Helena presents Sundown Cinemas

The Helena Business Association is kicking off Sundown Cinemas on June 13th with a screening of "Frozen" in Amphitheater Park. (Contributed)

The Helena Business Association is kicking off Sundown Cinemas on June 13th with a screening of “Frozen” in Amphitheater Park. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HELENA—Who said Friday the 13th is bad? This Friday the 13th, the Helena Business Association kicks off the city’s summer movie tradition, Sundown Cinemas, with a screening of Disney’s hit “Frozen.”

“(Sundown Cinemas) begins this Friday the 13th and runs eight consecutive weeks, except July 4,” Helena Business Association President Bob Van Loan said.

“Family-friendly movies” will be screened each Friday starting at sundown in Amphitheater Park. Parking and admission are free, and families are encouraged to bring picnic blankets, beach chairs, bug spray and enjoy a movie.

The park’s concession stand will open at 6:30 and offer a variety of summer cookout favorites, such as burgers, hotdogs, nachos, french-fries and popcorn.

“You can easily feed a family for less than $20,” Van Loan said.

Additionally, some local businesses may extend their hours for the event.

Sundown Cinemas has been going on for “at least 10 years, maybe more than that,” Van Loan said. This summer, spectators can look forward to an enhanced viewing experience, thanks to a new projector.

“It’s much brighter than the one we had in the past,” Van Loan said.

Helena’s longstanding Sundown Cinemas tradition almost didn’t happen this year due to low sponsorship funding, but “local Helena businesses stepped up” to make it happen, Van Loan said.

Although committed to a full summer of movie screenings, Van Loan said “we do need a good crowd turnout,” noting income from the concession stand generates crucial funding for the program.

“We would like to see a crowd of 500,” Van Loan said. “That would be a dream come true.”

A list of the movies planned for Sundown Cinema is available on the Helena Business Association website, Hbahelena.com/sundown-cinemas. The event is weather dependent, and Van Loan encourages people to call him with scheduling questions in the case of rain at (972) 897-4919.