One of the core beliefs at Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge is to be an integral part to our community; and not just one community, either. The attorneys and staff at our four offices are embedded in the Muskegon, Holland, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor communities, and it’s an intentional focus of our firm to be involved with the people, businesses and events in each one of those locations.
One way we are getting involved in downtown Grand Rapids is through the annual summer Movies in the Park event, which features six free films screened downtown throughout the summer. On June 17, we will be the title sponsor for the Men in Black showing. The 1997 blockbuster stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent Jay and Agent Kay, who are part of a secret government organization called the Men in Black. The comedy grossed $589 million worldwide, becoming such a pop-culture success that two sequels were released in 2002 and 2012.
The free viewing of the film will be showing outdoors on a 50-foot screen in downtown Grand Rapids’ Ah-Nab-Awen Park, with first-come, first served seating. The movies begin at dusk and are preceded by movie-themed activities that start at 6 p.m. There will also be food vendors available, making Movies in the Park an all-evening event. If attendees don’t want to purchase items from vendors, they are allowed to bring their own food, beer and wine and are invited to bring their own blankets and chairs.
New this year are Spanish and English subtitles, which will accommodate hearing impaired and Spanish-speaking attendees. The change was made in order to make the event as inclusive to the Grand Rapids community as possible.
The annual event is a huge part of the Grand Rapids community. Last year, an estimated 31,000 people attended the summer films, which brought in more than a half million dollars for the city. The rest of the summer’s Movies in the Park dates are A League of Their Own on July 8, The Mask of Zorro on July 22, Edward Scissorhands on Aug. 5 and a double feature on Aug. 19. The first film is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the second one is still to be determined.
The annual series is put on by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and is open to everyone, with children under 15 needing to be accompanied by an adult.