LEWISBURG — Campus Theatre hosted its first of 10 free outdoor movie nights Monday, bringing “Jaws” to dry land at Hufnagle Park.
Movies by Moonlight will be held weekly at about 8 p.m. each Monday through Sept. 28. Shows will be canceled in the event of rain.
Masks are a must until guests are settled on the lawn in designated spaces designed to allow for social distancing. Hand sanitizer is available as are free masks for anyone without their own. Anyone planning to visit in the coming weeks should bring their own chairs, blankets and snacks.
About 100 people turned out for the first night, which kicked off about 8:20 p.m. to allow the sun to further set. Technical Director Andy Seal and Projectionist Max Wilhelm worked to project the classic killer shark film onto a screen while Donna Padilla, director of outreach and fundraising, and Michael Conard, social media manager, greeted guests.
Campus Theatre remains closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Market Street cinema plans a tentative reopening in late August. As such, Movies by Moonlight acts as a replacement for the theater’s traditional free family summer film series. It’s sponsored by the Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts.
“I’m excited. I’m very happy with this turnout. You never know what you’re gonna get, especially in these unusual times. So, we’re really happy so far. We’ll just see if we get up to the 250 (person) limit and see what happens then,” Padilla said.
Kathy Dadalt sat next to her son, Ben, while her daughter, Alyssa, and a friend sat in a neighboring circle.
“It’s good to be out enjoying the town. We haven’t done much with the pandemic so it’s fun to do something,” Dadalt said.
Meghan Moyer and her daughter, Aniston, 6, of Northumberland, took in the movie together. They felt cooped up and figured an outdoor movie night was in order to break the boredom.
“We leave for the beach on Friday so this is going to make it or break it for Ani,” Meghan Moyer said. For what it’s worth, Aniston didn’t seem all that worried.
Sydney Greiner, of Lewisburg, sat with four friends inside one of the park’s many painted circles. She hadn’t seen the movie before Monday.
“It has sharks in it and they bite people,” Greiner said with a nervous laugh. “I personally like movies and since the Campus is closed, it’s a nice place to go and hang out with friends. It’s close by. A lot of the drive-ins we go to are a little bit further away so it’s a nice thing right here to do.”
The schedule for Movies by Moonlight is as follows: The Wizard of Oz, Aug. 3; Back to the Future, Aug. 10; The Muppet Movie, Aug. 17; Jurassic Park, Aug. 24; Shrek, Aug. 31; Field of Dreams, Sept. 7; An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Sept. 14; Mamma Mia, Sept. 21; The Money Pit, Sept. 28.
“I’m really encouraging people from other communities to come. It’s not exclusive to Lewisburg, you don’t have to be a member. Really, it’s open to everyone,” Padilla said.
For more information about Campus Theatre and Movies by Moonlight, visit www.campustheatre.org.
The theater reopens for members-only Aug. 21-23 while it opens to the general public Aug. 28-30. Masks will be a must, the theater will operate at half-capacity and seating will be restricted to aid in social distancing.