VERONA, NJ – Families are invited to view free family-friendly films at Kip's Castle on the following Fridays: June 5, 12, 19 & 26; at 7:00 p.m., with the movies starting at dusk; at Essex County Kip’s Castle Park, which is located at 22 Crestmont Road, in Verona, on the borderline of Montclair and Verona.

“We invite you to join us for an exciting night at the movies on our Kip’s Castle Park lawn,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. “Families can enjoy the outdoor movie presentation and experience this magnificent location in a new way. We look forward to seeing you at what will be an entertaining evening for children, families and individuals of all ages.”

The schedule is as follows:

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Friday, June 5: “Frozen” – After the kingdom of Arendelle is cast into eternal winter by the powerful Snow Queen Elsa, her sprightly sister Anna teams up with a rough-hewn mountaineer named Kristoff and his trusty reindeer Sven to break the icy spell. Pre-movie entertainment: Meet and greet with the princesses of the film. (Rain date: Saturday, June 6)

Friday, June 12: “The Lego Movie” – A lowly Lego figure joins a group intent on battling an evil force after a case of mistaken identity in this computer-generated comedy. Pre-movie entertainment: Build with Legos with the help of Snapology. (Rain date: Saturday, June 13)

Friday, June 19: “Divergent” – In a world where the population is divided into factions by personality types, Tris Prior is classified as Divergent. When she uncovers a conspiracy to eliminate all Divergents, she teams with the mysterious Four to find out what makes the powers-that-be so frightened of them. Pre-movie entertainment: Archery demonstration. (Rain date: Saturday, June 20)

Friday, June 26: “Eat, Pray, Love” – Liz Gilbert had everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having, a husband, a house, a successful career, yet like so many others, she finds herself lost, confused and searching for what she really wants in life. Gilbert embarks on a journey around the world that becomes a quest for self-discovery. Pre-movie entertainment: Join us for a cultural experience. (Rain date: June 27t)

Essex County purchased the castle property in 2007 for $5.6 million, through a $2.8 million grant from the NJ Green Acres program and a $2.8 million grant from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund for the acquisition.

The castle was built in 1902 by Frederic E. Kip, a wealthy textile manufacturer and investor. The 9,000-square-foot mansion is a replica of a medieval Norman castle and is constructed of local trap rock trimmed with sandstone. Many of the rooms are uniquely designed with round or octagonal shapes and vaulted ceilings. There are six ornately designed fireplaces throughout the structure. There also is a 6,000-square-foot, two-story carriage house that was renovated in 1984 to accommodate offices. The property is located on 11 acres on the ridge of First Mountain, and provides spectacular views.

The castle was used as a private residence for many years after Kip sold the estate in 1926. In the 1980s, the castle was the United States headquarters of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Indian guru. He sold the property in 1984 to the law firm of Schwartz Tobia Stanziale, which used the buildings as their law offices.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 22 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. The extraordinary views of the New York skyline and the unique castle architecture highlight Essex County Kip’s Castle Park, which at 11 acres is the fourth smallest park in the Essex County Parks System.