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Attendees watch the movie "Captain Phillips" at The Shops at Kenilworth's Summer Moonlight Movie Series in 2014. The annual series returns June 10.
Attendees watch the movie "Captain Phillips" at The Shops at Kenilworth's Summer Moonlight Movie Series in 2014. The annual series returns June 10. (File photo / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

As developers are transforming The Shops at Kenilworth before the eyes of Towson citizens, one tradition is here to stay. The annual Summer Moonlight Movie Series is returning June 10, and it is packed with big movie blockbusters.

Starting at sunset, attendees can gather in front of the big screen and relax for free Friday nights as they watch dinosaurs run amok or rebel armies fight in a galaxy far, far away. Organizers expect between 350 and 550 people to attend. While the center provides chairs, people are encouraged to bring their own food, blankets or more comfortable seating.

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Joan Denenberg, communications director for the series, which is going on its sixth year, said the idea began in 2010 with two local business owners who had the family-oriented shopping center in mind. Denenberg admitted she was nervous the first year, but people showed up again and again.

"To my surprise, people loved it," Denenberg said.

Keeping a family focus, the movie series includes a few children's movies each year. Past showings have included "Frozen" and "Lincoln." Denenberg said the series organizers have partnered with a radio station to provide DJ's with live music before the show, and local shops for free prizes to movie attendees.

The series is taking place during a period of transformation for The Shops at Kenilworth. Originally built in 1979, the center is going through a $20 million renovation. Unsure about how the renovations would affect the screenings, Denenberg said the organizers worked hard to make sure the tradition would continue.

"We put in a lot of time and effort to ensure that we would give the same experience to customers," Denenberg said.

The organizers spent preparation time testing different screening venues around the shopping center, before settling on the lower level exterior lot.

"We're really excited that we're able to still do it this summer," Denenberg said.

Construction on the center will take part in phases, and retailers are scheduled to remain open to avoid disruptions, according to the Greenberg Gibbons development website. The renovations are scheduled to be complete by summer 2017.

The movie series will take place from June 10 to Aug. 19. While it is free to attend, Denenberg said there will be popcorn and candy available for purchase. The movie schedule is listed below:

• June 10 - Creed

• June 24 - Star Wars - The Force Awakens

• July 8 - Minions

• July 22 - Jurassic World

• Aug. 5 - Zootopia

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• Aug. 19 - Inside Out

For more info on the Summer Moonlight Movie Series, go to facebook.com/TheShopsatKenilworth/

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