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Families can watch movies at the park or the school

Looking for some old-fashioned family fun, now that the evenings don't require long johns and a wool blanket?

Think drive-in movie without the car.

'Cinema Under the Stars' was initiated to bring families and neighbors together for a stress free, fun-filled outdoor movie experience,' said Cathy Sherick, with the Greater Gresham Area Prevention Partnership (GGAPP), which hosts the event. 'Having fun together, in a friendly atmosphere, builds a better community by supporting families and keeping our children safe.'

Beginning Saturday, July 16, and running each Saturday through Aug. 20, 'Cinema Under the Stars' will feature PG-rated films, suitable for audiences of all ages, in the grassy fields of area schools. Each night will have a special theme with activities and entertainment geared for families. And what's a movie without popcorn, hot dogs and soda? Concessions will be provided by school booster clubs or other groups with proceeds funding such improvements as new football field lighting or playground equipment.

All you'll need is a blanket or lawn chair.

GGAPP is a local organization, working in partnership with area businesses and agencies to help teens and their families remain substance-free. Family activities like movie nights, according to Sherick, build on GGAPP's belief that it takes everyone to create a community and aligning with neighborhood schools fosters that mission.

'I really want to give a lot of credit to the schools,' she said. 'They have been super supportive. We can vary the locations so more families can participate, which is great because we know spending quality time together strengthens family ties.'

Sherick is also encouraging businesses, social service and outreach groups to set up information booths. When residents are familiar with their neighborhood association or what services and goods are available locally, she said, it's easier to feel like they belong.

'Access to community services strengthens our connections to one another,' Sherick explained. 'If you know your neighbors and your community, you know where to go for help. Events like 'Cinema Under the Stars' are a fun way to meet and get to know other families and community members.'

Motion picture licensing prohibits the publication of titled films for 'Cinema Under the Stars,' but here's a sneak peak of what's scheduled to be shown and their locations.

Saturday, July 16

Preview: When a nanny arrives to help a young mother take care of the family farm, she uses her magic to teach the woman's children and their two spoiled cousins five new lessons.

Where: Harold Oliver Intermediate School, 15840 S.E. Taylor St., Portland

Saturday, July 23

Preview: Two high school graduates spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before going off to college in the early 1960s.

Where: Gresham Center for the Arts Plaza, 401 N.E. Second St.

Saturday, July 30

Preview: A young Viking, who goes off to hunt dragons, becomes an unlikely friend with a dragon and learns more about the creatures than he ever knew.

Where: Dexter McCarty Middle School,1400 S.E. Fifth St., Gresham

Saturday, Aug. 6

Preview: A losing coach and his underdog football team face their fear of failure on and off the field with surprising results.

Where: Reynolds High School, 1698 S.W. Cherry Park Road, Troutdale

Saturday, Aug. 13

Preview: When a single mom moves to China with her son (played by Jaden Smith), the boy embraces kung fu taught by a master (Jackie Chan).

Where: Barlow High School, 5105 S.E. 302nd Ave., Gresham

Saturday, Aug. 20

Preview: A criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns in a grand scheme, only to discover that their love for him changes him for the better.

Where: H.B. Lee Middle School, N.E. 172nd Ave., Portland

If you go

Fun begins at 6:30 p.m., with movies getting under way at dusk, and will be held rain or shine.

To get involved in 'Cinema Under the Stars' or for film titles, go to ggapp.org or call 503-823-0088.

But wait, there's more

Pictures in the Park, sponsored by the Gospel of Gresham

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Aug. 5, 12, 19 and 26

Where: Gresham Center for the Arts Plaza, 401 N.E. Second St.

Info: For film titles, go to the events calendar at greshamoregon.gov.

Starlight Cinema

When: Movies start at dusk on Saturdays, July 30, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27

Where: Meinig Park, 39250 Pioneer Blvd., Sandy

Info: For film titles, check the events calendar at ci.sandy.or.us/