Back when I was a wee lad (well, teen and college student), my local orchestra would put on about 20 (at least that's what I remember) free summer concerts at the outdoor stage. Well, the lawn seats were free anyway. They'd put "coupons" in the local paper and you'd mail them in and they'd send you tickets. You could bring your blanket and your picnic and your bottle of wine (if of age, ahem) and enjoy a pleasant evening. They probably did do a few "pops" type events but mostly they did real classical programs. I learned to like orchestral music and have bought quite a few tickets since then.
The number of those concerts dwindled over the years, and the proportion of movie score/pops shows increased. Maybe that's smart marketing, but I doubt it.