Downtown Grand Rapids names first outdoor movies


“The Pricess Bride,” released in 1987, stars Cary Elwes, right, and Robin Wright. Photo via

A classic silver screen fairy tale — complete with sword fighting, giants, an evil prince and a lovely princess — will be the opening act for the inaugural outdoor summer film series Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. is debuting next month.

"As you wish"

“The Princess Bride,” directed by craftsman Rob Reiner and released in 1987, will be the first movie of the six-film run DGRI has planned for under-the-stars viewing.

The film, which stars Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Robin Wright, was a top choice of the 20 movies from the online voting DGRI held last week.

More than 3,300 individuals voted online last week for their favorites from a 20-film lineup, said Kristopher Larson, Downtown Development Authority executive director.

All the films are open to the public and free of charge.

"The Princess Bride” will be screened at Ah-Nab-Awen Park on Aug. 2.

The film will start at dusk, but local vendors will begin offering food and popcorn beginning at 7 p.m.

Alcohol will be allowed to be brought into the park for the screening.

“Many of the options offered were movies that people of my generation are now showing to their children. Movies that we loved as kids,” said Steve Faber, executive director of Friends of GR Parks.

Faber also was a member of the DDA's Urban Recreation Task Force that recommended the DDA buy the equipment to hold the film series. The DDA board allocated $55,000 for that last month.


Back to the Future,” which stars a young Michael J. Fox getting sent into the past in a 1985 DeLorean that Christopher Lloyd soups up, will be shown on Aug. 16.

And Will Ferrell will portray chaotic newsman Ron Burgundy when DGRI presents the 2004 film “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” on Aug. 23.

The three remaining films in the series will be announced at a later date.

DGRI is the umbrella organization for the DDA, the Downtown Alliance, the Downtown Improvement District and the city’s office of special events.

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