Chapel Hill will annually host Movies Under the Stars at the Forest Theater until August 18
Arts Everywhere, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Chapel Hill Public Library are teaming up to host Movies Under the Stars, an annual series of free movies screened every Thursday through August 18, at the Forest Theatre.
The first film to be screened will be Pixar’s Soul this Thursday at sunset.
This year, the number of films broadcast has increased from three to five. In addition to Soul, Encanto will premiere on July 28, Annie on August 4, Inside Out on August 11, and finally High School Musical on August 18.
Melissa Bartoletta, marketing and communications coordinator at Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, said the goal of the film selections was to bring people of all ages together.
“We chose titles that were family-friendly, inclusive, and we thought some of them might even be fun keepsakes for people,” she said.
In previous years, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture has hosted Movies Under the Stars at various locations around the city, but this year’s series will be the second time the event has been held at the Forest Theatre.
The event moved to the theater when Chapel Hill’s arts and culture community partnered with Arts Everywhere.
Bartoletta said Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture ramped up programming last year and didn’t have much time for the event.
She said that although there were only a few weeks to get the word out, last year’s Movies Under the Stars saw around 200 community members come to watch the films.
“What we found and what we know is that people love movies and they love watching them outside and it doesn’t take much to get people out,” he said. she stated.
Bartoletta said working with Arts Everywhere to present the films at the Forest Theater helped the event continue to be a success.
The latest installment of Movies Under the Stars, High School Musical, will overlap with UNC’s first week of classes. Chapel Hill Public Library marketing and communications coordinator Hannah Olson said the film was chosen with UNC students in mind.
“I know this year we picked High School Musical as a kind of nostalgic choice hoping maybe other UNC students will come and check it out,” she said.
Crystal Wu, head of marketing and communications for the development of Arts Everywhere, said that while the event will take place on the UNC campus, the event is not just for students.
“We hope to connect students to artistic experiences while at UNC,” she said. “But we also hope to connect with the Chapel Hill community so that they feel welcome and included in this and our creative and artistic experiences on campus,” she says.
UNC senior Jerry Xu first learned about the event via Instagram. He said he planned to go see some movies, especially High School Musical.
“I guess I love how nostalgic it is,” he said. “We grew up with it. It’s just a 2000s classic.”
Guests are encouraged to bring blankets, pillows, or something comfortable to sit on, as well as a flashlight, as it will be dark by the end of the movie.
Although concessions are not sold and outside food and drink is not permitted, attendees are permitted to bring water.
Parking for the event will be available at Cobb Deck and the grounds of Park Place in addition to paid parking on South Boundary Street. Free parking will also be available at the west end of Franklin Street starting at 6 p.m.
The theater entrance faces Country Club Road.
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