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‘Moonlight Movies’ brings new family fun to Patton Homestead in Hamilton

Hamilton, MA 050412 The Patton family estate in Hamilton wich was purchased in 1927 by the iconic WWII general George S. Patton. The Patton family is offering it as a gift to the town of Hamilton. Joanne Holbrookk Patton, 80, daughter in law of the famous general, gaves us a tour of the property on May 4, 2012. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ NOWKEssdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

The Patton Homestead in Hamilton is steeped in military history, as the home of the legendary WWII General George S. Patton Jr. and his extended family.

Gifted to the town by the family 10 years ago, the property has since become a unique public asset, hosting military gatherings, festivals and other community events on the lush 23-acre property.

Now comes “Moonlight Movies,” a series of free outdoor movies that start Saturday with “Back to the Future.” Anywhere from 300 to 500 people are expected to take to the lawn for the 7:30 p.m. showing, said Holly Erickson, the property’s director.

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“It’s about giving the town the opportunity to go out and relax, let their kids run around, meet friends,” said Erickson. “Especially post-pandemic, people are looking for ways to get together outside — and this seemed like a really good opportunity.”

The homestead will also host a screening of “Field of Dreams” on Oct. 14.

Nestled off the Ipswich River, the land was purchased in 1928 by iconic World War II general George S. Patton. The general’s daughter-in-law, Joanne Holbrook Patton, donated the property to the Town of Hamilton in 2012.

Erickson said the screenings are part of a new initiative to help increase public interest in the historic site.

“We’ve been doing quite a few public events to drum up excitement and interest in the property,” she said. “We’re trying to engage [with the town] on how to best use it as a community asset.”

The outdoor screenings are just part of a new slate of public programming at the homestead — which, according to Erickson, will host seven events within the span of about three weeks.

“We’ve got four different nights with music, with bands coming in,” she said. “Same deal with vendors. We’ve got the two movie nights, and then we’ve got the Harvest Fest coming up [on Oct. 15].”

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There will also be other attractions at the Moonlight Movie screenings, Erickson said. The screening of “Back to the Future” will be preceded by a car show — courtesy of the Northeast Delorean Motor Club — and a band playing songs from the 1980s.

The screening of “Field of Dreams” will feature an exhibition of old-time baseball, she said, thanks to the Holliston-based Mudville Base Ball Club.

Both attractions will start two hours before the movie, at 5:30 p.m, she said.

“We wanted to beef it up and make it more of a thing than just a movie,” said Erickson.

Considering the homestead’s history , Erickson said that staff explored the possibility of screening a military-themed movie, like the “Top Gun” films.

Also considered, she said, was “Patton,” the Academy Award-winning 1970 biopic that dramatized the life of the homestead’s namesake.

Due to factors like licensing — and, in the case of “Patton,” the reluctance of the general’s surviving family members — Erickson said those films would have to wait.

“We want to do family friendly, but it’s late enough in the evening that it couldn’t be too young of an audience,” she said. “So we’re looking to do sort of general audience films.”


Camilo Fonseca can be reached at camilo.fonseca@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @fonseca_esq.