August 13, 2020
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FREE Movies In The Park

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
June 7, 2019

The City of Cotati is again offering their monthly Movies in the Park program this summer, a fun, free family event that delights residents of all ages. This Fri., June 7, kicks off the summer with the showing of The Goonies. 

“It’s just a night for people to come and watch a movie for free and hang out with the family and enjoy the park!” says Ashley Wilson, Recreation Manager for the City of Cotati.

Striving to make the event bigger and better every year, the recreation department of Cotati is working hard to keep the community engaged while they wait for sundown and for the movies to start. To that end, the city plans to set up a bounce house, snack shack selling a variety of movie friendly food such as popcorn, drinks, pretzels, nachos, hot dogs and chips and play music. In addition, the recreation department plans to create some games and activities children can do while waiting for the movie to start.

“I’m trying to have more activities for children to do prior to the event,” says Wilson. “For The Goonies we’re going to have a scavenger/treasure hunt before the movie. I think it’s going to be really exciting! I want to make the movie nights more interactive in that sense while people are waiting.”

Other ideas Wilson may use during the summer include bringing in entertainers, presenters and having competitions and raffles.

The pre-movie activities will be set up by 6 p.m. but movies do not start until fifteen minutes after sunset. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and dress in layers. Future movies include The Incredibles 2, Fri., July 19, Spiderman into the Spider-verse Tues., Aug 6 and The Lego Movie 2 on Fri. Sept. 13. 

“In August we partner with the police for the National Night Out event on August 6,” says Wilson. “On that evening a whole free meal barbeque will be provided by the police department prior to the movie. We’ll have interaction between residents and the city staff and police and we’ll have some vendors there.”

The city is actively seeking out more volunteers to help with the event for set-up, take down, entertainment, helping sort waste, run the snack shack, and more. Wilson reminds teenagers that volunteering can help high school students attain their volunteer hours. Interested volunteers can contact Wilson at 707-665-4222 or

For more free movie options, residents can also check out Sonoma State University’s “Free Movies at the Green” program on the Weill Hall lawn, starting at 5:00pm. This summer they will be showing Spiderman into the Spider-Verse and Captain Marvel on June 29, and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on July 14.