This summer, spend Friday evenings watching movies with your family and friends: outside. Mt. Airy USA, in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Trolley Car Diner will kick-off its “Moonlight Movies” film series on Friday, July 8 at 8:30 p.m. (seating begins at 8 p.m.) in the garden at the Lovett Memorial Library 6945 Germantown Avenue. The series will run for six consecutive Fridays through August 12.

“Moonlight Movies” will be free and open to the public. Mt. Airy USA, the organization who spearheaded the recent improvements to Germantown Avenue, conceptualized the series as a way to breathe life into a relatively un-populated section of the neighborhood’s commercial corridor.

“There’s this huge, basically un-utilized green space next to our community library. If we can get people to come out for these events, our hope is that they’ll start thinking about how they might want to use the space long-term. Attracting more people to this stretch of the Avenue will be key to continuing the successful development we’ve had above Mt. Pleasant Ave.,” said Anuj Gupta, Mt. Airy USA’s Executive Director.

But the series is about more than developing Germantown Avenue. “Events like this bring fun and vibrancy to a neighborhood. By getting neighbors out of their homes and coming together in our public spaces, we create an opportunity for people to interact and make connections with each other. We hope to create an atmosphere that deepens and solidifies the strong sense of community we have here in Mt. Airy,” said Elizabeth Moselle, Director of Commercial Corridor Revitalization at Mt. Airy USA.

The Trolley Car Diner is donating their film projection equipment for the series. The Diner will also be selling concessions at the events and turning over 15% of the proceeds to the Friends of Lovett Library. “This is a win-win for the Mt. Airy community and for the Library,” explained Trolley Car Diner Owner Ken Weinstein. “The partnership between the Diner, Mt. Airy USA and the Library has been fantastic. It’s proof that great things can happen when people work together. We’re glad to be a part of this movie series.”

The Free Library has been incredibly supportive of “Moonlight Movies” and is producing posters and marketing materials for it in-kind. “The Free Library of Philadelphia is delighted to partner with Mt. Airy USA and to welcome the community to the Lovett Library garden. Founded by a trio of caring neighbors, the Lovett Library truly functions as a community gathering place. .  We welcome the film audience to come in and borrow DVDs, CDs and of course books!” commented Siobhan A. Reardon, president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Remaining costs, most notably film licensing fees, will be underwritten by a generous local donor, who chose to remain anonymous.

The movies in the series were selected based on community feedback. Mt. Airy USA and Trolley Car Diner developed an online survey with 50 titles to choose from, which was distributed and publicized throughout the neighborhood. The survey received a strong response, with over 350 people entering selecting their personal ‘top ten’ and suggesting others they’d like to see. The winning line-up is listed below.

Friday, July 8
The Princess Bride

Friday, July 15
Back to the Future

Friday, July 22
March of the Penguins

Friday, July 29
The Sandlot

Friday, August 5
Finding Nemo

Friday, August 12
E.T.