Free Movies with a Downtown View in Rochester Friday: “Like a Mini Festival”

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — If you’re looking for a family-friendly Friday night activity, look no further!

Movies with a view of downtown returns to Martin Luther King Jr. Park Friday night. News 8’s Ally Peters sat down with MWADV co-producers Stefanie and Jason Schwingle to find out more about this unique event and how it started.

“We started this event through the Washington Square Park Community Association, our downtown Rochester nonprofit, in 2014,” Jason said. “We started this from a community perspective, because we wanted to give back to the community. We wanted to offer a free event, open to the public and accessible to all.

This summer, MWADV is hosting three film screenings, all in downtown Rochester.

The first movie is Disney’s “Encanto,” which plays Friday night at MLK Park. Attendees can expect a great movie, as well as local food and various activities.

“The event starts at seven, the film will start around 8:45,” Stefanie said. “We’ll have music, we’ll have food and drink available for purchase at food trucks, we’ll have ice cream, we’ll have free snacks. As a partner, Foodlink will provide snacks for the first 200 guests. Our co-producers this year are Downtown Definitely events, they will have free snacks and free water.

The following Friday, August 5, “Back to the Future” will play at Roc City Skatepark. The final film screening will be at MLK Park on August 26, where people can see “Remember the Titans.”

“We will have gifts, so it’s quite an experience. It’s almost like a little mini-festival and a lot of fun,” Stefanie said.

In addition to providing a free and fun event for families, Stefanie and Jason both agree that MWADV also aims to bring more people downtown.

“As the city is going through what can be perceived as a difficult time right now, we want to make sure people know their neighbors, really appreciate the space, the unique spaces we have in downtown Rochester, and we really have this belief that if you get to know your neighbor on this level, we can all work together, especially to make the city the best it can be,” Jason said.

Those attending the films are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to sit on. All films will be shown with open captioning and there will be an ASL interpreter for announcements and giveaways.

Additional information about MWADV can be found through Downtown Definitely or the Washington Square Community Association.

The event is sponsored by Buckingham Properties.

David H. Henry