father of two came up with the event five years ago when he noticed “there was nothing really that great that was free during the summer.”

Since then, Murray, who also works for Southern Outdoor Cinemas, has added something new to the local event. This year, a T-shirt cannon will provide additional free pre-movie entertainment.

The park movie event has been held twice this summer in nearby Johns Creek and once in Dawsonville, drawing more than 1,000 people each time.

Murray said he expects a crowd of 1,000 to 5,000 at the Forsyth County events, though more usually show up at the August event after school has started.

Movie-goers may want to bring a blanket, lawn chair or bug spray. Pets and alcohol are not permitted.

Hilton, who has attended before, said the size of the screen means any seat is good viewing.

As a mother, the outdoor setting can make keeping the kids entertained a little easier, she said.

“The kids can watch the movie and run around if they get antsy,” Hilton said. “If they’re in a movie theater and they’re stuck in a seat, it’s a little different.”

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