University City’s second annual Movies in the Parks series opens Saturday, April 21, in Heman Park with a screening of one of the most influential of all teen films, American Graffiti. It will be followed by a collection of six additional “Coming of Age” movies hosted at a variety of area parks for the general public between April and October.
Selected by a film committee of volunteer residents, the free series will conclude with a viewers’ choice showing of either Super 8, Goonies or Stand by Me.
Residents’ votes will be collected online and at every preceding Movies in the Parks event. To view the complete schedule, as well as a link to the viewers’ choice poll for the series finale, click here.
“Once the steering committee realized that 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, we knew we wanted to feature that classic and brainstormed additional coming of age films to round out the schedule,” said film committee chair Wilmetta Toliver-Diallo. “One of our priorities was to select films that appealed to a broad audience and offer local youth, primarily tweens and teens, with safe alternative entertainment and cultural programming that’s constructive and a more positive way to spend time than hanging out.”
A place to go
After a year without any major incidents on the Delmar Loop, the was an anomaly, according to government officials.
University City Mayor Shelley Welsch said that the incident does highlight a bigger regional issue.
“Curfews aside, we need to provide places for teenagers to hang out and offer them something to do,” said Welsch. “We take great pride in the vibrant and welcoming neighborhood culture found throughout U. City and we’re pleased so many of our parks will be playing host to this year’s Movies in the Parks.”
The screenings will begin shortly after sundown (approx. 8 p.m. in the spring or 9 p.m. during the summer months) and the full list of films and locations to be featured include:
- American Graffiti – Saturday, April 21, in
- Cooley High – Saturday, May 19, in
- How to Train Your Dragon – Wednesday, June 13, in
- Akeelah & The Bee – Wednesday, July 11, in
- Bend it Like Beckham – Wednesday, Aug. 8, in
- To Kill A Mockingbird – Saturday, Sept. 15, in Fogerty Park
- Viewers’ choice – Saturday, Oct. 13, in Heman Park
“I was pleased to hear that Movies in the Parks was coming back again,” said Rick Salamon, director, University City Board of Education and film committee member. “This is a great idea for both our young people and the young-at-heart. I hope the community comes out to support these events. I mean, what a wonderful way to spend an evening, watching movies on the big screen under the stars with your friends and neighbors.”
The inaugural 2011 Movies in the Parks series featured Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. Like last year, the 2012 Movies in the Parks series, is organized by a volunteer group of residents which is searching for sponsors for the film series.
The City of University City is supportive of their efforts but the screenings are made possible through sponsorship donations from local businesses and residents – with levels of support ranging from $75 – $650 in exchange for advertising at the events.
Additionally, representatives from local schools and organizations are also invited to host concessions food trucks as potential fundraisers for their groups.
To date, the and in St. Louis have committed to serve as a 2012 event sponsors.
To make a donation, sponsor a film or host event concessions for your school at one of the 2012 Movies in the Parks events, contact Mayor Welsch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-505-8606.