By Lizzie Wilcox
Movies on the Lawn is back for its 13th season, this time featuring a lineup of hit films, scheduled rain dates, a special partnership with the Town of Huntington Animal Shelter and more.
Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, the Town of Huntington and major sponsor Huntington Honda will host the 2016 edition of the free event held at parks across the township. Co-sponsors also include Jonathan’s Ristorante and La Casa Cafe.
This year’s lineup is “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on June 27 at Heckscher Park; “Max” on July 7 at Crab Meadow Beach; “Finding Nemo” on July 21 at Crab Meadow Beach; and “Inside Out” on Aug. 15 at Peter Nelson Park. All films begin at darkness.
For the first time in event history, rain dates have been scheduled for each of the showings. If there is a storm when one of the films is scheduled to be shown, it will instead be held indoors at Elwood Middle School on a different date. For more information on rain dates, visit Huntingtonny.gov.
Cuthbertson said he anticipates a large turnout for event’s first showing, “Star Wars,” and therefore plans have been put in place to help alleviate parking concerns. A shuttle will run from the Huntington Long Island Rail Road Station’s north commuter parking lot and to Heckscher Park.
Overflow parking with bus service will also be available for the two showings at Crab Meadow Beach.
Continuing into July, the event will partner with the town’s Animal Shelter and its Give A Dog A Dream program to host a free pet adoption event on the night of the “Max” showing. Free adoptions will also continue through that weekend at the 106 Deposit Road animal shelter in East Northport.
Cuthbertson said he is particularly excited about this because members of the Paws of War organization will be there. Paws of War trains and places rescued dogs to serve and provide independence to U.S. military veterans who suffer emotional effects of war.
“Each season I try to incorporate a special and fun attraction for moviegoers to do before each showing and this year is no exception,” Cuthbertson said.
Both the “Max” and “Finding Nemo” showings will be held as a drive-in experience, but there will also be a large viewing area in front of the big screen for those who prefer to sit on lawn chairs or blankets. Gates to the beach open at 6 p.m. for the drive-in movies.
“I grew up in the age of drive-in movies and I try to bring the nostalgia of these outdoor venues back,” Cuthbertson said.
The town’s fifth annual Sandcastle Contest will also take place before the “Finding Nemo” showing, and Cornell Cooperative will set up its “Marine Life Touch Tank” before the movie begins. To sign up for the sandcastle contest, visit huntingtonny.gov/sandcastlecontest, or call the 24-hour movie hotline: 631-351-3112.