The 26th Drexel Theatre Kids Summer Film Series opens this weekend at the Bexley cinema.

The 26th Drexel Theatre Kids Summer Film Series opens this weekend at the Bexley cinema.

Artistic director Jeff Frank called the annual summer festival "a big part of what the Drexel is about."

Frank said the series is designed for families and groups to experience classic children's movies that parents grew up with, as well as newer releases, in an audience setting.

"We want people to not just go into a theater, watch a movie and then go home," he said. "We show animated shorts, we have contests and prizes and some audience participation."

Audience participation will be ramped up for two of the three screenings of The Wizard of Oz, which will be sing-alongs, featuring the words on the screen. Audience members also will be encouraged to come in costume, Frank said.

The festival also includes an award-winning documentary on teen magicians titled Make Believe. The Drexel screenings mark the film's Columbus premiere.

"We always mix classic children's films with some newer films and one Columbus premiere," Frank said.

For the first time in many years, the festival will include a Shirley Temple picture, as Wee Willie Winkie is screened. Frank said a selection of Temple's best song and dance numbers from her films will be shown as well.

The festival opens Friday, June 29, with a screening of The Muppet Movie.

"We felt like, with the new Muppet film coming out last year, this was a great time to bring back what we think is the best of all the Muppet films," Frank said.

There will be seven features in all, running throughout the summer. Most of the films carry a G rating, with Ghostbusters and The Pirates! A Band of Misfits PG.

ThisWeek Community News is the print media sponsor of the film festival.

Visit for more information.