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Portland Parks seems to have lost enthusiasm for offering movies in the park...there are fewer, now

DAVID F. ASHTON - Families settled down in Brentwood Park in July for an outdoor big-screen showing of the recent movie Ready Player One. Families gathered in Brentwood Park on Friday evening, July 19, to enjoy a live rock band and free popcorn – then at dusk, a Portland Parks & Recreation "Movie in the Park" on a big outdoor screen.

Behind the scenes, Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association (BDNA) leaders said they felt mixed emotions – elated at seeing their community members come together for the movie; but fearful this could be their last one.

"The way it looks, it's quite possible. If neighborhood associations really are to be de-funded by the City of Portland, this will be our last major summertime event," remarked BDNA Chair Chelsea Powers. (See the "code change" headline story in the August BEE.)

"Thanks to fundraising efforts, we do have some resources to put on events; but, without liability insurance and support services from the city, we just won't have ability to put on any of our neighborhood events, including our Hallowe'en themed 'Spook-tacular', our Fourth of July celebration, or our National Night Out gathering," Powers said.

These larger events bring together neighbors who live in their neighborhood, Powers observed. "Just look at who is here, and you'll see our incredibly diverse community represented here. These events are a great way for everyone to connect, no matter what their culture or background is."

As the band "Soul Progression" played a mix of pop, rock, and blues, Lacye Sparkle was getting everyone swirling around in hula hoops.

"One of the very first 'Movie in the Parks', ever, took place, here at Brentwood Park," pointed out BDNA Board Member, and the event's organizer, Gail Kiley. "I am very happy that we've kept this tradition going. For many of our neighbors, this IS their outdoor summer entertainment – because so many families are working multiple jobs to survive."

But, at least this summer, hundreds of families were set to have a wonderful time in Brentwood Park, as they settled in to watch the movie "Ready Player One" on the big screen.


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