Movies by Moonlight, Leadership Sandy Springs’ annual family friendly film series, is back for its 15th year.

The free series kicks off with “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” Aug. 9, followed by “Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse” Aug. 23 (postponed to Oct. 18 due to a thunderstorm) and “Captain Marvel” Sept. 6. Pre-movie activities, including food trucks with food and beverages for sale, start at 6 p.m.

The entertainment on stage begins at 6:30 p.m., and the films commence at dusk. For the second straight year, the series will take place at City Green, the new park at the City Springs complex.

“What I saw last year is it was really the community coming together on the green at City Springs,” Leadership Executive Director Jan Paul said. “It was such a beautiful gathering space, just to see all the families come out and really enjoy a free family type of event. We’ve tried to include a lot of activities that are themed to the movies themselves. Just to come out on a Friday night and roam the green and enjoy the activities, it’s such a heartwarming event to see the families come out and thoroughly enjoy a Friday evening.”

Lisa Thompson, who is co-chairing the event with Stephanie Graham, said, “I think what sets us apart from other movie shows is our pre-show entertainment. We work really hard to tailor that entertainment to what the movie is. We cast a wide net and want to have as many different people to come out and really enjoy the time they’re spending at City Springs.”

Leadership, a nonprofit that develops, educates and connects individuals to lead and bring value to the community, is planning special themed activities before each film is shown.

For all three movies, there will be costumed characters on hand to entertain and have their pictures taken with children. For “Spider-man,” a representative of the Dunwoody Nature Center will be on hand to give a presentation on spiders.

Other performers already confirmed include Sandy Springs Music, the North Georgia School of Ballet, Sandy Springs gymnasts and Los Ninos Primero, which will partner with Arthur Murray Dance Centers to instruct the audience on salsa and merengue dancing.

Paul and Thompson said the three films chosen for this year’s series are a mixture that will appeal to not only children but also adults.

“I think the themes behind the movies this year are very good,” Paul said. “In ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ there are themes of overcoming adversity, of children who may have either difficult things in their lives they may have to overcome or physical handicaps they have to overcome. ... In ‘Captain Marvel,’ there’s messages about strength of character, of overcoming odds. There’s lots of overpowering odds. ‘Spiderman’ has been recognized as an Academy Award winner (for best animated feature film), so I think it’s a good, strong lineup.”

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