Movies in the Park Kicks Off 9th Year With Disney's Frozen, 30 Other Screenings Across Long Beach

SHP Presents Gift to POP

Signal Hill Petroleum employees present a check to Partners of Parks at a City Council meeting. 

As part of their ongoing support of the Movies in the Park program, Signal Hill Petroleum (SHP) awarded a check for $27,500 to Partners of Parks (POP) at this week’s city council meeting.

The money will fund the series of free movies that are shown from June through August as part of the city’s 100 Days of Summer activities. Movies in the Park, which is in its ninth year, attracts over 10,000 people annually and provides family-friendly entertainment (as well as free popcorn) set in local parks across Long Beach and Signal Hill.

Drew Santariano, executive director of POP, said that depending on park size, a typical screening yields a few hundred viewers, with attendance growing every year. Partners of Parks is a nonprofit that has operated in the city for around 30 years and Santariano noted that with the help of SHP—with their annual donations covering nearly the entire cost of the Movies in the Park program—the organization has had to do little to no fundraising to sustain one of its most popular programs.

“In my opinion, Signal Hill Petroleum is the perfect example of the corporate-public partnership,” Santariano said. “They step up for all kinds of stuff. They contribute all year long, and Movies in the Park is just one of the things they support.”

Signal Hill Petroleum Director of Business Development and Community Relations Debra Russell said that the positive feedback they received from the community from the very first year made it easy to want to continue to parter with POP, but the philanthropy of the privately-held oil company is something that is engrained.

“Because we’ve been here for so long and we do have a big footprint in Signal Hill and Long Beach, we strongly believe that it’s our responsibility to give back to the communities that we’re in,” Russell said. “It starts from the owners of the company to management at all levels, including every single field representative we have. It’s our company culture. It’s something that we’re proud of.”

This year’s series, which starts today with a sing-a-long screening of Disney's massive hit Frozen at Whaley Park, features 31 screenings of 11 different movies throughout Summer at 28 area parks, including a showing of 42: The True Story of an American Legend (the Jackie Robinson story) at Blair Stadium on July 19.

Other movies scheduled for this year’s series are Monster’s University, The Lego Movie, Planes and Despicable Me 2. All showtimes are scheduled for dusk, which Santariano stated changes as the season goes on, but typically will be between 8PM and 8:30PM.

Signal Hill Petroleum signs a revolving 5-year-contract with POP, with the current one expiring in 2016, but Russell said that the relationship between POP and SHP and their support of Movies in the Park should carry into the future.

“This is something that grows every year, we get immediate feed back, it fits our cultural giving program and we’d absolutely love to keep doing it,” Russell said.

A full list of screenings: 

  • Frozen: 
6/20 Whaley (Sing-a-long), 
6/23  Pan American, 
6/25 Scherer
, 6/27 Bixby
  • The Nut Job:
 6/30 Admiral Kidd
, 7/2  Orizaba
  • Monsters University: 
7/7 Coolidge, 
7/9 Stearns Champions, 
7/11 Chavez
  • The Lego Movie: 
7/14 Somerset, 
7/16 McBride, 
7/18 Houghton
  • Free Birds: 
7/21 Signal Hill
, 7/23 Veterans
, 7/25 Heartwell
  • Despicable Me 2: 7/28 Davenport, 
7/30 Drake
, 8/1 Wardlow, 
8/18 Grace
  • Smurfs 2: 
8/4 Cherry, 
8/6 King
, 8/8 College Estates
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2:  8/11 Seaside
, 8/13 Ramona
, 8/15 Signal Hill

  • Planes
: 8/20 MacArthur, 
8/22 Silverado
  • Frozen: 
8/25 DeForest, 
8/27 El Dorado (non-sing-a-long)

  • 42: The Story of a True American Legend (PG-13): 
7/19 – Blair Stadium
Viewer discretion advised (strong language)  

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