Movies and Concerts Light Up Bell Tower Green

by | Jun 7, 2022 | Arts

Salisbury’s Reels and Riffs is a movie and music series that will take place at Bell Tower Green, sponsored by Salisbury Parks and Recreation, Visit Rowan County, and Downtown Salisbury Inc.

Pops at the Post on June 4 enthusiastically kicked off the summer concert series. Weather forced the cancellation of the first movie, but June 10 will be the start of family-friendly movies.

“Having Bell Tower Green complete has added another layer of excitement to this community,” says Vivian Koontz, events coordinator for the City of Salisbury. “From the day the fences came down, the park has been booming with inquisitive visitors, happy families, frequent walkers and many events so far. The calendar has quickly filled up with our programming as well as other public events.”

“There has always been a plan to add quality programming to Bell Tower Green,” Koontz added. “Many ideas have been shared and plans for some exciting happenings are still coming along. Movies and music are two existing ideas that were easy to introduce to the park right off the bat to get things moving along.”

Tradition of movies

Because the Parks and Recreation Department has had music and movie series for years, this is a great fit. “We started Movies in the Park at City Park nearly 10 years ago. We previously had a Music at the Mural concert series on W. Fisher St. and held that for several years, as well as music at many of our other annual events. So this is not a new concept, just a new location.”

The movies are all recent, and the bands have been selected based on the kind of music they play and their familiarity with the area.

“I generally compile a list of movies and our team will often vote on which of those selections they would like to see. Because the summer music lineup has a few bigger names, we work with a booking agent. I am given a list of available acts that fit the criteria we are looking for and again, our team vets the acts and makes our top selections from there,” Koontz explained.

The best thing — all the movies and concerts are free.

Movies start at 9 p.m. on Fridays, after dark, while the music series begins at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and snacks; vendors will be available for some of the events.

There’s plenty of parking downtown in the evenings.

Upcoming movies

The movie lineup includes:

“Jungle Cruise” on June 10. Rated PG-13, this 2021 Disney movie is based on the Walt Disney World attraction of the same name. Dr. Lily Houghton hires wisecracking Skipper Frank Wolff to take her down the Amazon in his ramshackle boat to search for an ancient tree that has the power to heal.

“Encanto” June 24. Rated PG. This 2021 animated Disney musical features the Madrigal family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place called the Encanto. Magic has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift — except Mirabel. But Mirabel may be the only one who can save the family when that magic is in danger.

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” July 8. Rated PG. Also from 2021, this comedy harks back to the original “Ghostbusters” but with a new group of people. When a single mother and her two children move to a new town, they soon discover they have a connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandmother left behind.

“Cars” July 22. Rated G. This animated movie from 2006 features Lightning McQueen on a journey to California to race against The King and Chick Hicks in the Piston Cup Championship. But Lightning gets lost when he falls out of his trailer, and ends up in Radiator Springs, where he befriends some of the town’s odd residents and learns the championship is not the most important thing in his world. Voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, Paul Newman and others, this is family favorite.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Aug. 5. Rated PG-13, this action/adventure sees Spider-Man unmasked, his identity revealed. He can no longer separate his normal life as Peter Parker from the high-stakes life of a superhero. When Peter asks for help from Doctor Strange, the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.

All your favorite music

After the Pops concert, the music continues with:

ACE Party Band starting at 5 p.m. on June 18. The band plays it all, from Beach music to Motown to pop, rock, hip hop, R&B, Top 40, country and jazz.

Cassette Rewind, July 2, billed as “The Ultimate Authentic ‘80s Experience,”

An Aretha Franklin Tribute on July 16

Edwin McCain Trio, July 30. Edwin McCain is a platinum-selling singer-songwriter, who will be joined by two other musicians. You’ll hear folk, soul, rock and a little jazz. He had a top 10 hit with “I’ll Be,” a song often used in weddings, and a top 40 hit with “I Could Not Ask For More.” He’ll make his first Grand Ol’ Opry debut July 29.

Brittney Spencer, Aug. 13. A country singer-songwriter, Spencer has been part of the group The Highwomen. USA Today named her one of “12 Black Artists Shaping Country Music’s Future.” She’s been honored by Spotify, Pandora, People Magazine, and appeared on CBS’ “Sunday Morning.”

The Hamiltones, Aug. 27. This North Carolina trio is known for joyful gospel, hip-hop and R&B style. Tony Lelo (Antonio Bowers), 2E (Corey Williams III) and J. Vito (James Darrell Tillman Jr.) are all from NC, and have backed soul singer Anthony Hamilton.

“With everything else that we offer, we expect a great response. Bell Tower Green has its own popularity, but when you mix that with exciting family-friendly activities there tends to be a lot of people who want to take part in what’s going on,” Koontz says.

For updates and more information, visit www.facebook.com/SalisburyParksandRecreation or call 704-216-PLAY (7529). Weather updates will be posted on this Facebook page, as well.

Three members, men, of The Hamiltones posing. One in a grey long sleeves and black beanie, one in a black jacket and hat, the third in a red beanie and split color plaid shirt.

The Hamiltones will bring joyful Gospel music, hip hop and R&B to Bell Tower Green on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.

Members of ACE Party Band, wearing white shirts, jeans, and one woman in sunglasses and a jean jacket. posed on steps.

The ACE Party Band will play their great mix of pop, hip hop, Motown and more on June 18, 5 pm, at Bell Tower Green.

Other events

Lee St. theatre, “Harvey,” June 10-11, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, June 12, 2:30 p.m. Elwood P. Dowd insists on bringing his friend, Harvey, a six-foot tall, invisible white rabbit to all his sister Veta’s social gatherings. When Veta tries to get Elwood committed, hilarity ensues. Click here for tickets and more information.

“Little Shop of Horrors,” Fridays and Saturdays, July 8-23. Come see Audrey II, the man-eating space alien plant, wreak havoc while poor Seymour tries to outsmart and beat her. Click here for tickets and more information.

Piedmont Players, “Legally Blonde,” June 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, June 12 and 18 at 2:30 p.m. at the Norvell Theater, 135 E. Fisher St., based on the 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Click here for tickets.

“The Sound of Music,” July 15-16, July 22-23 and 29-30 at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, July 17, 24 and 31 at 2:30 p.m., Meroney Theater, 213 S. Main St., Salisbury. The inspirational and much-loved story of the real-life Von Trapp family escaping from the Nazis during World War II. Click here for tickets.

Summer Camps for Children ages 2-12, ongoing. Click here for details on each camp and to check availability.

Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Summer ARTventures offers classes for all ages and abilities. Classes for ages 4-18, in painting, clay, drawing, Claymation, sculpting, cartooning, and more. Click here for dates and availability. 

June 20-Sept. 2, Don Moore: An ART-Filled Life. Moore was a lifelong artist in Salisbury who passed away early in 2022.

Town of Cleveland Summer Concert Series: Bands perform at 6:30 p.m. on South Depot Street. Bring a lawn chair. The Entertainers, June 25; Red Dirt Revival, July 23; Community Christian Day, featuring Mountain Highway and a special guest, Aug. 27;  Sept. 24, Mother Trucker. Click to view Community Calendar.


Stage production image of Legally Blonde

See ‘Legally Blonde: The Musical’ at the Norvell Theater June 10-11, June 17-18 at 7:30 p.m. and June 12 and 18 at 2:30 p.m.

About The Author

Deirdre Parker Smith

I grew up in the theater; my father was a set designer and my mother was an actress. My most magical memories are from the days when we worked on stage and backstage together. My father, James “Parkie” Parker was a well-respected member of the theatre arts department at Catawba College for 33 years. Though I was born in New York City, and lived for a time in Washington, D.C., I graduated from Salisbury High School and Wake Forest University and was a writer and editor at the Salisbury Post for 35 years. Watching talented people do their thing is a great joy — acting, singing, playing an instrument, painting, drawing, writing. I’ve been lucky to meet many awesome creative people over the years. Art, in all its forms, heals people, makes connections and gives us a deep joy.