GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Workers on Monday covered a downtown Grand Rapids parking lot in blue paint in preparation for an annual outdoor movie series.

About 250 gallons of “cool blue” paint now cover the 55,000-square-foot lot off Monroe Avenue near I-196.

Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., which is organizing the Movies on Monroe series, said the paint serves aesthetic and practical purposes:

“This morning it was just a parking lot. By the end of the day, we’re going to have a nice, cool space,” DGRI spokesperson Jennie Schumacher said. “It will be very easy on the eyes and it should help with the temperatures on the hotter days this summer.”

The heat of the parking lot was one concern mentioned by community members when DGRI announced last month it would move the movies from Ah-Nab-Awen Park across the river to the parking lot. It was moved to satisfy the conditions of a state grant that allowed the lot’s purchase. Despite complaints, DGRI is confident the free event will still draw big crowds.

The curtain rises Friday on Movies on Monroe with a double feature: “The Greatest Showman” and “Big.” The first movie starts at 6:30 p.m.