Moviegoers typically associate a movie screen with the smell of popcorn.
But nearly 100 people experienced the scent of campfires recently as they viewed movies at Indiana Dunes State Park. Old joined the new as 1940s Universal Pictures movies and modern-day Pixar Studios film shared the outdoor screen at the park's campground shelter.
The sounds of cicadas, crickets and an occasional dog were heard between audience laughter and applause.
Brad Bumgardner, the park's interpretive naturalist, said he remembered watching movies at campgrounds when he was young. He said he wanted today's children to have the same experience.
"We try to be diverse and offer different options," Bumgardner said. "This is the first time we've dabbled in a movie night. We do so many educational programs. This night is just a chance for people to have fun."
The short film "Pantry Panic" featured the manic and noisy Woody Woodpecker.
Robbie Capehart, 8, of Chesterton attended the movie night with his grandmother, Carol Campbell.
"My favorite movie was the woodpecker," Robbie said. "I never saw that movie before."
In "Presto," a modern film created by Disney's Pixar Studios, a rabbit refused to perform unless given a carrot. And in the Pixar film "Lifted," a young alien practiced maneuvering a space shuttle panel.
Chesterton resident Dan Deyoung rode his bicycle from his campsite to the event. He said he didn't know the movies were being shown that night.
"The movies are funny. This is a good, fun surprise," Deyoung said. "We usually just go to the beach, go hiking and to the nature center, so this was unique."
The audience that evening also watched "For the Birds, a humorous short film about small birds sitting on a telephone wire.
DJ Fesko, 7, of Dyer camped that weekend with his family.
"The movies were cool and funny," he said. "It was fun watching movies in my pajamas."
By Janna Odenthal, Post-Tribune correspondent