LEWISTON — For the fourth consecutive year, the Lewiston Police Department and the Gendron Franco Center are teaming up to organize the annual Lewiston Summer Fun and Films program, which invites residents to free outdoor screenings of films.

Macy Gravel, 7, and her mother, Kristen Vitale, watch “The Lion King” at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston in June 2018. This year’s annual Lewiston Summer Fun and Films program begins June 26 at the park. Sun Journal file photo by Andree Kehn

Joseph Philippon, community resource officer for the Police Department, said the program originally began as a means of improving police and community relations but has grown into a community bonding experience.

“The first year we organized the program, we had about 160 people on average showing up to each movie,” Philippon said. “Now, between 900 and 1,000 people show up to the movie screenings. The numbers keep on growing.”

He said the program was a good way to get people excited about their community.

“There are people who don’t have anything to do during the evening or who don’t have any way to watch these movies,” he said. “This is something that gets people out of the house to interact with the community.”

The dates for the program are June 26 at Simard-Payne Memorial Park, July 10 at Pettingill School Park, July 24 at Drouin Field, Aug. 6 at Lewiston Middle School, and Aug. 21 at Pathway Vineyard Church.

Philippon said all of the pre-movie activities from previous years are returning, including a photo booth, a bounce house, balloon twisters and yoga.

He added that the Police Department is adding face painting for the first time.

Pre-movie activities will begin at 6 p.m., Philippon said, while the movie will begin at dusk, “whenever that ends up being.”

Free popcorn and drinks will be served during the movie.

Philippon said a poll has been posted on the program’s Facebook page. People can choose from 20 movies they want to see over the five dates, ranging from older films, such as “Field of Dreams,” “Space Jam” and “Free Willy,” to new releases, including “The Incredibles 2,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.”

Superhero movies, such as “Aquaman” and “Captain Marvel,” are also on the list.

Philippon said people can vote for the movies at the Lewiston Fun and Films Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LewistonSummerFilms/.

For more information, e-mail Philippon at [email protected].

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