Movies under the stars

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Families sit in back of cars and lawn chairs as they enjoy a double feature in the student parking lot at Pendleton Heights High School on Saturday, Sept. 26. Tom Russo | The Times-Post

PENDLETON — Scores of vehicles streamed into the Pendleton Heights High School parking lot on Saturday night for a drive-in movie double feature with a decidedly Oct. 31 feel.

On the first weekend of fall, Outfitters Inc., the Pendleton non-profit that helps provide clothing to local families in need, arranged the fundraiser screening of two Halloween favorites — “Hotel Transylvania” and “Hocus Pocus”

“I think it’s going to be a great event for the community,” Outfitters Executive Director Niki Brown said prior to the event. “It’s just kind of a great way to celebrate being back in school and the end of summer.”

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Many took to the idea, evidenced by the all-ages crowd spread out on blankets, in folding chairs and the backs of vehicles to partake in the communal viewing experience.

The weather gods smiled on organizers, making for a fun outing in an era of canceled events.

“It was great,” said Andria Norman of Pendleton, who was there with daughter Baleigh, 10.

“One movie was her favorite, and the other was my favorite,” she said, confirming that “Hocus Pocus” was hers.

Norman said there was nice size crowd with other things going on besides the films, including food for sale and children in costume.

“We loved all the vendors — there was a great variety,” she said. “It was fun. We enjoyed seeing some of the kids that were dressed up that was very nice.”

She said it was nice that to be able to sit outside at the start, when temperatures were warm, and then get into the car as it cooled down, with the ability to tune into a radio station for sound at that point.

“We were still thinking it was summertime,” she said.

Anne Plovick, who helped organize the event and attended with her husband and four children, ages 6, 8, 8 and 10, said it went very well, especially considering it was a first-time event for Outfitters.

She said it received rave reviews from her children, for whom it was their first drive-in experience.

“They thought it was, like, the coolest thing,” Plovick said.

Brown said she hopes to repeat the event in the future.

Prior to Saturday, Outfitters had received $10,000 in sponsor donations, and the organization collected donations as cars entered. The organization also will receive 20% of vendor food sales.