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.