Sunday, July 19, 2009

Community Movie Nights the Way to Go

Last week I attended an outdoor showing of SHREK at Trout Lake Park. The evening was sponsored by my employer Vision Vancouver as a fun community oriented event where people of all ages could come, set up lawn chairs and blankets and take in a night at the movies for absolutely nothing (no $15 Famous Players tickets for this show).

For an hour or so before the show began, dozens of people set up, munched on late dinners, indulged in the concession stand's fare, chatted and otherwise got to know their fellow neighbours. The energy in the park was terrific. Then the show got started. The sound was superior to a regular movie theatre, the screen crystal clear (no scratchy drive-in hear), and the backdrop of a starry night spectacular.

The event was a big success. Several hundred people turned out and like a gravity well in space, the more people arriving, the greater the draw it was for families and kids in the surrounding area to meander over and check out what was happening.

The success of this event signalled to me a real appetite for more movie nights in the park. As an enthusiast of both parks and movies, I think it would be a terrific idea if the Vancouver Parks Board moved forward on this initiative. Imagine how great it would be to have a well known family-oriented schedule of films in parks all around the city throughout the summer. Young and old could come out and sit on the grass and enjoy the parks well into the night when normally everyone packs up and heads back to the isolation of "home sweet home". These showings could also be terrific multi-cultural and independent film showing venues.

If they were popular enough, perhaps the Parks Board could even consider purchasing some of the equipment necessary to put the show on. This would cut costs even further and open the movies up to the community. Definitely a laudable dream and one well within our grasp.


Stewart Burgess said...

there is an amazing group in victoria that does guerilla movie projection using an unannounced location, the sound comes from an fm reciever you bring yourself.

very cool.

check it -- although i do support the idea of the park board projecting films for families...!

Anonymous said...

In Buenos Aires, we watch films everywhere. Sometimes, when we don't have cameras or projectors or screens, we just act out films. They are called "plays" or "performances" - I recommend that you, the North Americans, find yourselves re-acquainted with in-person cinema. It's really good.



Kurt Heinrich said...

Boy, I wish one day I can meet this Juan guy to thank him for his inspiring idea... sigh.