Early this summer, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. announced that Movies in the Park would become Movies on Monroe. This sixth season of the free summer film series is taking place at 555 Monroe Ave. NW, located along Monroe just north of the interstate. Previously held at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, the move is part of the city’s acquisition of the sizeable riverfront property.
Jennie Schumacher, DGRI communications specialist, explained the transition as a way to provide a new place for people to play in Grand Rapids.
“While Ah-Nab-Awen park capably hosted Movies for five years, the city’s recent acquisition of the riverfront property in the Monroe North neighborhood gives us lots of room to work with,” Schumacher said. “The new location offers multiple advantages, including better proximity to neighborhood bars and restaurants, and greater accessibility.”
While public transportation and parking are enticing, it’s really the river that pulled DGRI to transition to the new location.
“Movies on Monroe is a great way to begin experimenting with fun riverfront activities before the rapids are put back in the river,” Schumacher said.
As usual, Movies on Monroe is BYOB, but food vendors also will be available on-site. A tip for the transition this year: BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair. While the grassy knoll of Ah-Nab-Awen provided natural cushioning under blankets, the new public space is asphalt, so chairs are probably a better idea (you can rent one for cheap on-site).
The transition is an exciting time for the Monroe North neighborhood, which has seen continued growth over the past year.
“Monroe North features 3,600-plus publicly available parking spaces on movie nights. Beyond that, the DASH drops off and picks up right at the entrance,” Schumacher said. “DGRI looks forward to the energy the community brings to Movies and seeing how that will positively impact the growing neighborhood.”
Movies on Monroe is free and open to the public, which makes it a great kids activity or date night. Arrive early (gates open at 6:30 p.m.) and grab a bite at one of the many local restaurants — Garage Bar, SpeakEZ, Zoko822, City Built Brewing, J.D. Reardon’s, Rocky’s or Linear, a new addition to the neighborhood.
2018 Movies on Monroe
June 8, The Greatest Showman (PG) and Big (PG)
June 22, The Princess Bride (PG)
and The Big Lebowski (R)
July 6, Major Payne (PG-13)
and Saving Private Ryan (R)
July 20, West Side Story (G)
and The Shape of Water (R)
August 3, Shrek (PG)
and Hidden Figures (PG)
August 17, Wonder Woman (PG-13) and Black Panther (PG-13)