Fight to keep Movies in Parks

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 05:00 25/06/2012

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Movies in Parks could return to the big screen if the council can find funds to support the popular free community initiative.

This year, the first season under the combined Auckland Council, there were 24 screens in 12 locations, and nearly double the number of screenings than in 2011.

Around 50,000 people attend the combined Music in Parks and movie programmes every year.

The council recently cut the initiative from the 10-year long-term plan, to save $150,000 annually. The Music in Parks programme, now into its 19th year, will continue to receive funding from Auckland Council.

The council's Culture, Arts and Events Forum chairman Alf Filipaina has asked for a report to investigate ways to bring the event back.

"We've decided as a forum to have a look at the possibility of bringing it back," he said.

"What could happen is that no we can't bring it back, or we can bring it back but in less areas."

Filipaina said the chief consideration was funding the event without burdening ratepayers.

Open Air Cinema operator Urs Bauer has been pushing for the council to re-think its decision.

"People will realise in January when they want to know what movie is on, and I will have to tell them there is nothing on,'' he said earlier this month.

Auckland Council also cancelled the Zoo Music series earlier this year after reviewing the cost of the concerts.

Silo Park's weekly Silo Cinema is run separately to Movies in Parks and will continue as part of a strategy by Waterfront Auckland to get more people to visit Wynyard Quarter.

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