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Large crowds gathered in Sundance Square on Wednesday, June 10 for the first night of this summer’s free movie series.
Viewers brought lawn chairs, blankets and pets to enjoy a night of family-friendly fun.
“It’s our first time coming to this, we’re really excited,” said Felicia Ramirez, who was there with her two children, ages 6 and 4.
Though some in the crowd were first-timers, the free movie nights are nothing new.
Tracy Gilmour, Sundance Square director of marketing, said the event started six years ago.  It used to be held in a big parking lot.
“It’s gotten much better now that we have this beautiful space,” Gilmour said.
Lines of people stretched out the doors of businesses all around the square, something that is part of the intent behind the movies, Gilmour said.
“That’s why we’re doing this,” she said. “It really helps generate sales for downtown and encourages people to come enjoy their downtown area.”
The movie night featured activities prior to the main attraction to keep kids entertained. Jay Jenson, a former Radio Disney personality, was there to lead the games.
Children jumped, screamed, answered trivia questions and, of course, had a dance-off.
Gilmour said there are ten more weeks ahead for the free movie nights, and they expect a great turnout.
“We usually get between 3 to 5,000 people every week, depending on the movie,” she said.
To view a list of upcoming movies, visit the Sundance Square website. The site also has a list of nearby restaurants and vendors.
Movies are scheduled to begin around 8:30 p.m., or around dusk.
“One thing is for sure,” Jenson said, “you can’t beat free.”