Free Akron Outdoor Movies
Free Akron Outdoor Movies was first thought up by a couple of running buddies jogging through Glendale Cemetery. “Wouldn’t it be cool to show a movie here on a big screen, under the stars, free for everyone?” That was back in 2011, and the same group of friends has put on a free, family-friendly movie in Glendale Cemetery since 2012.
The response from the community has been tremendous, and we’ve had crowds of hundreds of neighbors on blankets and chairs at every event. We also received immediate support from the City of Akron and other businesses and organizations over the years to offset the costs and keep the movies free, including PNC Bank, Akron Digital Media Center, Glendale Cemetery, West Hill Neighborhood Organization, and Premier Bank.
In addition to feature films and concessions, we’ve shown cartoon shorts, hosted open mic audience storytelling, offered activities for children, enjoyed live music, and hosted local food cart vendors.
In 2015, we received a generous grant from PNC Bank and were able to purchase the our first screen, projector and audio system, equipment that we had previously rented. We quickly outgrew that first screen, and in 2018, the Knight Foundation generously provided the funds to purchase the 20′ inflatable, rear projection screen screen we use today.
With some of the main rental costs no longer an obstacle, we changed our mission to one of being able to host multiple movies each year, not just the annual film we started with. So now we are portable…and able to show PopUp movies under the stars all over the Akron-area!
Having our own outdoor movie equipment also gives us the opportunity to help other organizations and non-profits show films at their events. (Don’t worry, we’ll still always show a movie in the cemetery too!)
We look forward to making more free, outdoor, family-friendly movies available in many Akron neighborhoods in this and coming years. Contact us if you want to explore holding a PopUp movie at your organization’s event.