Outdoor Movie Nights Return to Downtown Santa Rosa

The free event series, Movies on the Square, will feature a lineup of family-friendly classics, fun activities and live music.

Catching an outdoor movie beneath the stars is a favorite summer pastime in Sonoma County. After a long pandemic year, great films are finally returning to the big screen. In downtown Santa Rosa, the Metro Chamber and Sonoma Clean Power will present “Movies on the Square” every Wednesday in July, featuring a lineup of family-friendly classics.

Kicking off the event series tonight is “The Princess Bride,” a fairy-tale adventure for all ages. Movies are free to attend and before each movie starts, visitors will be able to enjoy fun activities tailored to each film. A live fencing demonstration will warm up the crowd before “The Princess Bride.” On July 14, there will be an inflatable baseball game before a screening of the 1993 comedy  “The Sandlot.” Then, on July 21, an 80s cover band will set the mood before “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and, on July 28, giant inflatables will make moviegoers feel very small before viewing “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!”

The Movies on the Square event series is part of Santa Rosa’s Open and Out initiative, which aims to welcome visitors back to the downtown area. Other events include live music every Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m., various art installations, makers markets, a bartending competition on July 29 and other fun events to come.

“We’ve gotten a great response from the community,” said Cadance Hinkle Allinson, Executive Director of the Santa Rosa Downtown District, about the initiative. “We are happy to be providing a nice fun place for people to come together again.”

Moviegoers can bring their own lawn chair and blankets to Courthouse Square. Takeout food can be ordered from one of the many surrounding restaurants and the event’s main sponsor, Sonoma Clean Power, will be handing out free popcorn to moviegoers. Bayside Church will also be selling popcorn, lemonade and other refreshments.

Movies on the Square is a free event series. Parking is also free after 5 p.m. in all city garages. Music  will kick off the event around 5:30 p.m., followed by the pre-movie activities at 6:30 p.m. The film begins at sunset.