Outdoor movies set: Young Professionals planning community film series

Fans of classic ’90s movies can rejoice.

Columbus Young Professionals will kick off its inaugural Moonlight Movies film series July 22 at City Hall with a showing of the 1996 film, “Independence Day,” starring Will Smith.

It is one of three films that will be shown between July and September at downtown picturesque locations. The series is an effort to draw young people to the city, ultimately making them more aware of the city’s architecturally significant places.

“We wanted an opportunity to showcase Columbus to professionals and summer interns in town,” said Liz Worthington, the Columbus Young Professionals liaison for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

The idea for the film series sparked from community interest and feedback. Columbus Youth Professionals currently hosts bowling events, game nights and a variety of other social events, in additional to professional networking events.

“We also chose the film series because it is different than our other activities,” Worthington said. “We feel adding a film series to our list of events would really provide another opportunity for our young professionals and community members to get involved and to enjoy a night out.”

Organizers said the series is intended to promote the concept of a welcoming community by providing attendees with ways to build relationships while engaging with familiar content in downtown spaces that have been activated in new and exciting ways.

Moonlight Movies is partially funded by a $3,500 grant from the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. Columbus Young Professionals is also partnering with the Columbus Area Arts Council, Exhibit Columbus and series sponsor Johnson-Witkemper Insurance.

Indy Big Screen will provide an outdoor screen to project the films.

“Hook,” starring the late Robin Williams, will be shown Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Bartholomew County Library Plaza, followed by “Jurassic Park” on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Mill Race Park.

Worthington said she hopes to see 200 to 400 people attend the showings. Outdoor film events became more popular after the 2001 romantic comedy “The Wedding Planner” featured a scene with the concept.

Ceraland also shows films in its outdoor amphitheater throughout the summer in a free series called Movies in the Park. Similarly, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, located at 4000 Michigan Road in Indianapolis, hosts a summer film series Fridays and Saturdays Aug. 25.

All three films shown during the Moonlight Movies series in Columbus are free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Food and drinks will be available for purchase and a cash bar from The Garage Pub & Grill will be on-site.

Worthington said the movies would most likely move to an indoor site if outdoor conditions are not suitable.

If you go

“Independence Day,” rated PG-13

WHERE: City Hall, 123 Washington St., Columbus

WHEN: Saturday, July 22; Doors open at 8 p.m. with movie starting between 9 and 9:30 p.m.

WHO: Open to public

EXTRAS: Food and drinks will be available for purchase from a variety of vendors

PRICE: Free

“Hook,” rated PG

WHERE: Bartholomew County Library Plaza, 536 Fifth St., Columbus

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 12; Doors open at 8 p.m. with movie starting between 9 and 9:30 p.m.

WHO: Open to public

EXTRAS: Food and drinks will be available for purchase from a variety of vendors

PRICE: Free

“Jurassic Park,” rated PG-13

WHERE: Mill Race Park, 50 Carl Miske Drive, Columbus

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 9; Doors open at 8 p.m. with movie starting between 9 and 9:30 p.m.

WHO: Open to public

EXTRAS: Food and drinks will be available for purchase from a variety of vendors

PRICE: Free

About Columbus Young Professionals

Columbus Young Professionals is a network of young professionals in the Columbus area that enhances skills, encourages new relationships, promotes community involvement and provides career advancement opportunities. The program, associated with the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, is made up of young business and community leaders. Members focus on promoting, attracting and keeping other young professionals in Columbus. For more information about the organization, visit columbusyp.org.