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Little Rock's "Movies in the Park" Turns 10

June 11 celebration will honor the event's founders.
LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - Movies in the Park founders, Heather Allmendinger, Ben Beaumont and Blake Rutherford, will be honored for their hard work and vision in creating the ever popular Little Rock Movies in the Park, celebrating its 10th season this year.

The celebration will be on Wednesday, June 11 at 8:30 p.m. at the First Security Amphitheater, just prior to the kickoff of the 2014 season.

Movies in the Park began was an idea by Blake Rutherford. While walking through the River Market one day, he wondered why the city didn’t use the amphitheater for outdoor movies. He did a little research, and found a model for Movies in the Park from the popular Summer Movie Series at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC.

Blake then called friends, Heather and Ben, and reached out to community leaders to get the idea off the ground. The movie series at the Museum of Art in Raleigh was more than 10 years old at the time, and they were very helpful in getting Movies in the Park started in Little Rock.

Comcast was the first anchor sponsor on board with the event, followed by much support from KURB B 98.5 FM, Arkansas Times, Stone Ward, City of Little Rock and more.

“One of our goals from the beginning was to ensure that the movies would be completely free for all in the community to enjoy,” said Blake Rutherford. “We received tremendous support from several organizations to get the event going and we are very happy to see it continue as one of the most popular community events in Little Rock.”

The popular outdoor free movie night, held at the First Security Amphitheater, has been going strong for ten years now. The first movie to be shown was “A River Runs Through It,” which was selected as a nod to Little Rock and the Amphitheater’s location. It drew less than 400 people. Four films were shown the first year in 2004.

Movies in the Park has now grown to a season of eight films per year, on average, reaching audiences of up to 3,000 people. It’s a staple event in Central Arkansas. Communities from across the state, and the country, have reached out for guidance as they have tried to implement similar programs in their own communities.

Since 2008, the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau has been managing Movies in the Park.

Click here to check out more information about the movies being shown this year.

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