Al­fresco films


An im­promptu pic­ture-palace, pic­nic ground and play area popped up in the events quad­rant of The Square last week.

Hun­dreds, many in larger fam­ily groups, took ad­van­tage of the fine au­tumn af­ter­noon last Thurs­day to take in a free ope­nair screen­ing of an­i­mated PG mu­si­cal fan­tasy Frozen at 1pm, fol­lowed at 5.15pm by the Ja­maican bobsled ca­per, Cool Run­nings.

A project of Palmy Un­leashed, the movies’ themes were cho­sen to com­ple­ment the school hol­i­day Ice-World skat­ing rink and Snow Globe across in The Square’s Plaza quad­rant.

The Cen­tral En­ergy Trust big screen de­liv­ered crisp im­ages and good qual­ity sound, with sub­ti­tles for the hear­ing im­paired.

Many had re­sponded to the in­vi­ta­tion to bring along the best seats in the house – their own – and en­joyed a pic­nic lunch be­fore the af­ter­noon screen­ing, while City Library’s Imag­i­na­tion Play­ground pro­vided a pre-movie di­ver­sion for many of the chil­dren.

Sam Ker­shaw, from Palmy Un­leashed, was rapt with the day, the re­sponse and the qual­ity of the ex­pe­ri­ence. Ker­shaw said it was about cre­at­ing greater aware­ness about the pos­si­bil­i­ties for use of the cen­tral city space.

The au­di­ence even clapped at the end, with sev­eral up and danc­ing along to the outro theme.

‘‘It was a nice way to spend a school hol­i­day day. It is a great idea,’’ said Timu Niwa, whose three daugh­ters Maia, 9, Aria, 6, and Koa, 4, agreed it was ‘‘awe­some’’ and ‘‘amaz­ing’’.

Ker­shaw said the 5.15pm show­ing was timed so peo­ple could stop and watch be­fore head­ing home from work, while sev­eral who took in the first movie said they were re­turn­ing for the sec­ond.

An­drea Mankelow from Hi­matangi saw Frozen with five mokop­una and four of their par­ents, and was look­ing for­ward to Cool Run­nings.

‘‘It was so much fun. The or­gan­is­ers did a fan­tas­tic job.’’

‘‘This is won­der­ful – a re­ally good idea,’’ was the re­sponse from Graham Con­lon, who was ac­com­pa­nied by fam­ily mem­bers Su, Ni­amh and Rose.

It was the third al fresco film screen­ing in The Square, fol­low­ing the clas­sic 1940s Casablanca, shown at the end of Jan­uary, and an­i­mated favourite Find­ing Nemo screened in the first week of Fe­bru­ary.


The Palmy Un­leashed school hol­i­day screen­ing of ‘‘Frozen’’ on the big screen in The Square.

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