Join the Fun: Free Movies Under the Stars Throughout the Summer in Murfreesboro

Jun 17, 2024 at 04:18 pm by WGNS News


MURFREESBORO, TN - Movies Under the Stars, a beloved tradition in Murfreesboro since 1947, will continue throughout the summer. Thomas Laird, the assistant director for the parks department, shared the news...


The summer movie series restarted earlier this month and will run until July 27, 2024 (no movie will be shown on July 4). Each movie begins directly after sunset, around 8 PM, and the parks department confirmed that all movies are free for everyone! Featured movies this summer include Cars, Monsters, Inc., Hook, Finding Nemo, Paw Patrol, The Little Mermaid, Brave, and Kung Fu Panda.

As for the key ingredients to a great family movie adventure, Laird told us... Food vendors are typically on-site and offer a variety of snacks, adding to the festive atmosphere. So grab your family, pack your favorite seating, and head to the park for an unforgettable evening under the stars!

On Monday nights, the movies will be displayed at Barfield Crescent Park near the Blue Cross Blue Shield playground. On Thursday after sunset, the movie night will be at Richard Siegel Neighborhood Park near the park playground. For Saturday night, head to the Fountains at Gateway.

Text MOVIE to 38276 to be notified of any movie cancellations. You can also “CLICK HERE” to read more details about the Movies Under the Stars in Murfreesboro.

Murfreesboro LOCATIONS:

  • Mondays: Barfield Crescent Park near the Blue Cross Blue Shield Playground
    Address: 697 Veterans Pkwy
    Concessions by: Hot Dog Guy & Annie's Snow Biz

  • Thursdays: Richard Siegel Neighborhood Park near playground
    Address: 515 Cherry Lane
    Concessions by: Repicci's Real Italian Ice & Grady's Classic Kernels
  • Saturdays: Fountains at Gateway
    Address: 1500 Medical Center Pkwy

How It Got Started

MOVIES UNDER THE STARS was a local creation of Hollis Harris, a man who loved movies and this community. In fact, Mr. Harris was the first employee of Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department. He was a projectionist at the Princess Theatre and had the revelation to show movies on an outside screen in area parks.  (PHOTO: L-R Ray Duffey, Hollis Harris and Hollis' mother. They are broadcasting a game from Central High School.)

Harris was definitely "before his time", because he took a 16-milimeter movie camera out and made videos of people around the 'Boro "doing their thing". The year was 1947 and that was before local TV and before VHS cassettes. 

Not only did townsfolk enjoy the free movies, but they got a kick out of seeing themselves and friends on the "big screen". 

To make the occasion even better, Mr. Harris built a trailer on which the movie projector was mounted, along with popcorn, drinks, and candy. 

This was before the time when Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department had director. In fact, it was before they had employees. Mr. Harris was hired by the City on a part-time basis solely to do "Movies Under The Stars". 

The year was 1947, the time when WGNS came on-the-air. So where was Ray Duffey? He was employed by WGNS and doing sports play-by-plays on the radio. He came to Murfreesboro straight from the Boston area and had a thick New England brogue. Perhaps that helped to make him unique, and the area fell in love with Ray Duffey. 

A few years later, Duffey became the first full-time employee of Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department. He joined their only other employee--a part-timer named Hollis Harris. 

These two creative community leaders not only built such popular programs as "Movies Under The Stars", but created one of the nation's premier parks and recreation departments.  

As Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story. 


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