Starting this summer, Movies in the Park will have earlier show times.

The Downtown Development Authority approved a three-year contract with a Kentwood company that will provide a brighter screen which will allow for movies to start before it gets dark.

A big complaint the city was receiving, regarding Movies in the Park, was the late start and end time, especially for parents. Movies weren't beginning until after the sun set and wouldn't finish until after midnight. Downtown buses have already stopped operating at this point, too.

Being able to show movies earlier in the day also allows for double features.

There will be a total of eight movie nights in summer 2017 at Ah-Nab-Awen Park.

The event brought in over 21,000 people last year and the Downtown Authority hopes the changes will attract even more. The goal is about 10,000 more people.

The city is unsure what to do with the current equipment, but according to MLive Mayor Bliss would like it to be used in city parks, outside of downtown.

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