Call for more council funding for free open-air film nights
An organiser of a series of free open-air film nights in Umina has called on Central Coast Council to continue funding the program.
Four film nights were held in the Peninsula Recreation Precinct by Umina Community Group and Jasmine Greens Park Kiosk between September and January, with a $10,000 grant from the council.
"The film nights have been really instrumental in fostering positive family activities in the precinct and in reducing crime and vandalism in the park at night," said kiosk owner Ms Gabby Greyem.
She said the cost of continuing the evening movies in the park would be low.
"I'd love to see the free movie nights continue with an annual monthly calendar."
Ms Greyem said more than 1200 people attended the events with an average audience of 300 people at each event.
"The film nights were conceived to foster a sense of community connection and local identity," she said.
"They were all about deterring crime and vandalism in the park by lighting up our park and creating a safe community space," she said.
The series of films was designed to appeal to families with young children, screening films including How To Train Your Dragon, Lilo and Stitch, and Madagascar.
A seven metre tall blow-up screen was erected in the park for each event, transforming the grass in front of the flying fox into an outdoor cinema.
"As the films played, kids played on the flying fox, climbed the rope tower and families cooked dinner on their barbecues.
"The atmosphere at every event was really calm and kid friendly," said Ms Greyem.
"There was absolutely no trouble at any of the events and we have noticed an overall decline in anti-social behaviour in the park.
"Bad weather did make us postpone the first two screenings, but even in cold weather, families came out with blankets, sleeping bags and eskies to enjoy the movies," she said.
"Audience feedback showed a resounding level of community support for more free movie nights and more community events in the precinct at night.
"One hundred per cent of survey respondents said they enjoyed the free movie screenings.
"Seventy-seven per cent of survey respondents said we need more evening events in the precinct.
"Nineteen per cent of respondents said they would like to see more film options for teenagers and adults," Ms Greyem said.
Media release, 12 Jan 2020
Gabby Greyem, Jasmine Greens Park Kiosk