Free movie showings are back at Fred Lindstrom Memorial Park. And the Astoria Parks and Recreation Department has some generous sponsors to thank.
The action is a timely reminder that these days, little good happens without creative public-private partnerships.
The Parks Department operates two movies-in-the-park programs, one free and another, operated by the Astoria Parks Recreation and Community Foundation, where admission is charged.
A couple of years ago, parks managers were forced to cut all the free family and community events because of budget shortfalls as the department sought to match the true costs of operations with revenue.
This included the free movie program at Lindstrom Park. But sponsors Recology Western Oregon, Arbor Care, Clatsop Power Equipment, Gimre’s shoe store, Aquafina and the Mini Mart have stepped up to restore the program.
In welcoming this generosity from these businesses, we would note that a similar, paid-admission program flourishes, with the cost kept low because of sponsors. People attending “Parks After Dark” at McClure Park off Eighth Street pay only $5, thanks to the support of the Astoria Co-op Grocery, Astoria Downtown Historic District Association and the Liberty Theatre. The events feature beer from Fort George Brewery and pizza from Baked Alaska.
The department’s family and community events have always been a signal of a city’s mental health. They are an enjoyable way to turn off the TV, put away your phone, get outdoors with your neighbors, and just kick back for some entertaining summer fun.
Fred Lindstrom Memorial Park (at the top of the hill on Niagara Avenue near the Peter Pan Market). Free
Aug. 8: “A Wrinkle in Time,” a sci-fi film about a girl searching for her father.
Aug. 22: “Coco,” an animated tearjerker about a young boy in rural Mexico who dreams of becoming a musician.
McClure Park (off Eighth Street). Admission $5.
Aug. 18: “Grease” promises a nostalgic singalong opportunity.