Movies On The Beach

by Dave on August 6, 2010

by Michael Short

The bars and nightspots are still thriving.

But Dewey Beach is working hard to develop another side, a family-friendly Dewey Beach which attracts residents and visitors to a kinder, gentler town.

A big step in that direction is the Movies on the Beach program which offers up G-rated movie selections every Monday night at the end of Dagsworthy Street. Parking is free after 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in town parking areas and movie lovers can kick off their shoes and settle down to watch the likes of Shrek and other animated favorites.

There’s no charge for either the Movies on the Beach on Monday nights or for Wednesday night bonfires at the same location. Town Manager Diana Smith said both events are a way for Dewey Beach to provide fun activities for families without breaking the bank.

Both began last season and both will run until approximately Labor Day this summer. “It’s a great way to have your family together,” she said. “Just bring chairs and a blanket and watch a movie under the stars.”

It’s also a great way to showcase a family-friendly atmosphere which Dewey Beach is trying to promote. “We’re trying to show there’s a balance in Dewey Beach,” she said. Smith noted that in addition to bonfires and movies, the town stepped up to host a Gulf Aid benefit concert on July 15, a concert which raised more than $70,000 for Louisiana estuaries impacted by the Gulf oil spill.

She said that the town approved funding for marketing and that some of that funding has been used for this year’s Movies on the Beach. The town works in partnership with the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce to provide the program. The Chamber of Commerce funded the movie program last year before the town picked up the cost this year. “It’s a great partnership,” she said.

Movies are picked that organizers hope will keep the whole family entertained, not an easy task.

The remainder of the summer schedule is as follows:
* August 9 – Madagascar
* August 16 – Bedtime Stories
* August 23 – Cars
* August 30 – The Princess and the Frog

Attendance is typically 200 to 300 people for the Monday night movies, which is up from last season. The bonfires have sometimes attracted even larger crowds.

“It’s a great family night,” Smith said. “I think it’s a great way to showcase Dewey Beach. It’s a great family atmosphere and a great way to promote the town.”

There is no charge for the bonfire, but visitors have to supply their own hot dogs and marshmallows. The town does, however, provide sticks for toasting marshmallows to gooey perfection. “Bring your chairs and blankets, hang out and have a good time . . . Just show up with your hot dogs and marshmallows,” she said.

Both Dewey Beach and the Chamber of Commerce hope the family nights will entice families and visitors to come early, shop in the town stores, eat at a local restaurant and enjoy what the town has to offer.

The family nights are also meant to help people on a budget struggling to make ends meet in a still-tough economy. A night at the movies, once considered cheap entertainment, can soar close to the $100 mark for a family with kids by the time you buy tickets and stop at the snack bar, she said.

“This isn’t breaking the bank,” she said.

Both movies and the bonfires begin at approximately 8:30 p.m.
In case of bad weather, the town suggests you check for cancellation notices on either WGMD Radio or at the Lifesaving Station on Dagsworthy Avenue.

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