Poppins and popcorn: Troutdale presents Movies in the Park
If You Go
What: Movies in the Park, featuring "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" and "The Goonies"
When: Wednesday, Aug. 28
Where: Columbia Park, home of Imagination Station, 1900 S.W. Cherry Park Road, Troutdale
Troutdale's new Movies in the Park event may seem like a simple, obvious fun summer activity, but it couldn't happen without a good deal of advance planning and collaboration between the city's recreation- and technology-oriented resources.
The free event at Columbia Park/Imagination Station will feature "Mary Poppins Returns" at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, and "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" and "The Goonies" at 6 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28. It came together through, among others, the combined efforts of city Recreation Manager Mollie King and City Councilor Nick Moon.
"It's a joint venture," King said of her and Moon, who's lent his expertise in audio-visual technology. "About a year ago we were wanting to offer more community events, concerts and movies in the park. Councilor Moon came on board, so we met and talked about it and decided to start with movies and see how that goes.
"It's kinda neat when things come together like that," she added. "It's really been fun up to this point."
Moon, who owns Gresham businesses Tone Proper Mastering and Tone Proper AV, thought an LED "video wall" system, rather than a traditional projector, would lend itself well to the event and allow things to start well before dark.
"The usual dilemma is you have to wait until dark, which is late, so instead we're doing a big video wall," Moon said. "You see them at soccer games and at the Moda Center. Because I work in the A/V industry, I can pull some strings and get friends to help out. It allows us to start earlier, because the screen is brighter. With this technology, it will look really nice and sound nice."
Beyond the technological perks, Moon, who was elected to city council last fall, was interested in providing more opportunities in Troutdale for community bonding.
"Beyond looking at Facebook profiles, a lot of people don't really get to know their neighbors," he observed. "You bring a blanket along. It's something where we hope people get to know their neighbors more. By sponsoring these kinds of events, that's how we do it."
King acknowledges "a lot of time and effort" went into choosing the movies, which include a 2018 update of Disney's classic "Mary Poppins," and from earlier this year, the computer-animated action fantasy film "The Hidden World," the final installment in the "How to Train Your Dragon" series. Following that on Aug. 28 will be "The Goonies," the beloved kids-oriented adventure movie, much of which was filmed in Oregon at Astoria, near Cannon Beach and other iconic locales.
"We went for family-friendly, all PG (rated)," King said. "We just want really healthy entertainment for everyone this year."
Planning for these two nights in August started back in January.
"There are so many different moving pieces," she said, which include securing the venue, setting dates, arranging security, and purchasing licensing rights to show the movies publicly. "One of the biggest pieces is the actual equipment, the screen. We had a huge piece of it already taken care of. With the LED screen, we don't have to wait for dusk."
The event does not allow alcohol, smoking or vaping, but food will be available for purchase. Reynolds Little League Concessions offers hot dogs, popcorn, fries, nachos, candy, snacks, coffee and soda; a taco truck will sell tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tamales, rice and beans, Mexican sodas and horchata; and Kona Ice will offer a variety of Hawaiian-style shave ice treats.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own picnics, along with blankets and low-back chairs.
If all goes well, King notes, Movies in the Park will become an annual summer event for Troutdale.
"We're gonna see how it goes, but we have great hopes," she said. "We're just really excited to have a great, free community event. We hope it will be fun and healthy for everyone."
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