Movies in Parks a sad loss
Movies in Parks are no more, at least not in the form Aucklanders have known for the past four years.
Auckland Council has decided to pull the plug on the summertime event, leaving it out of the 10-year, long-term plan. And I think that is a shame.
Last year, around 50,000 people turned up to watch a collection of movies and listen to local bands play as part of the Music and Movies in Parks' joint programmes. The music is set to keep playing (funding for that programme is still on the cards), but the question has to be asked: will the council get the same numbers without the flicks?
There is something to be said for getting a bunch of friends and family together on a balmy summer's night, heading to a local park and watching The World's Fastest Indian, Boy or Alice In Wonderland while stretching out on a picnic blanket. It's cheap, it's social and as supporters of the programme say, it showcases some of the finer spots in Auckland.
And surely that is the aim. Not only do Aucklanders love the chance to get out and enjoy the city (especially when it doesn't cost anything!), but actually giving them a reason to do that is an easy way to highlight the Super parts of our city.
But the event has gone the same way as Zoo Music: down the drain.
Of course there is still Silo Cinema down at Wyndham Quarter to keep your social funds in tact. Run separately from Movies in Parks, this regular Friday night gig has been a staple on the social calendar since summer. Every week hoards of people turn out to watch a movie projected onto one of the waterfront silo.
And even more impressively, they have managed to keep drawing big crowds during the cooler months. But then, with nifty ideas like a hot water bottle-filling station, a bar and heaps of food options, even a bit of a chill in the air is easy to overlook.
But what about the suburbs? What do the families of Avondale, Mt Eden and Howick do next summer? Sadly, it won't be watching a free movie in their local park.