Film fest features '80s classic at park Sept. 30

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The first event hosted of the Reel East Texas Film Festival will hit Kilgore Sept. 30.

On the last Saturday of next month, the festival will bring the 1985 movie “The Goonies” to Kilgore City Park for a Movie in the Park event.

“I’m pretty optimistic,” Festival Director Chip Hale said. “I think everyone likes ‘Goonies.’ I think it’s a universal film that doesn’t necessarily have a specific audience.”

Hale said he enjoyed the movie while he growing up but did not truly appreciate it from a production standpoint until he started film school.

“It’s kind of a perfect movie, perfect by way of it appealing to a wide audience,” he said. “Men like it, women like it, kids like it, adults like it. Everyone has opinions about movies, but I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘I hate the ‘Goonies.’’”

In addition to marking the start of the film festival’s events, Hale said, the event will also help support Helping Hands of Kilgore by charging an entry fee – a donated food item.

His hope is to be able to bring a Movie in the Park event to Kilgore two or three times a year, as long as logistics will allow, and each year, the entry fee will be a donation to Helping Hands.

Since he began volunteering with the nonprofit organization, Hale said, he has thought about other ways he can benefit the community through the organization outside of just volunteering.

“This idea falls right into that… Bring something, put it in the truck and watch the movie and enjoy yourself,” he said.

The idea for the event came from a similar offering in Los Angeles where people gather in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with their chairs and blankets to watch movies projected on a white wall.

In Kilgore, the screen will be set up underneath the amphitheater in the park, and people can bring their chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and food with them to enjoy the evening.

Hale is looking into bringing in local restaurants to offer more food options.

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