Movies in the park kick off for the summer

By Autumn Whitney
La Habra Journal

With summer just around the corner, the La Habra Recreation Department is starting its second annual Movies in the Park program. Movies in the park 2016
This year’s series began Friday, May 20, with a screening of “The Good Dinosaur” at Brio Park, where all movies were projected last year. The La Habra  Recreation Department is switching things up this summer and holding the events at various parks throughout the city.
“Brio is our home park,” said Katie Elmore, assistant recreation manager. “[In] June, July and August we do two movies in the park – one still at Brio, and the second travels. What we’re trying to do is catch those neighboring communities and homes.”
One of the additional locations is Montwood Park, which has seen renovations in the past month as a result of the city’s collaboration with KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that seeks to build playgrounds within walking distance of each child in North America.
“We’re excited to get back to that park for that movie [Minions] and see a lot of familiar faces that helped us with that process,” said Elmore.
When the movies in the park program began last year, the first screening had approximately 50 attendees, according to Elmore.
Now, each night the crowd reaches a few hundred people on average, but never feels over-crowded. The recreation department encourages families to arrive at 6pm to participate in various activities before the movie begins at sundown.
“We have some game booths and a craft booth,” said Elmore. “We usually play some music and we do some dancing – stuff like that.”
All events that take place on movies in the park nights are family-friendly, as recreation staff wants everyone to have the ability to participate. Each of the movies is rated PG for the same reason – to promote the family environment.
City staff works together to select movies for the season, choosing films that are popular and have good ratings while being fun for the whole family. This season offers a mix of animated and live-action films, one of which is the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” movie, which is expected to receive a large turnout.
When attending a movie in the park, staff recommends bringing something to sit on – either a blanket or lawn chair – as well as a sweatshirt to keep warm, as the films sometimes run late into the evening. Snacks and beverages are sold at the park, but attendees are allowed to bring their own as well.
The next movie in the park is “Hotel Transylvania 2”. It shows on Friday, June 10 at Esteli Park.
For more information and a complete list of the movies that will be shown this year, visit or call (562) 383-4482.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.