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Movies in the Park start Friday

Using wireless headphones so as not to disturb neighbors, Ashland will begin showing its twice-monthly, PG-rated Movies in the Park Friday, May 24.

The first film is “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” an animated comedy about a video-game bad guy who joins best friend Vanellope in leaving the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game, Sugar Rush. Their quest takes them to the uncharted world of the internet and its denizens, the Netizens.

The films will be projected on the Butler Bandshell in Lithia Park starting at dusk, about 8:30 to 9 p.m., on second and fourth Fridays, with typical outdoor seating — blankets, folding chairs and park benches. Rentals start at 7:30 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Ashland Parks & Recreation, which posted a survey for residents to vote on movies they’d like to see. The selections, rich in classics and newer Pixar films, are:

June 14: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

June 28: “The Goonies” (filmed in Oregon)

July 12: “Coco”

July 26: “Mary Poppins Returns”

Aug. 9: “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971 version)

Aug. 23: “Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse”

Sept. 13: “E.T., the Extra Terrestrial”

Sept. 27: “Dumbo” (2019 version)

Admission is a suggested $5 to rent headphones, provided by Silent Movement International, the same firm that produces Silent Disco at Lithia Park during First Friday art walks. The money pays for film rentals, with a portion going to Ashland Parks Foundation.

An app can be downloaded to read subtitles on your phone, a real bonus for the deaf, says SMI Director Jordan Rose. Also available will be Subpac vibrating backpacks, which will allow the deaf to feel bass tones.

“The purpose of Movies in the Park is to bring family and community together, sort of a fun, unique experience we discovered last year, showing silent films,” says Rose. “That’s when we discovered you could project movies on the bandshell ceiling. Ashland was never able to offer Movies in the Park because of the proximity of houses, so Silent Disco technology is what made it possible.”

Snacks — popcorn, healthy soda, kombucha and such — will be available.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

Movies in the Park starts May 24 with a showing of "Ralph Breaks the Internet." Courtesy photo
Movies in the Park will start at dusk on second and fourth Fridays through September. Courtesy photo