By Anne Eickstadt


Free Movie nights are the brain child of Tom Lassandro, Director of the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce, who first came up with the idea four years ago.

“Coming out of the recession, we wanted a way for families to have a night out with no cost,” Lassandro said. “It gives the families somewhere to go. We usually do four or five movies a year. We find that teenagers come also. It gives them a date night that doesn’t cost anything.”

Area Businesses that are a part of the Chamber help make these free movie nights special.

“Blackhawk Bank donates the popcorn at movie nights,” Chamber member Tammy Zurfluh said. “We see about 250 people each night. Families have a wonderful time. They bring blankets and come in pajamas. Dean Foods provides free ice cream. Each movie has a generous community sponsor. Tonight it is CASA [Court Appointed Special Advocates]. It’s a great way for families to enjoy each other.”

The movie fun will continue every Friday through January.

“We will be having free movie nights every Friday in January. Tonight, Jan. 6, is The Secret Life of Pets, sponsored by Boone County CASA. Jan. 13, VFW Post 1461 will be sponsoring Zootopia. Boone County Crimestoppers will sponsor The Jungle Book on Jan. 20. Kung Fu Panda will be sponsored by American Family Insurance, Doug Proudfoot, on Jan. 27. The movies start at 7 p.m. with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m.,” Zurfluh said.

“This is the fourth year of movie night. It gets more popular as time goes by. Free movie nights are all sponsored by the Belvidere Chamber of Commerce, but members donate things like ice cream and popcorn. Blackhawk Bank has been here all four years. So has Dean Foods.”

The free, community movie nights are for anyone and everyone.

“Movie nights are not just for disadvantaged people, even people of means need somewhere to go,” Lassandro said.“It’s a community thing. Some people come every week and plop down in the exact same place.”

“Deans donates the ice cream and CASA volunteers work the table, serving the ice cream,” CASA Executive Director Charlotte Meier said. “CASA trains advocates to represent abused and neglected kids who are involved in the court system. We currently serve 57 kids in Boone County alone. We are always looking for new advocates. We train year round. To become an advocate, you have to be at least 21-years-old, pass a background check with fingerprinting, and provide your own transportation. Then, they interview with me and that’s it. We have 27 advocates right now. All are assigned to one child or one family. That might mean one child or four children. We try our best to match personalities and situations so no one is overburdened. We are also looking for board members for CASA. We are a working board so we need someone willing to put in time and effort.”

CASA is located at 130 S. State St., Suite 209 in Belvidere. For more information, call (815) 547-6599 or go online to:

For more information on Blackhawk Bank, go to:

Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce can be found online at or on Facebook.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.