Outdoor movies are returning to the Sunrise with the 1985 classic “Back to the Future.” During the COVID-19 shutdown, outdoor movies were one of the theater’s many pivots to keep the community entertained. And like the theater’s new popular private rental program, outdoor movies will continue after COVID-19. The Sunrise plans to host classics on the park a few weekends each month as long as the fans keep supporting them.

The spring lineup includes “Back to the Future” on March 12 and 13, “Airplane!” (1980) on March 19 and 20, “The Wizard of OZ” (1939) on March 26 and 27, and “ET” (1982) on April 2 and 3.

Movies start at sunset on the theater’s greenspace. The area is enclosed with tents and a white wall around the perimeter to create a cozy setting. Large circles are painted on the grass to designate socially distanced seating areas for groups of up to four people with a few areas for larger groups. Masks are required but may be removed while seated in the circle.

Two concession stands are available – one on the greenspace and the second inside the main theater.

A projection and sound system are moved to the grass, and a large screen is set up on the First Bank Stage. This year, the theater is investing in an even larger screen and more tents while they continue to look for ways to enhance the experience.

Seating circles can be purchased in advance at SunriseTheater.com and remaining seats will be available 30 minutes before showtime. Tickets are $10 per person. Unlike last year when movies had to be cancelled if it rained, this year movies will be moved inside the main theater if the weather doesn’t cooperate. 

Classic movie fans are encouraged to submit their film suggestions to the theater at [email protected]. Local businesses and organizations are invited to sponsor a movie to help support the non-profit theater. Contact the Sunrise Theater at 910-692-3611 for more information.



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