NEWBERRY – The City of Newberry, working to bring more events to town, will kick off its new season this week.
On Friday, the City of Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department will host the first of three spring movie events at the Newberry Opera House.
“Thunderstruck,” a movie about a basketball star switching his talents with a klutz teenage fan, will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday at the Opera House.
In the past, the public could reserve free tickets for the movies but many patrons did not show up, which left empty seats, said Newberry Assistant City Manager Matt DeWitt.
This season the movies will be general admission with the first people to show up to get the seats. When the Opera House is full, no one else will be admitted.
Patrons will also be treated to free popcorn and soft drinks sponsored by Hardee’s and First Baptist Church of Newberry.
City leaders also are working on a “couples only” movie night Feb. 2 – Groundhog Day – and hope to combine the evening with specials at local restaurants. The movie, ironically, will be “Groundhog Day.”
Other movie events are scheduled for March 1 and April 12.
“This adds a piece of entertainment that is not in Newberry,” DeWitt said of the movies, adding it’s a treat for residents to go downtown to a movie instead of driving to Columbia.
He also hopes patrons will eat at downtown restaurants and visit local businesses before the movie then return to downtown at later dates.
In addition to the movies, Newberry City Manager Jeff Shacker said the city is looking at sponsoring 12 additional events this year, which will bring the total number of downtown events to 20.
The schedule is still in the works but the city has scheduled it annual Spring or Irish Fling for March plus the professional horseshoe tournament will return. Pork in the Park, the city’s barbecue cook off, is scheduled for April 20.