Solon Springs dials up the star power this summer with Friday night movies in Lucius Woods Park. The free series features family favorites ranging from the Muppets and Moana to pirates and princesses.
The movies kick off July 21 with "The LEGO Batman Movie" and some real life superheroes.
"We are partnering with the Solon Springs Volunteer Fire Department to host their open house at 7 p.m. before the movie," said organizer Angela Botner, a member of the Solon Springs Family Fun Days committee.
Fire Chief Jonathon Brostowitz said the department will have fire trucks and firefighting equipment at the park for kids to see and try on. Firefighters plan to watch the movie with the kids.
Batman should light up the 13-foot by 26-foot screen at approximately 9 p.m., when it gets dark enough to start. Viewers can expect show times to get earlier as the summer progresses.
The caped crusader will be followed by "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" on July 28, "Moana" on Aug. 4, "The Muppets" on Aug. 11 and "The Peanuts Movie" on Aug. 18. The series caps off with the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride" at about 8:15 p.m. Aug. 25.
"We tried to make it universal, anybody can come," Botner said of the film lineup.
Family Fun Days Committee member Geraldine "Dene" Muller said the movies in the park are a great way to sustain the community atmosphere in Solon Springs.
"Families and children will be able to gather in a beautiful outdoor setting at Lucius Woods to enjoy a movie, popcorn and good company," Muller said. "It is one of my core beliefs, and one of the reasons I really like being the principal at Solon Springs School, that the more we invest in our children the better off our community and lives will be."
The summer flicks have the village board of trustees' seal of approval. During its Jan. 17 meeting, the board voted to donate $1,650 of community involvement funds toward the purchase of the screen and projector.
"It's something positive for the community, to get people to Solon Springs to help showcase what we have to offer," said Village Board President Mike Blaylock.
The movies offer a no-cost family activity for residents, he said, and a reason for visitors to make Solon Springs a Friday night destination.
"We're at least 20 degrees warmer than you are," Blaylock said, referring to Superior's routinely cooler temperatures, and people can stop by Jimmy's Ice Cream Shop on the way home.
A number of businesses have signed up to become movie sponsors. They will be highlighted prior to each showing, and there's still space to advertise. Volunteers are also needed to help out at the park during the films. To volunteer or become a sponsor, contact Botner at (218) 591-8792.
The Solon Springs woman, who once coordinated Duluth's movies in the park program, has been working to make the Friday films a reality for months.
"It's something I've been wanted to do since I moved here," she said.
Muller said she is especially looking forward to seeing "The Princess Bride" on the big screen. Blaylock is counting down the days until "The LEGO Batman Movie."
"I'm looking forward to all the movies," said Brostowitz, who is also a village trustee. "I'm mostly looking forward to seeing everyone show up and be all one big family sitting on the lawn watching a movie while eating some popcorn."
"It should be an exciting summer," Blaylock said.
Movie goers are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on. No coolers or alcohol will be allowed. Concessions will be available for purchase
Full movie listings and any weather-related cancellations will be posted on the movie hotline, (218) 461-3050, the Solon Springs Family Fun Days Facebook page and www.visitsolonsprings.com.