The Columbia Parks and Recreation Center offers numerous activities throughout the year at local Columbia spots. For about eight years, Movies in the Park has proved to be popular among the community. People arrive at the Flat Branch Park with a blanket to enjoy a movie on an inflatable screen. This Friday, Sept. 13, Brave is showing at 8 p.m.
Admission is $2 per person, and children under eight get in for free. Concessions are available, including candy, popcorn, bottled water, and Gatorade. Money received from concessions helps fund the recreation program at Paquin Tower and money from admissions pays for the rights to show the movie. The event is mainly geared towards families and children, but the event is open to all.
Nicole Clemens, an English teacher at RBHS, takes her children to Movies in the Park because of how family-oriented it is. She appreciates the laid-back atmosphere the event offers.
“It’s a way to take my kids to the movies without caring if they’re loud because everyone else is loud,” Clemens said, “and you can run around or lay down or get up and move.”
A crowd of about 300-400 people is usually expected, since the event is popular in Columbia.
“Movies in the Park has been really well-received and well attended,” Tamara Miller, public information specialist of Parks and Recreation, said. “[People] choose their spot in the grass and settle in with concessions. Usually there is recorded music playing. When it’s time for the movie to start, a staff person welcomes the crowd and introduces the movie.”
Movies in the Park not only serves as the opportunity to watch a movie outside and have fun, but it also is a way for Columbia residents to socialize with other people in the community. It brings the people together as a whole and makes it easy to connect with other people in the area.
“I liked it because there were people in the community that I don’t get to see all the time that I ran into,” Clemens said. “It really makes Columbia feel like a cohesive community, which is awesome.”
By Molly Mehle
Have you ever attended Movies in the Park? Would you recommend the experience to others?