The animated film “Finding Dory” includes voices by Ellen DeGeneres and Ed O’Neill. CONTRIBUTED

Want inexpensive, multigenerational way to have fun?

Movie Nights returning for the summer.

So what if there’s no longer an active drive-in theater in the area? National Trail Parks and Recreation has a new way to watch together under the stars.

Movie Nights, free family-friendly films on a huge outdoor screen return Friday, May 19, with “Finding Dory” beginning at dark at Smith Park in New Carlisle.

Movie Nights will continue monthly through September at various parks throughout the county. The equipment features a large screen, state-of-the-art projection and sound system.

“Drive-in movies are on their way out, and people are looking for inexpensive, multigenerational ways to have fun and not have to travel far. These are great community events for that and people can enjoy the parks as well,” said Miste Adams, National Trail’s recreation superintendent.

Area residents have made Movie Nights a part of their date nights, birthdays and as group outings.

The screen is set up around 6 p.m. and attendees can set up their blankets or lawn chairs afterward; Adams said blankets probably work best. The movie starts when it’s dark enough to be seen.

Some venues will offer concessions such as food for sale, but Adams said guests are welcome to bring their own food and beverages as well. Alcohol is not permitted.

Instead of offering Movie Nights in just one location, Adams said spreading it around is easier logistically. National Trail employees are doing this as a service for the community outside of their normal working hours.

Future movie nights will be:

• “The Secret Life of Pets,” Friday, June 9 in South Vienna next to South Vienna Elementary School

• “Moana,” Saturday, July 15 in Enon at Enon Community Park

• “Sing,” Friday, Aug. 11 at Moorefield Family Park in Northridge

• Movie title and date to be announced, September in South Charleston.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

Contact this contributing writer at