Summer flicks hit outdoor settings

By Michael Urbanec

DeKalb —The DeKalb Park District is providing an alternative way for residents to enjoy recently released movies outdoors.

Sycamore, Sandwich and DeKalb teamed up in 2015 to purchase an inflatable screen and film projector, and area residents have been able to see a different film three Fridays each month ever since.

“Anybody can come out and see them; it is a no cost activity,” said Scott DeOliveira, the superintendent of golf operations for the DeKalb Park District. “We have a lot of people [who] bring chairs and blankets and pack a picnic dinner or snacks to have while they’re watching the movie. We usually have around 150 people come up, and we have had up to 400 on some Fridays.”

DeOliveira said the idea to show movies in the park had always been there, and, up until 2015, the Park District had occasionally rented equipment to screen movies. The assistance of a grant in 2015 from the DeKalb County Community Foundation allowed them to purchase their own equipment.

“Initially, when spring comes we have to decide what movies we want to show, but once we have the licenses, it is just a matter of a couple hours of setup before showtime,” DeOliveira said. “Once we have the projector and speaker tested and working, We wait for it to get dark and we start rolling the movies.”

The next showing in the parks will be Pixar’s “Coco” at dusk on Aug. 3 in Sycamore at the Sycamore Park District Sports Complex. Movies in the Park will return to DeKalb with “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” at dusk on Aug. 10 at Hopkins Park. Their summer finale will take place in Sycamore with a showing of “Black Panther” on Aug. 17 at Sycamore Park District Sports Complex.

“It is great for the summer months, and a lot of times the park setting lends itself to being a nice setting to watch a film,” DeOliveira said. “It is something that I think a lot of people enjoy and we look to continue having movies in the park into future seasons.”

The free movies in area parks take place the first three Fridays of every June, July and August. For more information, go to