ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — Many people have probably heard of “Shakespeare in the Park,” but what about “Toy Story” in the park? “The Croods” in the park? Starting Thursday night, GEARS will be hosting a series of free outdoor movie showings at the Elizabethtown Borough Park amphitheater on Thursday nights throughout the summer.

Families can bring their blankets, buy some snacks and drinks at the movie, and enjoy a family-friendly film under the stars. Nate Diegel, program coordinator at GEARS, says that while some refreshments will be offered at this first showing, he is working on having food trucks at future showings this summer. (He’s hoping for French fries and frozen cookie dough!)

The events also include giveaways and raffles from Knowlton Dental Associates, a sponsor of the summer movie series.

GEARS was unable to hold its Movies in the Park series last year due to COVID-19, but this year, Diegel is excited to welcome community members back for the events. And he thinks they will enjoy the outdoor activity. “You don’t have to worry about if the seats were wiped off, or the handrail that you’re walking down in the movie theater, if that was wiped off,” Diegel said.

The first movie shown this summer will be “Onward,” and it starts at dusk (around 8:30 p.m.) on Thursday, June 10. After that, “Toy Story 4” will be shown on June 24, “The Addams Family” will play on July 8, “The Croods” will be shown on July 22, and finally “Sonic the Hedgehog” will play on August 5. If there is inclement weather on any of those days, the films will be rescheduled for the following weeks.

The movies will be entertaining, but “honestly, I think the movie is almost secondary. I think it’s just like being outside, that environment, the summer nights,” says Diegel. “With parents and grandparents, they can just kind of escape and just be in the moment…with their kids or grandkids. I think that’s the most important part.”

Visit the GEARS Facebook page for updates about upcoming movie showings.