Free movies celebrate nature center’s 50th anniversary
Friends group offers monthly showings at Paramount in Austin
June 11, 2021 — Free, monthly movies at Austin’s Historic Paramount Theatre will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.
Starting Thursday, June 17, the nonprofit Friends of the Hormel Nature Center will offer monthly showings of nature-related movies for all ages at no charge at the Paramount Theatre, 125 Fourth Ave. N.E. Each attendee also will get vouchers for a free popcorn and a free beverage.
Movie showings are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from June to August at the Paramount. Showings are June 17 (“The Okee Dokee Brothers: Can You Canoe?); July 15 (The Lorax”); and Aug. 19 (Fly Away Home).
On Thursday, the nature center’s staff will offer its barred owl Guka from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. for attendees to meet in the Paramount’s lobby. Attendees then can enjoy the 40-minute movie “Can You Canoe?” based on the Grammy award-winning album of the same name by The Okee Dokee Brothers.
“Can You Canoe?” follows the nationally known musical duo The Okee Dokee Brothers in June 2011 as they canoe a month-long journey on the Mississippi River from the headwaters at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota to The Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Their adventure includes music videos, interviews and other “shenanigans” all set along the Mississippi River.
“While much is planned at the nature center for its 50th, the Friends also wanted to offer these movies as a fun way to thank the community for its support over the past five decades,” said Tim Ruzek, president of the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center.
In 1971, the City of Austin acquired the nature center’s original 123 acres from Geordie Hormel, one of Jay Hormel’s sons. This saved the Jay Hormel’s arboretum from being developed along Interstate 90.
Today, the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center has nearly 530 acres of prairie, woods, wetlands and Dobbins Creek’s south and north branches. All is owned by the city.
Formed in 1988, the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center, a local nonprofit, aims to enhance and encourage environmental education, scientific opportunities and the enjoyment of nature at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.
On July 15, the animated classic “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” (1 hours, 26 minutes) will play for free at the Paramount, with a preshow meet-and-greet from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. with one of the nature center’s two Fox snakes in the lobby. “The Lorax,” rated PG, is a 2012 movie about a 12-year-old boy who discovers the story of the Lorax, a grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
“Fly Away Home” (1 hour, 47 minutes) will play for free on Aug. 19. The PG-rated movie from 1996 starring Jeff Daniels is about a father and daughter who decide to try to lead a flock of orphaned Canadian geese south by air.
Annual memberships to the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center are supporter ($30-$49); contributor ($50-$99); patron ($100-$499); and lifetime ($500-plus).