Film festival looking to land in downtown again

Outdoor movies are set to return to downtown Lawrence.

City commissioners at their meeting tonight are expected to give approval to the third annual Downtown Lawrence Film Festival.

Downtown Lawrence Inc. again plans to use a vacant lot at the southwest corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets to show classic films on the wall of the downtown parking garage.

This year, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn will take center stage.

Here’s a look at the proposed schedule:
• June 11: Woman of the Year
• June 25: Without Love
• July 9: State of the Union
• July 23: Adam’s Rib
• Aug. 13: Pat & Mike
• Aug. 27: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Each evening will begin with live music, free popcorn and prize drawings at 8 p.m. The movies will start at 9:15 p.m.

In other downtown news, if you’re looking for a slightly different type of outdoor activity this summer, The Sandbar may soon be able to accommodate.

The Sandbar, 17 E. Eighth St., is set to receive approval at tonight’s commission meeting for a new outdoor sidewalk drinking area.

The downtown bar is seeking to become the latest to take advantage of new city regulations that allow some downtown bars to create sidewalk seating areas to serve customers.

Previously, only restaurants were able to have sidewalk seating areas downtown. But bar owners convinced commissioners that the rules needed to be changed following the city’s implementation of a citywide smoking ban.

Commissioners agreed to allow bars to have sidewalk seating areas, if the business had no other feasible option for providing an outdoor seating area.