May 20--As people and families plan their Sundays, they can soon add movie nights to their to-do list.
The RiverPark Center announced its new season of "Movies on the River." The free movie series includes four films.
"It's one of our staple events," said Travis Estes, director of sales and marketing. "It's a good way for families to spend time together and have that cozy, drive-in movie feel."
All films will be shown at dusk on a 20-foot by 40-foot screen on the center's BB&T plaza. Chairs will be available, but guests can bring their own seating or blankets.
The series will open June 2 with Disney's "The Lion King." It is a G-rated tale of a rambunctious lion cub who, after his father's death, leaves the kingdom and later returns to restore it and to fulfill his destiny as king.
Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" will play July 7. In it, a 12-year-old boy discovers the story of the Lorax, who fights to preserve the Earth, on his quest to find the one thing that will enable him to win the heart of his dream girl. It is rated PG.
"The Hunger Games," the only action film in the series, will play Aug. 4. It centers on a fight to the death in Panem, where two teens from each of the fictional nation's 12 districts are randomly selected to battle. The main character offers to take her sister's place. It is rated PG.
The series will end with "Wreck It Ralph" on Sept. 15. In it, a video game villain aims to reach hero status but causes trouble in the arcade where he lives, along the way. It is rated PG.
RiverPark Center Executive Director Roxi Witt said they did some new things with the series.
"We've always had animated films, so 'The Hunger Games' is different for us," she said. "We also involved our sponsors more in choosing the films and tried focus groups with younger people to see what they like. They worked well."
The series is sponsored by U.S. Bank, and the first movie is also sponsored by E.M. Ford & Co.
Estes and Witt said the movie nights would be a great ending to a day of fun at Smothers Park.
"It's a great example of how things flow downtown," Estes said. "I think we'll see more events in the future that complement each other. That will keep people engaged in this area."
Angela Oliver, 691-7360, firstname.lastname@example.org
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