State Theatre New Jersey Free Summer Movies!
Posted on 09/15/2016
In July and August, nearly 7,200 kids and their adults (quite the jump from our 4,900 attendees last year!) found a fun way to beat the summer heat with State Theatre New Jersey’s Free Summer Movie Series! The series, on six consecutive Tuesdays, featured both morning and evening screenings of these family-friendly favorites: Frozen, E.T., Despicable Me 2 (the overwhelming favorite), Babe, Monsters University, and Aladdin.
The air conditioning was cool, the popcorn was hot, and the movies were delightful—but the real treat was the rare opportunity to experience film on a grand scale, the way it was before the arrival of multiplex cinemas and streaming video. The opulent 1,850-seat historic State Theatre, with its huge 46’ screen, provided an incredible “wow” factor, whether sitting downstairs on the orchestra level or in the farthest reaches of the balcony.
This was The State’s fifth season presenting summer movies, and our second year presenting them free to the community thanks to our generous sponsors. Since the first year, the program has grown from three films to six, and from three screenings to 12. Average attendance per event has nearly doubled. The morning shows have been especially popular with groups from summer camps and youth programs, who traveled to the theater from as far as 30 miles away.
The largest group, however, came from right here in New Brunswick. The city’s Youth Services System’s Play S.A.F.E. summer recreation program sent several hundred children to each movie. “Play S.A.F.E. has been happy to partner with the State Theatre for their summer film series,” said David Blevins, New Brunswick’s Director of Social Services. “The movies provide the children a happy experience and is a special part of the weekly schedule.”
Mr. Blevins also remarked that the free movies gave the children an opportunity to attend a "classic" theater—especially one as beautiful as the historic State Theatre. He appreciated that they were made to feel like welcome guests. “The staff of the State Theatre were very helpful and treated our children with respect and enthusiasm,” he says. “The Play S.A.F.E. children loved the experience.”
Reaching out to our local community was an important part of the free Summer Movie Series. State Theatre New Jersey worked with our partners in the New Brunswick school district and local community organizations, distributing promotional materials in both Spanish and English. The efforts paid off, with thousands of New Brunswick children and their families flocking to the theater—many for the very first time.
The Summer Movie Series is one of a half-dozen free programs provided by State Theatre New Jersey, part of our commitment to making the arts accessible to all. The free movies were made possible through the generous sponsorship of Boraie Development LLC. Additional support came from the Provident Bank Foundation as part of their sponsorship of the theater’s Community Access Initiative.
Summer Movies Sponsor
Community Access Initiative Sponsor