WHDA to host Movie in the Park series

Published 3:04 pm Friday, May 7, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

The Washington Harbor District Alliance will unveil its latest project, Movie in the Park, next weekend with a screening of “The Blind Side.”
The film will be shown Friday beginning at dusk in downtown Washington’s Festival Park, according to WHDA Executive Director Beth Byrd. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.
The film series was inspired by the success of the screening of an East Carolina University football game in the park, Byrd said. That effort was coordinated by Mac Hodges, vice president of promotions for WHDA; Hodges is joined in the planning of the film series by Byrd, Lydie Jennings and Brownie Futrell.
“We worked together as a committee to pull this together,” Byrd said. “The big hurdle was finding enough sponsors to do this, so we thank all of them.”
Those sponsors include F. Ray Moore Oil Co., Wells Fargo Advisors, Dr. Angie S. Rhodes, East Carolina BBQ &Grill, Tayloe’s Hospital Pharmacy, First South Bank, Pirate’s Grill &Pub, State Farm Insurance/Mauri F. Evans, Buckman Investments LLC/Jim Buckman, N.C. Estuarium, Frank’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant, Tranter’s Creek Resort &Campground, Morris Insurance Agency, St. Clair Trucking Inc. and the Washington Daily News.
The series will feature six movies, one per month through October. The movie screen will be affixed to the fence adjacent to the former Maola building on the Washington waterfront, Byrd said.
There is no admission charge, and participants should bring folding chairs or blankets. Glass containers are prohibited.
Washington’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce have signed on to sponsor the costs of a movie, according to Byrd.
“It’s really been a collaborative effort of the entire community to bring this to everyone,” she said.
The film series supports WHDA’s mission.
“Our mission is to bring more people downtown. This is a free, family friendly event,” Byrd said. “I think all of our events are pretty family friendly.”
Those attending the movies are urged to bring a picnic supper or visit an area restaurant for one of their box specials, she added.
With “The Blind Side,” which is sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department, WHDA presents actress Sandra Bullock in her Oscar-winning role. Bullock fans may recall that, for a time, she was a student at East Carolina University.
The series continues on June 18 with “Field of Dreams,” and on July 16 the cult-classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” will be shown. “The Eagle’s Farewell Tour” will be screened Aug. 13, That screening is sponsored by the chamber. “A Bug’s Life” is set for Sept. 17, and participants are invited to wear the largest pairs of glasses they can find in order to appear “bug-eyed.”
The series concludes Oct. 22 with a showing of “We Are Marshall,” the story of the ill-fated Marshall University Thundering Herd football team killed in a plane crash after playing ECU in November 1970.
“Mac has sent an invitation to Marshall alumni to come to Washington,” Byrd said. “We’re showing this movie, and that’s when Music in the Streets and Smoke on the Water will be held. And ECU is playing Marshall that weekend.”