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story.lead_photo.caption Liv Paggiarino/News Tribune Stars Under the Stars presents “Playing with Fire” on Friday at Vivion Field. Vivion Field was a new location for the outdoor movie event. Small groups brought out their popcorn, blankets and lawn chairs to watch the movie under the stars.

UPDATE: With below average temperatures and a threat of more rain, the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department postponed the start of its free outdoor movie series.

Originally scheduled for Friday, the first Stars Under the Stars event of the season is now on the books for June 18 at the Ellis-Porter Riverside Park amphitheater.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

The annual JC Parks Stars Under the Stars movie series returns this summer to Ellis-Porter Riverside Park after being held part of last year at Vivion Field in Washington Park because of construction of the new amphitheater.

The series kicks off Friday with "Beethoven" at the Capital Region MU Healthcare Amphitheater at Riverside Park. Sponsored by the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department and Healthy Blue, the free movie — shown on a giant inflatable screen — begins at dusk, approximately 8:45 p.m.

JC Parks' special events program manager Phil Stiles said, even with the new amphitheater, the series will run about the same as past years. The biggest difference, he noted, will be the fixed seating at the amphitheater. There is room for about 500 in stadium seating, and lawn seating provides space for an additional 2,000.

The new Riverside Park amphitheater saw its first show, the Clay Walker and Tracy Lawrence concert, Saturday. More concerts and two more Stars Under the Stars events are lined up throughout the summer.

The July 9 film is "Sister Act," and Aug. 6 will showcase "Charlotte's Web."

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"We wanted to do a throwback series this summer, showing some older movies that I think people will enjoy to kind of switch it up a bit," Stiles said.

Freshwater Church will provide free popcorn and preshow activities Friday, starting around 6:30 p.m.

Other concessions will be available for purchase. Stiles noted different vendors will be on site throughout the summer series; a lemonade stand and Sno Biz will be providing cool refreshments Friday.

While there are no specific coronavirus-related requirements, Stiles encouraged the crowd to spread out in the new amphitheater to remain safe.

For more information on Stars Under the Stars, visit the JC Parks website. Other upcoming performances at the amphitheater can be found at www.riversideamp.com.

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